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Maryann Reese resigns as CEO of Saint Francis

Maryann Reese announced her resignation Feb. 15 as president and CEO of Saint Francis Healthcare System. File photo

Maryann Reese has resigned as president and chief executive officer of Saint Francis Healthcare Systems,  The board of directors announced Feb. 15.

Reese’s resignation will not disrupt any inpatient or outpatient care across the healthcare system.

In a press release, Saint Francis said, “No media inquiries will be accepted at this time,” but added, “Saint Francis wishes Reese well in her retirement.”

Chief Financial Officer Justin Davison will take the reigns and serve as interim president.

Reese came to Saint Fran-cis in July 2015 from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, IL., where she had served as chief executive officer since 2011. At St. Elizabeth’s, she oversaw a 350-bed facility that is part of the Hospital Sisters Health System, a $3 billion Catholic health system based in Springfield, Ill., with 14 locations in two states.

When she came to St. Francis, she was appointed to the newly created role of executive vice president/chief operating officer. The president and CEO at the time was Steven Bjelich.

In the newly created role, Reese was actively involved in leading the development of programs and services to strengthen patient care services and quality throughout the Saint Francis Healthcare System.

As healthcare reform continued to take hold and new economic models and reimbursements changed, her role of EVP/COO was believed to be critically important in leading efforts to improve efficiencies and quality.

When Bjelich retired in Sept. 1, 2017, Reese was appointed to replace him as president and CEO.

Davison, who will serve as interim president, joined Saint Francis in November 2019. As chief financial officer for Saint Francis, he provides administrative management for the healthcare system’s accounting, revenue cycle and facilities management departments. He oversees the overall financial plans and policies and directs its accounting practices. His responsibilities have included direct investments, budgeting, audit, tax, accounting and real estate.

Before coming to Saint Francis, Davison served as the vice president of finance at Mercy Health in Springfield. He also held roles of executive director of finance, finance leader and executive director of supply chain at Mercy Health.

Davison said he was drawn to the faith-based mission and vision of Saint Francis Healthcare System. The mission is to provide a ministry of healing, wellness, quality and love inspired by faith in Jesus Christ. The vision is to be a leading Catholic healthcare system that celebrates and protects the gift of life by providing exceptional patient outcomes in quality, safety, access and value.

Davison, when he joined Saint Francis, said he was impressed by the quality of care and wide range of services that Saint Francis provides.

Saint Francis Healthcare System was founded by Franciscan Sisters in 1875, and its priority remains the same today as it was back then: to serve all who enter with dignity, compassion and joy.

Serving nearly 713,000 people across Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas, Saint Francis’ focus is its patients’ outcomes, experience and value.

Anchored by Saint Francis Medical Center, a 306-bed tertiary hospital in Cape Girardeau, and supported by nearly 3,000 employees and more than 250 providers in eight communities, the healthcare system is a driving economic force in the region. Major services include the Cancer Institute, Emergency and Level III Trauma Center, Family BirthPlace and the region’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Heart Hospital, Neurosciences and Orthopedics.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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