November 14, 2018
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Tim Flesch

Tim Flesch, retiring president and CEO of St. Mary’s, cites St. Mary’s Epworth Crossing as a success story.

Job: President & CEO of St. Mary’s

Hometown: Covington, Ky.

Family: Wife, Kay; a daughter and son-in-law in Evansville, a daughter and son-in-law in Effingham, Ill., and a son and daughter-in-law in Indianapolis; and five grandchildren.

His Resume: Tim Flesch, 62, joined St. Mary’s in 1999 as Executive Vice President and CFO before later being appointed President and CEO in May 2005. He has worked to advance the health ministries of St. Mary’s Health Services, St. Mary’s Care Partners, and St. Mary’s Medical Group. Before coming to St. Mary’s, he worked with Daughters of Charity National Health System; was a Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance for Baptist Health Care System in Nashville; and was a Senior Manager with KPMG Peat Marwick accounting firm’s healthcare division in both Nashville and Chicago. He earned an accounting degree from Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky., before receiving his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind. He retires from St. Mary’s on Jan. 10.

Immediate plans after retirement: A long drive through Yellowstone and parts of Canada to Alaska, followed by visits to Washington and South Dakota.

What has it meant to you to work in Catholic healthcare and what will your legacy be?
I’ve been in Catholic healthcare for 22 years. There is something about healthcare and Catholic healthcare that is special to me. If I’m remembered for anything, I would really want to be remembered as someone who believed in Catholic healthcare, who gave people the range and the freedom to do the job they are called to do — that we were fair and equitable in those arrangements, that we tried to listen to associates, to physicians, to the community. I believe that is the core of who we are and core to taking care of people; to listen to them. I hope people will look back and say, “Yes, that is a time we were listened to.”

What endeavors are you most proud of?
We are a Level II Pediatric and Adult Trauma Center; that is very large. Certainly, the Center for Advanced Medicine, and the Epworth Center (St. Mary’s Epworth Crossing). The five-year journey to Magnet Status designation (the highest recognition for quality in a hospital’s nursing program) is significant. The growth of our physician network. We started with just a handful physicians when I came into this role and we now have 150 employed physicians. Of course, we’ve had very good financial performance over the past few years. We’ve done a lot of remodeling in the hospital.

Is Evansville a healthy community?
We still have a higher rate than we should of smoking. We have a high rate of diabetes. We are heavier than we should be. We can be a healthier community, and I’m encouraged by the people who are focused on that. We have significant leaders who are trying to create opportunities for exercise and for outdoor space both in Evansville and Newburgh, Ind. In Newburgh, I see people there (on the trail) in the morning when I come in at 6:30 and when I go home at 8 at night, there are people on that riverfront walking. I think we will see an increasing focus on that self-accountability. We have excellent healthcare systems in Evansville. We’re very well served. And I think we’ll be even better served in the future given the growth of the IU medical school and the possibility of expanding medical education in Evansville.

On his replacement, Keith Jewell:
I think Keith is coming in with a lot of great experience in healthcare, and from a very well-run healthcare organization, Franciscan St. Francis Health in Indianapolis. He is bringing a lot of good experiences in performance improvement and continuous improvement that will be a blessing for St. Mary’s and very much needed in our organization. I wish him all the best, and I am glad we were able to find somebody like him.

For more information about St. Mary’s, call 812-485-4000 or visit stmarys.org.

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