(Dallas– June 29, 2010) - Thomas C. Royer, M.D., has announced his plans to step down as President and Chief Executive Officer of CHRISTUS Health, effective June 30, 2011. Dr. Royer has been working with the CHRISTUS Board of Directors and its sponsoring Congregations – the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston and San Antonio – on a succession plan for several months. As part of that plan, a Leadership Transition Committee consisting of board and sponsoring Congregation members was formed and tasked with both identifying the requirements for the next President and CEO, and in assessing potential candidates for the role. After considering multiple candidates, the leadership of the sponsoring Congregations affirmed recommendations of the committee and the entire board of directors by appointing Ernie Sadau as the successor President and CEO, to be effective after a reasonable transition time.
“I feel honored to have had the opportunity to help set the course for CHRISTUS Health’s Journey to Excellence and am extremely proud of what we accomplished,” said Dr. Royer, “but I also believe the time is right for a new leader to carry the ministry into the future, and I look forward to a smooth, productive transition for CHRISTUS. This is a critical time for health care in our nation and I will continue to serve in the health care field, lending my experience and insight to help guide the industry.”
Mr. Sadau is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the organization, having joined CHRISTUS Health over four years ago. His 27-year career in leadership within the health care field, including extensive experience in large faith-based organizations, will serve as a foundation for his guidance of CHRISTUS Health as it transitions to the next generation of its ministry.
In seeking a successor for Dr. Royer, the sponsoring Congregations and Board of Directors of CHRISTUS Health focused on ensuring a strong commitment “towards continuing to strengthen CHRISTUS as a Catholic health care ministry, with a clear understanding of the Catholic traditions and spiritual dimensions of care,” according to Sister Lillian Anne Healy, congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston.
“We believe Mr. Sadau, with his experience both inside and outside of CHRISTUS, will carry on our spiritual traditions as well as continuing our strategy of providing excellent care and compassionate service in all of our ministries both inside the U.S. and internationally,” added Sr. Yolanda Tarango, congregational coordinator of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of San Antonio.
As the first CEO of CHRISTUS Health, Dr. Royer has led the Catholic health care system through dramatic growth and transformation during his 11-year tenure. Charged with successfully bringing together two former health systems –the Sisters of Charity Health System and the Incarnate Word Health System – to form CHRISTUS Health, Dr. Royer not only championed the formation of a new culture, but also oversaw significantly growth of the system within the United States and expanded CHRISTUS to become an international health system with more than 30,000 employees in eight U.S. states and six states in Mexico.
“Thanks to Tom’s visionary leadership and futuristic thinking, CHRISTUS is well-positioned to meet the continuing challenges facing the health care industry and can continue to focus its efforts on its mission of ‘extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ’,” said Catherine Dulle, chair of the CHRISTUS Health Board of Directors. “Tom has not only strengthened and diversified the services of our system, but has built a strong senior leadership team and a close relationship with the board that will serve us well during this transition and into the future. He has led us to focus first on our patients and the quality of care and service they receive, assuring that those we serve are always kept in the center of our discussions and decisions.”
During Dr. Royer’s tenure, CHRISTUS Health grew to one of the largest Catholic health systems in the country, comprised of more than 350 services and facilities, including more than 50 hospitals and long-term care facilities, 175 clinics and outpatients centers, and dozens of other health ministries and ventures. Early in his tenure, Dr. Royer led the system to an international partnership and expanded it to include the rapidly-growing, seven-hospital CHRISUS Muguerza health system in Mexico. In addition, he led the board and senior team through two extensive future planning processes to envision and prepare to respond to health care needs 20 years into the future, focusing on extending care to those in need in new and innovative ways. He continued to challenge the system to strengthen traditional hospital services, while actively growing services beyond hospitals walls to embrace community-based care and post-acute services to meet changing needs.
Dr. Royer was named three times as one of the top 50 Most Powerful Physician Executives in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare, the CHRISTUS Senior Leadership Team was named the Top Leadership Team in Healthcare among health systems by HealthLeaders Media, and CHRISTUS facilities and services received numerous awards for clinical quality and service quality from national and state organizations and agencies.
The sponsoring Congregations and the board will work closely with Dr. Royer and Mr. Sadau on the transition. Although Dr. Royer has announced no specific plans for his future, he has indicated his intention to continue to serve in the health care field.