Starmann-Harrison to retire midyear as HSHS president and chief executive

January 2021

Mary Starmann-Harrison plans to retire in the second half of this year as president and chief executive of Springfield, Illinois-based Hospital Sisters Health System. She has worked in Catholic health care leadership for two decades — half that time as the top executive of HSHS, which has 15 hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin.


In an announcement on the retirement, Sr. Jomary Trstensky, OSF, said that, in everything she undertook, Starmann-Harrison "acted with passion and with a personal investment in the underlying HSHS mission." Sr. Trstensky chairs Hospital Sisters Ministries, the public juridic person of HSHS.

Born and raised in the Chicago area, Starmann-Harrison earned a bachelor of science in nursing from Arizona State University and began her health care career as an emergency department nurse. She received a master's in health service administration from Arizona State before joining St. Luke's Medical Center in Phoenix. She was chief executive of that medical center from 1988 to 1997. She was chief executive of the western region of Tenet Physician Services of Phoenix from 1997 to 1998. And she was president and chief executive of SSM Health's Wisconsin region from 1998 to 2011.

Under Starmann-Harrison's leadership, HSHS has grown, adding three hospitals, expanding HSHS Medical Group, Prairie Cardiovascular and a partnership with the Prevea Health physician group, and creating numerous partnerships and affiliations. Bill Murray, HSHS board chairman, said in the retirement announcement that Starmann-Harrison has overseen this growth "with a clear vision of establishing a high-quality and integrated model of care for the communities we serve."

Starmann-Harrison is a member of the board of governors of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is a past chair of the Wisconsin Hospital Association and chaired and remains a member of the Illinois Hospital Association board. She was on the American Hospital Association's board.

HSHS is working with the Korn Ferry consultancy to identify Starmann-Harrison's successor.

Copyright © 2021 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

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