St. Vincent’s Health System CEO resigns

Published 11:56 am Friday, September 26, 2014

St. Vincent’s Health System Board Chairman Bob Barnett on Monday announced the resignation of John D. O’Neil, STVHS President and Chief Executive Officer.

O’Neil had been at the helm of the 115-year-old ministry for five years.

Former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Neeysa Biddle has been named Interim CEO.

“We appreciate John’s contributions to our ministry over the past five years,” Barnett said. “As John leaves to devote more time to his family, we wish him the best.”

St. Vincent’s spokeswoman Liz Moore said O’Neil’s resignation would not affect plans that are in place for the organization to operate a planned hospital to be built in Chilton County using taxpayer funds.

“St. Vincent’s remains committed to working with the dedicated county leaders on the hospital project,” Kevin Flynn, Vice President, Regional Development, said a prepared statement. “It is exciting to see the great progress being made.”

A national search for a new CEO will be conducted, according to Susan Davis, Ascension Health Ministry Market Leader for Florida and Alabama. STVHS is part of Ascension Health, the healthcare delivery subsidiary of Ascension.

“On behalf of Ascension Health, I want to offer thanks to John for his service,” Davis said. “Understanding the important role of healthcare to so many in this community, Patricia Maryland, Ascension Health’s President for Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer, will be working with the board to immediately begin an executive search.

“During this transitional time, we are fortunate to have Neeysa Biddle, an experienced health care leader, supporting the St. Vincent’s ministry. I am confident St. Vincent’s strong leadership team and dedicated associates will continue to provide exceptional care to the community throughout this transition.”

Biddle retired from St. Vincent’s in 2011 to help launch the Ascension Leadership Academy, where she now serves as Program Director, Executive Program. She has more than 25 years of healthcare administrative and executive experience.