Kingsbury, 65, had left his post heading University Hospital two years ago to help start a hospital in Dubai, but that program crashed along with the economy in late 2008. He returned to the U.S. in March.
"The main question I had was, was it really ready to move forward?" Kingsbury said of the new offer. "A lot of the issues were either resolved or being resolved."
A few months later, the Nebraska native is out of retirement, living in the Kingsgate Marriott and leading the new UC Health.
It immediately becomes a billion-dollar business and one of the biggest health care employers in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.