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St. Mary’s Medical Center has hired a new Chief Executive Officer, effective February 28, 2022, to oversee its operations at its Blue Springs hospital. Kelly Pearce, MHA, RN, FACHE, has been named CEO after serving as Vice President of Hospital Operations at SSM Health DePaul Hospital in St.Louis where he was responsible for daily operations of a 523-bed acute care hospital. “Kelly Pearce will be a phenomenal leader at a crucial time in the health care industry,” says Mark Benz, Regional CEO, Prime Healthcare Services. “After the pandemic has stretched tired but resilient staff and providers beyond anything they have endured before, Kelly has the experience and leadership to guide St. Mary’s Medical Center as we continue to serve our community. He leads from the front and has proven to be an effective and innovative change agent while fostering a culture of mutual respect, critical thinking, collaboration and measurable success. We are excited to welcome him to the team.”

Pearce, 43, earned his master’s degree in Health Administration at the University of Missouri and Bachelor of Science in Nursing, at Deaconess College of Nursing, now Chamberlain College of Nursing. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and earned his silver and bronze certification in Lean Management.

“I believe that I’m stepping into this role at a very exciting time,” Pearce says. “I’m confident that together we can push through the remaining stages of the pandemic and set our focus on how we best serve the community with exceptional health care moving forward. I’m humbled and excited to join the St. Mary’s team and look forward to leading our team to further success.”

Pearce says he will focus on growing the primary care provider base in collaboration with the St. Mary’s Medical Group along with strengthening various core and specialty services, providing greater access to outpatient services, and achieving exceptional outcomes.

Pearce describes his leadership style as “well-balanced.”

“I try to set tough but achievable goals and collaborate with peers and subordinates to develop effective plans to deliver success,” he says. “I deal well with conflict management and stay calm through trying situations. I look forward to visiting all the hospital’s departments on a regular basis to develop relationships and hear directly from staff and providers on our strengths and opportunities. I also look forward to working with the Board of Directors and the community to understand how to best serve the community today and in the years to come.”

Pearce says he was attracted to St. Mary’s Medical Center because of the quality of its healthcare and its tight-knit culture.

“My experiences as a bedside critical care nurse in a smaller community hospital helped shape the importance that I place on relationships and caring for one another so that we can care for the community,” he states. “I see my leadership within St. Mary’s as an opportunity to support and continue building on the great work that our staff, providers, volunteers, and leaders have already achieved.”

Pearce adds that he looks forward to being St. Mary’s “ambassador in the community” and is eager to continue working within faith-based healthcare, after serving for the past 12 years in leadership roles within a Catholic Healthcare system. Previously, he served as Vice President, Hospital Operations, at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital, a 180-bed acute care hospital in St. Louis and as Administrative Director, Nursing Operations, for SSM Health.

A member of the Empower Scholarship Fund (ESF) board since 2015, Pearce now serves as its president. ESF raises and awards monetary scholarships for students of Adtalem University’s nursing, medical and veterinary schools.

Pearce currently resides in Eureka, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, with his wife, Michelle, and four children ages 12, 15, 16 and 18. He enjoys playing men’s league hockey, hunting and staying active with his children who participate in ice and field hockey, lacrosse and soccer. “We are all avid St. Louis Blues hockey fans,” he adds.