(St. Louis, July 15, 2020) – BJC HealthCare this week announced several leadership changes, including a number of internal promotions taking effect August 1.
The changes are being driven to ensure BJC’s readiness to proactively respond to challenges and opportunities in a turbulent environment for the health care industry, says BJC president and CEO Rich Liekweg.
“Our nimbleness during the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that we are able to take risks, make decisions quickly, pivot when necessary and hardwire new practices and procedures rapidly and effectively,” he said. “As the environment in which health care is delivered changes in ways and at a speed like never before, several BJC leaders will be taking on new and expanded roles to continue advancing and applying critical skills across BJC for the benefit of our patients, our team members and our community.”
The changes include the following:
Current BJC group president and Barnes-Jewish Hospital president Bob Cannon will move out of the Barnes-Jewish president role and solely serve as a BJC group president with responsibility for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, Christian Hospital, Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital, Progress West Hospital, Goldfarb School of Nursing and BJC Planning, Design and Construction. Cannon joined BJC in 2000.
With Cannon’s shift, Barnes-Jewish chief medical officer John Lynch, MD, has been named president of the hospital. A faculty member of Washington University School of Medicine board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and critical care medicine, Dr. Lynch has been on staff at Barnes-Jewish since 1995 and was named chief medical officer in 2017.
Katherine Henderson, MD, who currently is assistant chief medical officer and director of medical staff services, has been promoted to Barnes-Jewish chief medical officer. An internal medicine physician and faculty member of the medical school, Dr. Henderson has been instrumental in working with physician and clinical leaders to drive patient safety and quality outcomes. She joined the Barnes-Jewish team in 2009 as director of physician relations.
Current Barnes-Jewish vice president and chief nursing officer Angelleen Peters-Lewis will be promoted to chief operations officer along with her patient care services role. Recently inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, Peters-Lewis joined the hospital as vice president, patient care services and chief nursing officer in October 2017. She is recognized as one of Modern Healthcare’s 2020 Minority Leaders to Watch.
In addition to the promotions at the academic medical center, Chris Watts has been named BJC vice president and chief strategy officer for the system. In this new role, Watts will have day-to-day responsibility for corporate strategy, growth and development activities, strategic investing, business planning and the BJC Collaborative. Watts currently serves as president of Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital and Progress West Hospital in St. Charles County. He joined BJC in 2005 and previously served as BJC vice president of capital and program planning. Watts will retain his hospital president responsibilities until a new president is named.
Liekweg also announced that BJC will be recruiting for two new roles – vice president of community health and vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The vice president of community health will be responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of BJC's community health programs, ensuring they are responsive to community needs. This role will help accelerate BJC’s focus on eliminating health disparities as identified in the five-year strategic plan and will oversee connections with community-based programs and organizations that offer primary, secondary and tertiary prevention for chronic conditions, particularly those identified in BJC community health needs assessments.
“The vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion is critical to ensuring we make significant progress in our work towards being an organization that embraces a sense of belonging for all team members and that provides culturally aware care for all patients,” noted Liekweg. “Being able to provide guidance to ensure we achieve sustainable change in embracing diversity, equity and inclusion requires a dedicated leader focused on bringing innovative ideas and practices that can be implemented across BJC.
“Our talented leadership team has the strength, heart and dedication that is going to ensure we are successful delivering on BJC’s mission. As we continue working together, we will be strongly positioned to meet the changing needs of our patients, our communities, and our team members.”
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BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. Serving the health care needs of urban, suburban and rural communities, BJC includes 15 hospitals and multiple health service organizations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice. BJC’s nationally recognized academic hospitals, Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, are affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine.