September 1999

St. Mary´s Healthcare Center, Pierre, SD

jimrussell Photo

James D.M. Russell
President and Chief Executive Officer

"As part of Catholic Health Initiatives, St. Mary’s has access to the communications, direction and support it needs to remain a competitive health care organization," said James D. M. Russell, president and chief executive officer of St. Mary’s Healthcare Center, Pierre, S.D. "Catholic Health Initiatives provides a networking of peers and resources offering a depth of information that is invaluable. The periodic meetings have allowed such networking to take place."

St. Mary’s includes a hospital, nursing home with sub-acute care, retirement complex, home health and hospice care. St. Mary’s also sponsors Gettysburg Medical Center, Gettysburg, S.D., which includes a hospital, nursing home and retirement housing.

According to Russell, charity care for the market-based organization amounted to approximately 14 percent of net revenue during the last fiscal year. "A rapidly changing health care landscape and poor governmental reimbursement have created challenges for all health care providers, including St. Mary’s. By staying focused on our community and implementing a broad range of community benefit initiatives, we’re reaching out and finding new ways to energize and build healthy communities," said Russell.

Russell’s career has spanned more than 40 years in health care administration and he has been in his current position since 1978. A Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, he has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a master’s degree in hospital administration from the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

"My leadership philosophy focuses on choosing the right people for the job and enabling them to do what it takes to be successful," said Russell. "That often means getting comfortable with making mistakes and taking risks. A strong future for St. Mary’s and for Catholic health care means that we have to be willing to be bold and innovative in reaching our goals."