New CEO installed for Saint Francis Healthcare System


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Maryann Reese was installed as President and CEO of Saint Francis Healthcare System (SFHS) on Sept. 20 by The Most Rev. Edward M. Rice in the St. Francis Conference Center. Reese, RN, MHA, DHA, FACHE, has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Saint Francis since August 2015.

PRESIDENT & CEO—Bishop Edward M. Rice, Maryann Reese, new President and CEO of Saint Francis Healthcare System, and Nick Lund-Molfese, diocesan Director of Social Ministry, Family Life, Health Affairs, and Respect Life. (The Mirror)
PRESIDENT & CEO—Bishop Edward M. Rice, Maryann Reese, new President and CEO of Saint Francis Healthcare System, and Nick Lund-Molfese, diocesan Director of Social Ministry, Family Life, Health Affairs, and Respect Life. A photo gallery of this event may be found HERE. (The Mirror)

Steven C. Bjelich, FACHE-D, retired Sept. 1 as President and Chief Executive Officer of Saint Francis Healthcare System. He had led Saint Francis since 1999.

“Today, we pause to install Maryann Reese in this liturgy, a ceremony which is designed to help her,” said Bp. Edward M. Rice during the Installation Mass, “as well as all of the Saint Francis family, to recall what it is we do and why we are called to do it.”

“As people of God, we are called to a profound love of God and love of our neighbors,” Bp. Rice said.

“Mary Ann, it is your responsibility to create a ‘culture of encounter’ here at Saint Francis Medical Center,” Bp. Edward Rice said. “When someone comes to the front desk for information or stops at the Café for a snack or is on the floors visiting a patient, everyone here from surgeons to sanitation, must be doing their part to create an encounter with Jesus.”

“Now, I ask you, and all of this Saint Francis Family: Will you value the gift of life, seeing each person as made in the image of God, and care for each with respect, dignity, and compassion?”

All present responded, “We will.”

Reese came to Saint Francis Healthcare System from St. Elizabeth Hospital in Belleville, IL, where she served as Chief Executive Officer since 2011. She has more than 15 years in executive leadership for a variety of hospitals and healthcare systems. Most of her career has been spent with Catholic hospitals, giving her a unique perspective for this ministry. Beyond her experience in Catholic healthcare, Reese served in several leadership roles at the Hospital Corporation of America, the largest for-profit national health system in the country.

At St. Elizabeth’s, she oversaw a 350-bed facility that is part of the Hospital Sisters Health System, a $2 billion Catholic health system based in Springfield, IL, with 14 locations in two states.

Symbols of leadership

Bishop Rice presented Reese with symbols of her leadership within the Catholic healthcare system: a San Damiano crucifix, a copy of the crucifix that spoke to Francis at the beginning of his conversion, “Symbolizing the love and compassion you will use in leading this institution to quality and excellence,” Bp. Rice said. Other items included a copy of the Mission and Franciscan values, based on the beliefs of St. Francis and the sisters who founded the hospital; articles and bylaws of the system; a clock, and a lighted candle.

Reese holds a doctorate in healthcare administration from Central Michigan University, a master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts in healthcare administration from Graceland University. She is a registered nurse by training.

Saint Francis Medical Center is a 308-bed facility serving more than 713,000 people throughout Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Guided by its mission to provide a ministry of healing and wellness inspired by its Christian philosophy and values, the Medical Center has become a progressive, innovative regional tertiary care referral center. The major service lines of Saint Francis have received national recognition, and include the Neurosciences Institute; Orthopedic Institute; Family BirthPlace, featuring the region’s first Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Heart Hospital; Emergency and Level III Trauma Center; Cancer Institute; and Fitness Plus.

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