Rich Liekweg Named to Succeed Steve Lipstein as President and CEO of BJC HealthCare
The BJC board of directors has formally announced that Rich Liekweg will serve as the next president and CEO of BJC HealthCare, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Liekweg will succeed Steve Lipstein, who has very ably led BJC HealthCare since 1999. With more than 31,000 employees, 15 hospitals and four service organizations, under Lipstein’s leadership BJC has become recognized as one of the largest and most successful not-for-profit, integrated health care delivery organizations in the United States, serving patients and families in the St. Louis metropolitan area, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri.
The board has been engaged in a comprehensive and disciplined process to identify the next leader of BJC for the past several years as part of its stewardship responsibility for the organization. Lipstein’s 18-year tenure makes him among the longest-serving chief executives for a health care system and during his leadership BJC has expanded services for patients, achieved financial stability, and become a valued voice in health care public policy. The board, with Lipstein’s input, sought to ensure that BJC’s next leader would be able to ensure continued success in delivering on the organization’s vision and mission to improve the health of the people and communities we serve.
“We are very fortunate to find just the kind of leader we were looking for inside of BJC and are pleased that Richard Liekweg will serve as the third president and chief executive officer for BJC HealthCare,” says Kelvin Westbrook, chairman of the BJC board of directors. “Rich and Steve have had the opportunity to work very closely together and this will ensure a very smooth and stable transition of leadership.”
Liekweg began his tenure with BJC in 2009 as group president at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the teaching hospital affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine and the largest hospital in the 15-hospital BJC system. Liekweg was named to the newly created position of BJC executive vice president in 2014, and in 2016 was named president of BJC HealthCare, forging an even closer partnership with Lipstein, developing strategy and overseeing operations for BJC. Westbrook adds, “The board is confident that Rich is very well prepared to lead the organization as we address the future challenges and opportunities in health care.”
Prior to joining BJC, Liekweg, a native of Virginia, held senior executive positions at the health systems for the University of California-San Diego and Duke University. Liekweg is married to Stacey Liekweg, a senior partner at Exeteur Group, and they are the parents to Caroline, a senior in high school. All of the Liekwegs have become volunteers in their adopted home of St. Louis, and Rich is active locally with Forest Park Forever, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, American Heart Association and CEOs Against Cancer. Nationally, Liekweg is a member of the board of directors of Vizient and the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Teaching Hospitals.