In recent years, our Board has been engaged in a thoughtful and prayerful succession planning process. The Ascension Leader Development Ad Hoc Committee was formed two years ago to help ensure we have senior leaders who are prepared to take on greater responsibility needed to fulfill our Mission and further our Advanced Strategic Direction. The committee’s role included working closely with our Chief Executive Officer, Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE, to identify those leaders and others to be considered for succession.
Tony has informed the Board that he intends to retire on December 31, 2019, after leading Ascension for more than 15 years. He will continue to serve Ascension as a member of the executive committee of Ascension’s healthcare investment fund and will provide consultative services to Ascension on an ongoing basis. The Board has begun a formal process to evaluate and select a successor to Tony.
Tony became President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascension Health in 2004, having served as Chief Operating Officer for Ascension Health since 2001 and interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascension Health before becoming the permanent CEO. When Ascension was formed in 2012 as the parent organization of Ascension Health and its other direct subsidiaries, Tony became its first President and CEO.
A vibrant servant leader, Tony has shepherded Ascension through a period of unprecedented change in the U.S. healthcare industry while remaining true to the vision and legacy of the founding religious congregations of Ascension. Never content to simply keep up with external trends, Tony has focused his time and energy on innovating and creating the future — leading transformation at Ascension to enable our Mission of serving all persons with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.
In 2015, Tony saw the need to more fully integrate the national health ministry. As One Ascension, the System would be better able to achieve its Mission by focusing on more aligned structures, operating with greater consistency and sharing best practices.
As the healthcare landscape continued to rapidly change, Tony led the effort to review and update Ascension’s Strategic Direction as a strategic framework to best position the health ministry for the future. The resulting Advanced Strategic Direction reaffirms the foundation of our Mission and Values and provides new perspective reflecting the evolving environment, calling us to work in partnership with individuals and communities to improve their health and well-being and to extend our impact on behalf of those we serve – to advance from our historical strategic focus on healthcare to an expanded focus on healthcare and health. Tony championed the idea that we must pursue a Dual Transformation model, optimizing and transforming our core healthcare operations while creating transformational new models that extend our reach and provide the engine for growing our ministry and its impact.
Tony knew that bold action and a steadfast commitment to our Catholic identity and Mission would be required to fulfill our promise. So late last year he led Ascension leaders in identifying the strategic, organizational and business model priorities that will enable us to move our Advanced Strategic Direction forward. As he shared just this January with our Board, our Mission-inspired Transformation is how we will reimagine new ways of working and develop a roadmap to reach our goals. It will enable Ascension to have an even greater impact on persons in need and position Ascension for the future by defining the way we will achieve our Dual Transformation.
Both personally and professionally, Tony Tersigni demonstrates Ascension’s Values each day: Service of the Poor, Reverence, Integrity, Wisdom, Creativity and Dedication. His impact and legacy will continue to be reflected every time someone entrusts us with their care.
We are planning appropriate ways to honor and recognize Tony later this year. In the meantime, please join me in thanking him for his unparalleled career of service and his tremendous commitment to Ascension and Catholic healthcare.