Michael Connelly, 62, will retire as president and CEO of Cincinnati-based Mercy Health. His retirement is effective Jan. 31, 2017.
Connelly has held the post at the 23-hospital Catholic system, Ohio's largest, since 1995.
“Michael has served as a visionary leader in a time of extraordinary change in healthcare. Leading with integrity and compassion, he has shepherded Mercy Health's development into a mission-focused organization that is recognized not only for its superior care and service, but its commitment to serving others, especially the poor and vulnerable,” Katherine Vestal, chair of Mercy Health's board of trustees, said in a statement.
But Connelly's tenure was not without controversy. In February 2015, he filed a lawsuit against Service Employees International Union No. 1199 alleging invasion of privacy and defamation, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. At the time, Mercy was engaged in contract negotiations with SEIU workers at three Mercy hospitals.
Mercy has appointed John Starcher, 45, president and CEO-elect. Starcher currently serves as the organization's executive VP of operations in its southern markets. He's also president and CEO of the Cincinnati region, which comprises five hospitals and over 180 network locations.
Previously, Starcher was president and CEO of Health Management Associates, based in Naples, Fla. And he previously spent 13 years at Mercy, serving as CEO for three divisions within Mercy, and also served as the senior VP of human resources and assistant general counsel.
In 2014, Mercy, formerly known as Catholic Health Partners, reported $4.5 billion in operating revenue, according to Modern Healthcare's hospital systems financial database.