Hello St. Charles newsletter readers! I am taking over this month's column to let you know that the health system's Board of Directors, which I chair, is pleased to announce that Dr. Steve Gordon has accepted the position of president and CEO for the health system on a permanent basis. He has been serving as interim president and CEO since July.

In that time, he has launched a new service-line focused structure that groups and manages services that support a patient throughout their health care journey. Under his leadership, St. Charles realized improved financial performance for the second half of 2022 and is committed to returning to a positive operating margin by the end of 2023. Retaining highly experienced caregivers and working to recruit new permanent staff are among his top priorities.

Additionally, Steve is an experienced health care executive and former member of the St. Charles Board of Directors. A primary care and internal medicine physician by training, he has served in executive leadership roles for PeaceHealth in Vancouver, Wash., Providence Health and Services in Portland and Salem Health. He is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

I can tell you that the Board of Directors has been very appreciative of Steve's leadership over the past seven months, and we desired to have him become the permanent CEO. We are thrilled that he has accepted the position, and we look forward to a productive partnership with him for the benefit of the community and our patients.

The Board did not offer Steve the permanent position without input from others, however. Working with an external search firm, we conducted a survey along with small group and individual meetings with a variety of identified stakeholders to determine the attributes most desired in the next health system CEO. The top qualities identified by more than 1,600 St. Charles caregivers and community partners were:

  • Compassion for patients and staff
  • Experience as a direct health care provider
  • Visibility and presence across all sites of care and in the communities St. Charles serves

Said Ann Rhoads, who chaired the Board's CEO search committee: “During this interim period, Steve has naturally embodied these attributes making him easily the top choice for the position. We heard repeatedly from the listening sessions that caregivers, physicians and community partners would be thrilled to see Steve in the role for the long term. We believe he is the best person to lead St. Charles into the future and that he will drive the system to provide excellence in care, service and organizational culture.”

I couldn't agree more. I’ll close by giving Steve the final word, as I believe it conveys the positive energy and servant’s spirit that he has brought to his role, and it makes me excited for the future of St. Charles under his guidance:

“I am energized to build on what we’ve learned so far from service line development in many areas of the organization,” he said. “Plenty of work still lies ahead, but we’re seeing results from focusing first on clinical excellence and a better experience for our patients, caregivers, physicians and providers. I have enjoyed getting to know this extraordinary organization in a new and deeper way in recent months. We simply have the best people who are committed to providing patients with exceptional care. I want to continue supporting them in that noble endeavor.”

Jamie Orlikoff
Chairman, St. Charles Health System Board of Directors