Metro-East News

‘Incredibly excited’: St. Elizabeth’s Hospital appoints interim CEO

Shelley Harris, chief nursing officer at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, speaks with Sachiko Kotani and her interpreter Hideyo Mills as they tour the Intensive Care Unit in May 2009. Harris has been appointed as the interim CEO of the hospital effective Friday.
Shelley Harris, chief nursing officer at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, speaks with Sachiko Kotani and her interpreter Hideyo Mills as they tour the Intensive Care Unit in May 2009. Harris has been appointed as the interim CEO of the hospital effective Friday. Derik Holtmann

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville announced Monday that Shelley Harris, the chief nursing officer, has been appointed to serve as interim CEO, effective Friday.

Current president and chief executive officer Maryann Reese is leaving at the end of the month for a new job. Reese, who has been CEO of St. Elizabeth’s since January 2011, has accepted a new position as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Saint Francis Health System in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

The hospital issued the following statement regarding Harris’ appointment: “As interim CEO, Harris will handle daily operations and leadership of the hospital. Harris will serve in this role while (Hospital Sisters Health System) and St. Elizabeth’s board of directors’ Search Advisory Committee conducts a search for a permanent CEO, which is anticipated to take three to six months.”

James Dover, HSHS division president and CEO, will assume responsibility over building the new replacement hospital to be constructed off Green Mount Road in O’Fallon. That facility will replace the current St. Elizabeth’s in downtown Belleville, which was built in 1955.

Harris, who has more than 30 years of health-care leadership experience, has successfully led the redesign of patient care services, improved staffing initiatives and colleague engagement and was instrumental in facilitating a partnership between HSHS and Southern Illinois University School of Nursing in Edwardsville, according to news release issued by the hospital.

In 2013, Harris became the first chief nursing officer from HSHS to earn a degree of doctor of nursing practice. Harris also holds a master’s of science in health care and nursing administration and a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

“I have been blessed to be part of the HSHS ministry for many years in a multitude of roles and am humbled by their continued support. I am incredibly excited at this opportunity to serve St. Elizabeth’s and the communities it represents,” Harris said in a released statement. “I look forward to working alongside our colleagues to provide exceptional care to area residents.”

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at jforsythe1@bnd.com or 618-239-2562. Follow her on Twitter: @BND_JForsythe.

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