News and Information

February 26, 2014

Franciscan Health System CEO Joseph Wilczek Announces Retirement

Tacoma, WA - Chief Executive Officer of Franciscan Health System and Senior Vice President for divisional operations of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) Joe Wilczek announced plans to retire effective January 12, 2015. Wilczek has been the chief executive at Franciscan for 16 years and has more than 40 years of health care administration experience.

Under Wilczek’s leadership, Franciscan has grown from three hospitals to nine and developed a clinic network of more than 100 sites. Today, Franciscan employs more than 12,000 people in the Puget Sound and generates annual net revenues of $1.8 billion.

“Joe Wilczek has been a visionary in expanding the reach and mission of Franciscan,” said Roy Brooks, chairman of the board of Franciscan Health System. “Joe cares deeply about improving the lives of the people we serve each and every day. He has been a champion of new and innovative ways to deliver health care in our communities and his leadership will be greatly missed.”

“Joe has been an integral part of Catholic Health Initiatives for many years, “said Michael T. Rowan, CHI’s president for health system delivery and chief operating officer. “He’s been instrumental in building a strong, regional health system that has enhanced integrated, coordinated care and been a benefit to people across the Puget Sound region.”

CHI will launch a national search for a replacement with the involvement of the boards of Franciscan, Highline Medical Center, Harrison Medical Center, medical staff and others. It is expected that CHI will name a new President and CEO of Franciscan by the end of this year.

After serving as an officer in the U.S. Army, Wilczek received his Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from George Washington University. He served as a special assistant in the Executive Office of the President under President Richard Nixon where he worked on national health care legislation. He led a number of hospitals and health systems in the Midwest and on the East Coast prior to joining Franciscan.

Wilczek is a member of the policy committee of the Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma. He is a member of the University of Washington-Tacoma Milgard School of Business advisory board and he is a past president of the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce.

He serves as a delegate to the Regional Policy Board of the American Hospital Association and has chaired the Washington State Hospital Board of Directors. Wilczek is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Franciscan Health System includes St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; Highline Medical Center, Burien; Harrison Medical Center and Harrison HealthPartners, Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas; Franciscan Hospice House, University Place; Franciscan Medical Group clinics and providers, Pierce, King and Kitsap counties; and the Franciscan Foundation. Franciscan is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a nonprofit, faith-based health system formed in 1996 through the consolidation of four Catholic health systems. One of the nation’s largest health systems, Englewood, Colo. –based CHI operates in 18 states and comprises 87 hospitals; 24 critical access facilities and other facilities that span the inpatient and outpatient continuum of care. In fiscal year 2013, CHI provided more than $762 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research.

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