Leslie Paul Luke Named 14th President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health

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Luke will pursue people-centered care with a focus on quality, growth, patient satisfaction, colleague engagement and financial strength



Syracuse, N.Y., January 13, 2017 – Vincent Sweeney, Chair of the Board of Trustees at St. Joseph’s Health, today announced that Mr. Leslie Paul Luke has been named the 14thPresident and CEO of the non-profit health care system that encompasses a 16-county service area.  Luke currently serves as interim CEO of Tennova East, a seven hospital system in Knoxville, TN.  He will succeed Kathy Ruscitto, current CEO of St. Joseph’s Health, on February 20, 2017.

“After a thorough and comprehensive process, the search committee is pleased to have found the most highly qualified individual to assume leadership of our growing non-profit regional health care system,” said Sweeney.  “Throughout his very successful career, Les has managed significant work in performance improvement with a particular focus on driving quality. He also has deep experience in the physician practice space.  This combined with his extensive knowledge of health care administration and genuine, collaborative nature makes Les uniquely qualified to successfully lead St. Joseph’s Health into the future.”

Over the last several months, a large candidate pool was carefully narrowed to a small group who interviewed with St. Joseph's Health administration and physician leadership teams. While he plans to dedicate his first 90 days to acclimating to the organization and getting to know his new colleagues, Luke intends to focus on quality, growth, patient satisfaction and strengthening financial operations across the system.

"I am deeply honored to have been selected for the role of President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health,” said Luke. “I am very pleased to join such a progressive organization that has a proven track record for delivering outstanding care to its patients and an enduring commitment to improving the overall health of the community.”

Luke, 55, holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology and a master’s degree in Health Administration from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. In 1991, he received his first CEO role at a 50-bed, not-for-profit hospital in Kentucky.  Since then he was CEO of three other hospitals. In 2006, he joined Community Health Systems where he held several key leadership roles including his current position.

“Les has a proven record of building strong teams and strategies to advance people-centered care,” said Benjamin Carter, interim Executive Vice President for the East Group at Trinity Health, the parent organization of St. Joseph’s Health. “We look forward to working with Les to pursue our vision of being the trusted health partner in Syracuse and every community we serve nationwide.”

“We are confident Les is the best choice from a diverse pool of interested and highly qualified candidates,” Sweeney added.  “He’s been a successful health care executive for much of his career and has the demeanor and personal values that are a great fit for working in our faith-based organization. Even more important, he's a great fit with our mission, vision and values as well as the Strategic Focus Areas we developed in partnership with Trinity Health.”

Luke was born in St. Louis, MO, but was raised in Hawaii where his parents are from. His father was a general surgeon who completed his training in Syracuse, NY in 1955.  He and his family will relocate to the Syracuse area from Brentwood, TN.


About St. Joseph’s Health

St. Joseph’s Health is a non-profit regional health care system based in Syracuse, NY, providing services to patients throughout Central New York and northern Pennsylvania. From primary to specialty to home care, to our Magnet-recognized hospital, and in collaboration with our community partners, St. Joseph's Health is advancing the health of the communities we serve through an expanding range of healthcare services to ensure our patients achieve optimum long-term health. Ranked by Consumer Reports among the top 15 heart surgery centers in the country, U.S. News “Best Regional Hospital” and a 15-time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice award,  St. Joseph’s is widely recognized for quality, value and delivering the highest patient satisfaction. St. Joseph’s Health is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and St. Joseph’s Physicians and is a member of Trinity Health.


About Trinity Health

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 93 hospitals, as well as 120 continuing care programs that include PACE, senior living facilities, and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $16.2 billion and assets of $23.4 billion, the organization returns almost $1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity Health employs about 97,000 full-time employees, including 5,300 employed physicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity Health is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services — ranked by number of visits — in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs. For more information, visit www.trinity-health.org. You can also follow @TrinityHealthMI on Twitter.


Media Contact: Jamie Arnold

Jamie.Arnold@sjhsyr.org or 315.935.7101 (c) 

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Post Date

Jan 13th 2017