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Analysis

Ascension CEO Tony Tersigni to Retire

By John Commins  
   March 21, 2019

Tersigni, who has led the St. Louis-based Catholic health system for 15 years, will depart at the end of the year. The search is underway for his successor.

Long-serving Ascension CEO Anthony R. Tersigni will retire at the end of 2019, and the search is on for his replacement, the St. Louis-based Catholic health system announced Thursday.

"Tony has informed the Board that he intends to retire on December 31, 2019, after leading Ascension for more than 15 years," Ascension Board Chairman Stephen M. Dufilho said in a message posted on the health system's website.

"He will continue to serve Ascension as a member of the executive committee of Ascension's healthcare investment fund and will provide consultative services to Ascension on an ongoing basis. The Board has begun a formal process to evaluate and select a successor to Tony," Dufilho said.

Tersigni was named president and CEO of Ascension Health in 2004, after serving briefly as the interim leader of the health system, and before that as COO since 2001.

When Ascension was formed in 2012 as the parent organization of Ascension Health and its other subsidiaries, Tersigni became its first president and CEO.

"A vibrant servant leader, Tony has shepherded Ascension through a period of unprecedented change in the U.S. healthcare industry while remaining true to the vision and legacy of the founding religious congregations of Ascension," Dufilho said.  

Tersigni was a driving force behind the health system's One Ascension initiative, which aligned and improved operational structures to improve consistency and efficiency, Dufilho said.  

"As the healthcare landscape continued to rapidly change, Tony led the effort to review and update Ascension's Strategic Direction as a strategic framework to best position the health ministry for the future," Dufilho said.

"Tony championed the idea that we must pursue a Dual Transformation model, optimizing and transforming our core healthcare operations while creating transformational new models that extend our reach and provide the engine for growing our ministry and its impact," Dufilho said.

Tersigni is the fourth senior leader at Ascension to announce their departure this year.

Patricia A. Maryland announced in January that she would leave Ascension Healthcare after serving in various roles for 15 years, effective July 1.

Similarly, John D. Doyle, Ascension's executive vice president, and David B. Pryor, MD, Ascension's CCO, will retire on June 30, the end of the company's fiscal year.

Ascension is one of the largest Catholic health systems in the nation, with 151 hospitals, more than 50 senior care facilities, 2,600 care sites, 156,000 employees and 34,000 providers operating in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

“A vibrant servant leader, Tony has shepherded Ascension through a period of unprecedented change in the U.S. healthcare industry while remaining true to the vision and legacy of the founding religious congregations of Ascension.”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Tersigni is the fourth senior leader at Ascension to announce their departure this year.

When Ascension was formed in 2012 as the parent organization of Ascension Health and its other subsidiaries, Tersigni became its first president and CEO.

Tersigni is credited as the driving force behind the health system's alignment initiatives to improve operational structures, consistency and efficiency.


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