Tommye Austin to succeed Denise Murphy as BJC chief nurse executive

Tommye Austin

Tommye Austin, RN, MBA, PhD, NEA-BC, has been named BJC HealthCare’s new patient care systems senior vice president and system chief nurse executive, effective Oct 3. Austin will succeed Denise Murphy, who earlier this year shared her plans to retire in September.

As BJC’s most senior nursing executive, Austin will serve as an integral member of and trusted advisor to the BJC executive leadership team. In this role, she will be accountable for developing and implementing targeted system-wide initiatives that improve patient outcomes, standardize care, and enhance the interdisciplinary complement and effectiveness of the clinical workforce. She will also have a central role in advancing the patient care delivery workforce by creating new models of care and team complements that ensure nursing team members and other patient care personnel spend their time working at the top of their potential, doing the things they most love to do.

She will report to BJC president and CEO Rich Liekweg and BJC senior vice president and chief clinical officer Clay Dunagan, MD.

Austin brings more than 30 years of experience in the nursing field, most recently serving as the senior vice president and chief nursing executive for University Health, a health system in San Antonio, Texas. In this role, she had oversight of more than 1,000 beds at University Hospital, a Magnet-recognized, Level 1 trauma center, and oversaw nursing practice for University Health’s 25 outpatient health care centers, clinics and dialysis centers.

Prior to joining University Health, Austin served in several executive nursing roles with the Baptist Health System in San Antonio, Texas; the Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas; and Kingwood Plaza Hospital in Kingwood, Texas. Austin is the past recipient of several awards and honors, including being named as a 2020 and 2019 Modern Healthcare 50 Most Influential Clinical Executive, and as a 2018 Modern Healthcare Top 10 to Watch Minority Executive. She is a member of several professional societies, has written and received many grants, and has been published in a multitude of professional publications.

“We are looking forward to Tommye joining us and are confident she will be an excellent addition to BJC,” Liekweg says. “Please join us in warmly welcoming Tommye to BJC HealthCare and the St. Louis community.”

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