Grinney was raised in Racine, Wisconsin. He worked part-time at a turkey farm while studying at St Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He earned an MBA and master's in health administration at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri in 1981 and began working as a management trainee at Houston's Methodist Hospital.
He was hired by the Columbia Healthcare Corporation in 1990 and was serving as president of its Houston, Texas division when it merged with Nashville, Tennessee's Hospital Corporation of America in 1994. He became HCA's Eastern Group president until he was tapped in May 2004 to succeed founder Richard Scrushy and interim CEO Robert May as head of Healthsouth. Grinney's goals in turning the company around after a massive accounting scandal included making Scrushy "irrelevant" to the story of the company. By most accounts he accomplished that goal, focusing on acquiring and operating inpatient hospitals.
Grinney has also served on the executive committee of the Birmingham Business Alliance and on the board of directors of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. He was inducted into the Birmingham Business Hall of Fame in 2017 and the Alabama Business Hall of Fame in 2020.
After his retirement, Grinney remained in Birmingham. He and his third wife, Melanie, reside in Mountain Brook. He has three children from his first marriage.
|CEO of HealthSouth
May 2004 - December 2016
- Foust, Dean (February 6, 2005) "Breathing Life Into HealthSouth." BusinessWeek
- Brown, Melissa (November 1, 2016) "After engineering turnaround, Grinney handing off reins at growing HealthSouth." Birmingham Business Journal
- Poe, Kelly (November 10, 2016) "How Jay Grinney navigated HealthSouth through its - and his - darkest days." The Birmingham News