CHI St. Alexius Health is pleased to announce that E.J. Kuiper is the new CEO of CHI Health and President of CommonSpirit Health’s Midwest Division. Monday, Jan. 17, Kuiper began providing strategic leadership and overall operational oversight to the health system’s 28 hospitals, two stand-alone behavioral health centers, and more than 150 employed physician practices in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and North Dakota. CHI St. Alexius Health is part of CHI Health, the Midwest Division of CommonSpirit Health which includes locations in North Dakota, eastern Minnesota, Nebraska and southwest Iowa.
Kuiper comes to CHI Health with significant health care experience, most recently serving as president and CEO at Hospital Sisters Health System Illinois--a nine-hospital division totaling more than 1,150 acute care beds. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the Academy for Physical Therapy in the Netherlands; a master’s degree in health science, health services administration from Florida Gulf Coast University; and a doctor of physical therapy degree from St. Augustine University.
Kuiper’s commitment and the health systems’ mission–transforming health care and building healthy communities–align. With a comprehensive approach to team building and collaborative problem solving, Kuiper hopes to further strengthen, engage and empower the health systems’ 16,000+ employees who he says are instrumental for growth and success.
“I believe that as a health care system, our most precious asset is our people,” Kuiper says. “Without a highly engaged workforce, our hospitals, our clinics, our office buildings are just real estate.”
Kuiper’s top priority in life and work, from starting out as a staff physical therapist to CEO, remains kindness. “We are all in this together. Genuine and sometimes random gestures of kindness and love can make such a difference in someone’s day,” he says. “It is so important that we create a caring environment in which humankindness is evident from the moment our patients enter our facilities.”
When asked about the challenges presented by the pandemic today, he says, “Without a doubt, the biggest challenge is the significant strain on our health care workers. Whether directly at the bedside or a few steps away supporting caregivers behind the scenes, everyone has felt the impact of the pandemic. Turnover in health care across the nation is too high, engagement levels are too low and too many of us feel burned out. Working on workforce wellness at CHI Health will be my focus going forward.”
More about CHI Health President and CEO E.J. Kuiper:
E.J. Kuiper has significant experience in successful collaboration with strategic partners, as evidenced by his ability to secure a 10-year master agreement relative to clinical, teaching and research activities with the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, which resulted in the construction of a 54-bed neonatal intensive care unit and an 80,000 square-foot ambulatory facility for women’s and children’s services, and the comprehensive 10-year agreement with Springfield Clinic around a number of specialty and subspecialty services.
Prior to joining Hospital Sisters Health System in 2013, E.J. served as the president and chief executive officer of Saint Anthony’s Health System in Alton, Illinois, where his hospitals were recognized by The Joint Commission as a Top Performing Hospital on Key Quality Measures in 2012 and 2013. He also served as the president and chief executive officer of St. Anthony’s Health Center (Alton, Illinois) and as the chief operating officer of HCA Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center and Gulf Coast Hospital in Fort Myers, Florida. E.J. began his career in health care as a physical therapist, after growing up in the Netherlands.
Kuiper is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), a member of the State of Illinois Hospital Licensing Board, and a member of the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board. Kuiper is married to his wife Patty of almost 30 years. The couple have two grown daughters and a son.
About CHI St. Alexius Health
CHI St. Alexius Health is a regional health network with a unified mission: nurturing the healing ministry of the Church while creating healthier communities. With a tertiary hospital in Bismarck, the system also consists of critical access hospitals (CAHs) in Carrington, Dickinson, Devils Lake, Garrison, Turtle Lake, Washburn and Williston and numerous clinics and outpatient services. CHI St. Alexius Health manages four CAHs in North Dakota - Elgin, Linton, and Wishek, as well as Mobridge Regional Medical Center in Mobridge, S.D.
CHI St. Alexius Health is part of CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 through the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit Health is committed to creating healthier communities, delivering exceptional patient care, and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With its national office in Chicago and a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 142 hospitals and more than 700 care sites across 21 states. In FY 2018, Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health had combined revenues of $29.2 billion and provided $4.2 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs.