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Robert Ritz chosen as Mercy President

Thursday, May 2, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa–Following an extensive national search, the Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines Board of Directors, Mercy Health Network Iowa (MHN) and Catholic Health Initiatives are pleased to announce the selection of Robert P. “Bob” Ritz as the next President of Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines.

Ritz presently serves as Division President of Hospital Sisters Health System in Springfield, Ill., and as President and Chief Executive Officer of St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. He brings 25 years of health care leadership experience and a long list of accomplishments to central Iowa. During the past five years at Hospital Sisters Health System, he helped develop strategic alignments with area hospitals and physician practices, oversaw a $180 million first-phase project to rebuild the hospital’s main campus and helped St. John’s navigate through a variety of financial and competitive challenges. Guided by a faith-based mission, Ritz worked to build new health centers and ambulatory care sites across the Springfield community.

“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to join the highly respected team of people at Mercy,” Ritz said. “Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines is an organization with a great reputation, strong values, and a history and tradition focused on the healing ministry of the Sisters of Mercy.”  Ritz said he is deeply committed to creating the best possible patient experience as he works with others on the team to improve health care delivery.  He added, “It also is exciting to join an organization that has built all the components necessary to lead health care where it needs to go – to an era of delivering even greater value, accepting more accountability for quality and costs, and improving the health status of the communities we serve.  Mercy has been a national leader in these efforts because of its outstanding people. I look forward to working with the physicians and other members of the Mercy Family to continue the organization’s success.”

Current Mercy President & CEO and Mercy Health Network (MHN) CEO Dave Vellinga said, “We have found the right person at the right time to lead Mercy – Des Moines into the future. Bob is extremely talented and has a firm grasp of what it will take to be successful as we reshape health care.  He shares our vision of creating an integrated health system that can achieve the ‘Triple Aim Goals’ of higher quality, lower costs, and a better patient experience.  As a result of all this and more, he will be a great asset to Mercy and the MHN leadership team.”

Mercy Board Chairman Steve Chapman said, “We are extremely pleased to have a leader with Bob’s experience join Mercy.  He has demonstrated the ability to continually improve care in a constantly changing environment. He is an exceptional communicator and understands the importance of teamwork in achieving excellence.  Most importantly, he clearly has demonstrated throughout his career that his personal values and mission are completely aligned with those of Mercy.”  Chapman also expressed his appreciation for the many Mercy staff members, physicians and governance members who participated in the process of recruiting and selecting Ritz.

Ritz will join Mercy on or about July 8 and will report to Vellinga in his role as the President & CEO of MHN and a member of the Mercy Board of Directors. Ritz’s appointment will allow Vellinga to concentrate his energies on the activities and relationships of MHN across Iowa and with national organizations.


About Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines

Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines is a 656-bed acute care, not-for-profit Catholic hospital situated on three campuses.  Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1893, Mercy is the longest continually operating hospital in Des Moines. It also is one of the largest employers in the state, with more than 7,100 employees and a medical staff of more than 800 physicians and allied health associates.  Mercy Medical Center–Des Moines is a member of Mercy Health Network and is a part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colo.  The faith-based system operates in 18 states and includes 80 hospitals and multiple other facilities and services.


Mercy Health Network

Mercy Health Network (MHN) is a statewide system comprised of 11 owned and 26 contract-affiliated hospitals, and 142 physician clinics with 625 physicians.  MHN is based in Des Moines and includes the Mercy Medical Centers in Des Moines, Sioux City, Mason City, Dubuque and Clinton.  It also includes owned community hospitals in Centerville, Dyersville, New Hampton, Primghar, West Des Moines and Oakland, Nebraska.

Contact: 
Gregg Lagan 
Mercy Medical Center - Des Moines
(515) 229-1546 cell

Brian Reardon
Hospital Sisters Health System
(217) 492-5823

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