St. Louis-based Ascension appointed Karen Springer as president of the not-for-profit system's healthcare operations, effective Jan. 1.
Springer is currently the senior vice president of Ascension Healthcare and the ministry market executive for Ascension Tennessee. As president of healthcare operations, she will oversee Ascension's Enterprise Excellence program, which includes the system's project management office as well as its small and medium ministry markets.
Springer will report to Patricia Maryland, president and CEO of Ascension Healthcare.
"A skilled executive and operations leader who began her career in nursing, (Springer) has led the continued integration of Saint Thomas Health in Nashville, accelerating achievement of our strategic direction as the ministry has focused on meeting the needs of consumers," Maryland said in a statement.
Tim Adams will replace Springer as senior vice president of Ascension Healthcare and ministry market executive for Ascension Tennessee. Previously, Adams was the CEO of Tenet Healthcare Corp.'s Texas region, which is one of the company's largest regions with 26 hospitals and operating revenue of about $4 billion. Tenet has been restructuring as the company looks to shed debt.
Ascension and Providence St. Joseph Health are in talks to merge, which would create the nation's largest hospital system, the Wall Street Journal first reported Dec. 10. Ascension has not confirmed the report. In August, Ascension announced a proposed merger with Presence Health and its 12 hospitals in Illinois. Ascension is currently the largest not-for-profit hospital system, but would be overtaken if the Catholic Health Initiatives-Dignity Health proposed merger goes through.
Ascension reported a net income of $413 million on total operating revenue of $5.55 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, which was down from $472 million net income on revenue of $5.66 billion in the same quarter last year.
Expected declines in volume, rising costs and increased uncompensated care dragged the health system's financial performance, according to the earnings report.