Steven C. Bjelich, FACHE-D, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saint Francis Healthcare System in Cape Girardeau, Mo., was awarded the Missouri Hospital Association’s Distinguished Service Award for his leadership, advocacy and commitment to health care.
The award, the highest honor given by MHA, was presented to Bjelich on Thursday, Nov. 3, during MHA’s 94th Annual Convention & Trade Show at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Mo.
“Steve’s influence as a member of the MHA Board of Trustees, his commitment to improving the value of the health care delivered at the state’s hospitals, and his dedication to a stronger, healthier Missouri, are unparalleled,” said Herb B. Kuhn, MHA President and CEO. “He’s a fierce competitor. His tireless advocacy for better care has raised the bar for all of the state’s hospitals.”
Bjelich has served as President and CEO at Saint Francis Healthcare System since 1999. During his tenure, the health care system has experienced unprecedented cultural changes, significant expansion and increased physician, employee and patient satisfaction.
Before joining Saint Francis, Bjelich served in several senior management positions at hospitals throughout the country. He served as President and CEO at Saint Francis Hospital and Healthcare Services in Wilmington, Del.; as Executive Director at Wyoming Valley Health Care System in Kingston, Pa.; Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer at Saints Mary and Elizabeth Hospital Louisville, Ky.; and Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer at the Medical Center of North Hollywood in California. Bjelich earned a master’s degree in health care administration from the Indiana University School of Medicine and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, Bloomington.
He is a Distinguished Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, an advanced member in the Healthcare Financial Management Association and a member in the American Hospital Association. Bjelich serves as Chair of the MHA Strategic Quality Advisory Committee, and is a former board chair of the Missouri Center for Patient Safety. He serves as a member of the MHA Board of Trustees. He received the MHA Visionary Leader Award in 2010.