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Davison new president and CEO of Saint Francis

Justin Davison was named the president and chief executive officer for Saint Francis Healthcare System. Photo by Jay Forness

The Saint Francis Healthcare System Board of Directors announced Justin Davis-on as the new president and chief executive officer for the healthcare system on Sept. 14.

Davison joined Saint Fran-cis Healthcare System in November 2019 as chief financial officer and transitioned to the role of interim president and chief executive officer in February 2022.

In his new role, Davison will oversee the strategic direction, development and expansion of Saint Francis. Davison said the healthcare system will continue to focus on providing world-class care close to home.

“We have historically been an independent and focused regional organization and that is still our strongest intent,” Davison said. “We believe that our heritage and history as the first healthcare organization founded in Cape Girardeau in 1875 is a legacy that we have a responsibility to continue to maintain.”

Davison said his biggest goal as the new president and CEO is to make sure Saint Francis thrives in the face of an aging population, particularly in Southeast Missouri. He said his strategies include diversifying services, embracing updated technologies and removing barriers between patients and the care they are seeking.

“We believe by adjusting and diversifying the services that we offer, there’s an opportunity to offset some of these fixed costs and overhead costs in such a way that it actually grows the care, makes it more affordable and enables newer technologies to be closer to the patient,” Davison said.

Davison said the healthcare system has begun bringing patients and doctors closer together through embracing telehealth, which he said Saint Francis plans to expand soon.

“We’re really working to refine and modify our current plans — not for today — but where our patients will be in another five to 10 years,” Davison said.

Davison said Saint Francis is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of its staffing issues diminishing and more than 170 former staff members returning to the healthcare system.

“We have so many talented people who have remained with us during the COVID era and they are resilient folks,” Davison said. “The stories that they carried into the community have really buoyed up our recruitment, and we have seen a strong increase of the number of colleagues who have joined our organization.”

Prior to Saint Francis, Davison served as vice president of finance at Mercy Health in Springfield. He has more than 18 years in executive leadership experience for a variety of hospitals and healthcare systems, primarily in southern Missouri.

Davison serves on the Missouri Hospital Association Board of Directors and the board of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Bishop Edward Rice of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese will celebrate the Mass of Installation and the Feast of St. Francis on Oct. 5 at St. Mary of the Annunciation Cathedral in Cape Girardeau.

“I am pleased to support Justin Davison as president and CEO of Saint Francis,” Rice said. “His extensive experience in Catholic healthcare, as well as his many talents, will be a great asset in continuing into the future the healing ministry of Jesus.”

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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