Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

CPE President Thompson receives leadership award from Kentucky Hospital Association

June 02, 2021

CPE President Aaron Thompson
CPE President Aaron Thompson

President Aaron Thompson, head of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), received the Health Care Governance Leadership Award from the Kentucky Hospital Association last month at the group's annual convention.

The award honors individuals who have made a positive and sustainable impact on the quality of care in their community.

Thompson served two years as chair of the Baptist Health Richmond Board before joining the Baptist Health System Board in 2016, where he currently serves as chair.

The association said that his extensive background in education, advocacy and diversity has made him an invaluable partner to Baptist Health during a very challenging year. His relentless advocacy for health equity across the commonwealth has helped shape Baptist Health's strategic focus on access and growth to meet the needs of patients.

"All Kentuckians deserve access to quality, equitable health care, and I want to thank the association for their efforts to champion these goals – and for this award," Thompson said. "Health and education are inextricably linked, and I'm honored to serve our commonwealth in both areas."

Thompson's leadership experience spans 27 years across higher education, business and numerous nonprofit boards, including past service on the boards of the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club of Madison County and Shaping Our Appalachian Region in addition to his work with Baptist Health.

As CPE president, Thompson is a nationally recognized leader in higher education, working to ensure all Kentuckians have an equal opportunity to improve their lives through a postsecondary experience.

He has researched, taught and consulted in areas of diversity, leadership, ethics, multicultural families, race and ethnic relations, student success, first-year students, retention, cultural competence and organizational design throughout his career.

He spent 21 years as a professor at Eastern Kentucky University, then served the school for four years as associate vice president for academic affairs. He also served as interim president of Kentucky State University for one year. Thompson was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2019.

He holds a bachelor's degree in political science and sociology from Eastern Kentucky University and a master's degree and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Kentucky.

The Kentucky Hospital Association was established in 1929. The Association represents hospitals, related health care organizations and integrated health care systems dedicated to sustaining and improving the health status of the citizens of Kentucky.

Last Updated: 7/21/2021