Roper St. Francis, a three-hospital system in Charleston, S.C., that is building a fourth hospital, has selected Lorraine Lutton as its next CEO.
Lutton, a quality expert who is President of St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Fla., is replacing long-time CEO David Dunlap. Dunlap is retiring after a 45-year career in healthcare.
Lutton, 50, joins Roper St. Francis on Nov. 14.
In an interview Tuesday, Lutton said she intends to maintain the system's emphasis on patient quality and safety, while building out delivery access points around the Charleston area. “You can't ever reduce that focus,” Lutton said of continuous quality improvement.
This year Roper St. Francis was named a Top 15 Health System for the fourth consecutive year by Truven Health Analytics. The company won in the small system category. The patient quality and safety ratings rely on government data on nine performance measures, including death rates, complications, 30-day readmissions and lengths of stay.
Roper St. Francis is a not-for-profit joint venture that combines Roper Hospital, owned by the Medical Society of South Carolina, with St. Francis Xavier Hospital of the Bon Secours Health System. The managing partner is Carolinas HealthCare System.
Lutton is coming aboard as the system is building its fourth hospital. The 50-bed, $113 million project in the fast-growing suburb of Berkeley is expected to open in 2019, Lutton said.
The system's third hospital is in the suburb of Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Lutton, who became president of St. Joseph's Hospital in 2013, said the hospital concentrated on adding clinical services and improving quality over the time she was there.
St. Joseph's is the 529-bed flagship hospital of the BayCare Health System. Lutton said patient satisfaction scores rose during her tenure into the 83th percentile compared with the mid-60s four years ago.
She directed and helped develop a quality system at BayCare that is used by the 14-hospital system today. Lutton was chief operation officer of BayCare's 234-bed acute care Women's Hospital before leading St. Joseph's.
At St. Joseph's, Lutton was involved in the growth of a new heart institute and expansion into the neurosciences and specialty pancreatic surgeries, she said.
Lutton said she's inheriting Roper St. Francis's expansive clinically integrated network of physicians and hospitals known as the Roper St. Francis Health Alliance.
The alliance last year contracted to be a preferred provider option for 6,000 Boeing employees in the Charleston area.