Blog Post

Ascension CEO: 'We can’t think the good old days of health care will come back…ever.'

    What does it really mean to transform care across a huge system?

    Two years ago, Ascension Health—the nation’s largest Catholic health system—created Ascension, a parent company that would develop "systems, services, and models to enable us to succeed in the new world" while allowing Ascension Health to "remain focused on making the incremental, operational changes along the way." That’s what Ascension CEO Anthony Tersigni told me and my colleagues Dan Diamond and Tom Cassels in early 2013 in our very first "Lessons from the C-Suite" profile, and I’ve been eager to follow up with him.

    At the time of our original conversation with Tony, he was just a year into his tenure as head of the newly formed parent company. He shared his goals for Ascension, calling them "themes you can put on a bumper sticker": develop a vibrant Catholic health ministry; become an entrusted steward; and re-imagine health and co-create healthier communities.

    I was struck by Tony’s vision and wanted to understand more about how he’s making systemic change at an organization that has 1,900 sites of care in 23 states and the District of Columbia. He and I spoke recently, and he shared his areas of strategic focus, which include a particular emphasis on developing leaders who are prepared for the new health care environment.

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