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St. Joseph Health System Names CEO and President

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St. Joseph Regional Health Center CEO Jack Buckley, Jr., FACHE has been appointed to serve as the next President and CEO of St. Joseph Health System based in Bryan.

Buckley will assume the new position on June 13, 2005, as longtime SJHS President and CEO Sister Gretchen Kunz transitions to her new role with the St. Joseph Foundation. The announcement of Buckley’s appointment follows Boards of Trustees approvals from St. Joseph Health System and Franciscan Services Corporation, which is the Health and Human Services Ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio.

“During the recent search for a new CEO of St. Joseph Regional Health Center we knew the day was approaching when Sister Gretchen would want to transition out of her role as President to a less-demanding position,” said SJHS Board Chairperson Sheran Riley. “The succession plan was to find an outstanding leader who could someday step up to serve as the Health System President. Jack has proven to be that outstanding leader.”

As President of St. Joseph Health System, Buckley will provide leadership for St. Joseph Regional Health Center as well as oversight for St. Joseph Health System organizations, which include long term care, managed care, rural health facilities, and St. Joseph Foundation. St. Joseph Health System operates 15 healthcare facilities in the Brazos Valley.

“I’ve known Jack for more than 20 years,” said Sister Gretchen Kunz. “He is a great leader with the experience, education and knowledge to move the system forward in the challenging years ahead. Most importantly, he supports the mission of St. Joseph and will carry on this important health care ministry.”

Buckley has more than 33 years of experience in health care leadership and has worked for a number of Catholic and not-for-profit hospitals and health systems. He has held leadership positions with the Mercy Health System in Ohio; Catholic Healthcare West in Arizona; and St. Anthony’s in Amarillo, Texas. From 1992 to 2001 he served as President/CEO of Southern Illinois Healthcare Enterprises, a multihospital system in southern Illinois. Over the past several years he has served in interim CEO positions at St. Mary’s Hospital of East St. Louis; at the St. Joseph Campus of Via Christi Regional Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas; and most recently served as interim CEO for St. Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan before being hired as the permanent CEO.

“Over these past 18 months I have seen first hand how the team of St. Joseph Health System touches the lives of thousands of people throughout the Brazos Valley every day. I’ve seen how appreciative patients and residents are to have St. Joseph providing health services for them. This is a tremendous organization that is supported by a great community and a fantastic medical staff,” said Buckley. “We intend to continue advancing the health ministry the Sisters of St. Francis began in this community in 1935.”

Buckley said one of his primary goals is to intensify the organizations’ focus on quality. ”We want to be recognized as a quality-driven organization, with strong clinical performance and service that exceeds the expectations of the patients and families we serve. We have a great team with a strong commitment to our core values of reverence, service and stewardship,” said Buckley. “We will continue to focus on doing what is right for the patient.”

Buckley received an MBA from The George Washington University and has his undergraduate degree from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served in various roles for the Catholic Health Association of the U.S., American Hospital Association, Texas Hospital Association, Illinois Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of Texas. He currently serves as Chairperson for the Advisory Council of the TAMU Health Sciences Center School of Rural Public Health.

Buckley and his wife, Sally, have been married for 35 years. They have three grown children - two daughters and a son - and one granddaughter.