Kaiser to lead SSM Health as Thompson retires

March 1, 2017

SSM Health announced that Laura Kaiser will begin as president and chief executive May 1. She replaces William P. Thompson, who is retiring at the end of April after 37 years with the St. Louis-based health system.


Kaiser, 56, most recently was executive vice president and chief operating officer for Intermountain Healthcare, a nonprofit health system based in Salt Lake City. She held that position for five of her 30 years in health care. Before that, Kaiser spent 15 years with St. Louis-based Ascension Health, where she held several posts, including ministry market leader for the Gulf Coast/Florida region and president and chief executive for Sacred Heart Health System, based in Pensacola, Fla.

SSM Health said Kaiser will lead its four-state system as it transitions to a value-based model of care, and works to lower the cost of care overall while improving the health of its communities and enhancing the experience of patients and staff members. Kaiser is a Missouri native who holds a bachelor of science in health services management from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a master of business administration and a master of health care administration from Saint Louis University. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Thompson, 66, has been SSM Health's president and chief executive since 2011. He announced his intention to retire last June. Among his executive roles at SSM Health, Thompson has been chief operating officer and senior vice president of strategic development.

SSM Health is a Catholic nonprofit system that delivers care in Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

Copyright © 2017 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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