Mercy's Connelly to retire; Starcher to succeed him

April 1, 2016



Mercy Health President and Chief Executive Michael Connelly plans to retire Jan. 31, having served in those roles since 1995. The Cincinnati-based system has named John Starcher president and chief executive-elect.

According to information from Mercy Health, under Connelly's leadership, the system has grown its assets sixfold, transitioned its operating structure and sponsorship model and increased its community benefit allocation. (The system was called Catholic Health Partners from 1997 until 2014.)

From 1995 to present, Mercy Health's assets grew from $1 billion to $6 billion. Connelly led work that merged a loosely connected collection of community hospitals into a centralized system. The system now has 23 hospitals, eight senior health and housing facilities and a network of sites in Ohio and Kentucky. During Connelly's tenure, Mercy Health moved from a co-sponsorship model to a public juridic person called Partners in Catholic Health Ministries and it increased its community benefit commitment to 10.5 percent of revenue from 5 percent.

Prior to joining Mercy Health, Connelly was regional executive and chief executive of the Daughters of Charity National Health System-West of Los Altos Hills, Calif. Prior to that he was president and chief executive of St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago.

Connelly has chaired the boards of CHA, the Catholic Medical Mission Board (he currently is a member of that board) and the Premier group purchasing organization. He also has served on the boards of Catholic Healthcare West (now Dignity Health) of San Francisco; St. Joseph Health of Irvine, Calif.; Resurrection Health Care (now Presence Health) of Chicago; and other organizations outside of health care.

Starcher is executive vice president of operations for Mercy Health's southern markets and president and chief executive of its Cincinnati region. In this role, he oversees five hospitals and more than 180 other facilities.

From 2012 until his 2015 move to Mercy Health, Starcher worked for Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates, most recently as president and chief executive. Prior to joining HMA, Starcher had been at Mercy Health for 13 years. He was the chief executive of a Mercy Health division at the time of his departure.

Mercy Health began in 1981 under the name Mercy Health Care System and under the sponsorship of the Sisters of Mercy, Province of Cincinnati. Over time, three additional congregations joined their facilities to the system.


Copyright © 2016 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2016 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.