SSM Health of Southern Illinois President and CEO Philip Gustafson announces intent to retire early next year

CENTRALIA — SSM Health of Southern Illinois President and CEO Philip Gustafson has announced his intention to retire on February 3, 2017.

Since 2008 when Gustafson was named to lead hospital operations for SSM Health in Southern Illinois, the region has recorded a number of major accomplishments, including opening SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital – Mt. Vernon, which has become a major regional referral center; and redesigning a new ICU at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Centralia.

During Gustafson’s tenure, the region also expanded behavioral health and wound care services, while introducing a state-of-the-art surgical robotics program. In addition, Gustafson has helped recruit dozens of new physicians to the region; established a regional Accountable Care Organization; and introduced a Coordinated Care Network to help SSM Health’s most vulnerable patients stay healthy.

“I’m so very grateful to have worked alongside some of the industry’s finest for the past eight years here in Southern Illinois, and to have had the opportunity to contribute to the success of SSM Health, one of the country’s most respected health care systems,” Gustafson said. “While my decision to retire was not an easy one, I’m looking forward to traveling and spending more time with my wife Pamela and family, as well as keeping busy doing some smaller project-based work.”

Under Gustafson, SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital and SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital also continued to earn state and national recognition for safety, quality and service, including the prestigious Lincoln Foundation Performance Excellence Gold Award.

“Due to Phil Gustafson’s leadership and vision, SSM Health has continued to grow and expand services to meet the evolving needs of the communities we serve across Southern Illinois, while also maintaining the high standard of care for which SSM Health is known,” said Chris Howard, President of Hospital Operations, SSM Health. “We wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

SSM Health will begin an immediate search for Gustafson’s replacement.