Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System names Jerry Esker as CEO

Esker’s CEO post becomes official as the system focuses on patient safety, begins to roll out a Cerner EHR.
By Bernie Monegain
12:20 PM
Sarah Bush Jerry Esker

Jerry Esker, who has served as interim president and CEO of Sarah Bush Health System in Mattoon, Ill. since late July, has been named president and CEO by the health system’s board of directors.

“Over the last few months, Jerry has been a trusted leader moving Sarah Bush Lincoln forward as it executes its strategic plan,” Steve Wente, who chairs the health system’s board of directors, said in a statement. “His focus and the focus of the entire staff is on patient safety, service and the implementation of Cerner, the organization’s new operating system.”

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As the vice president of practice management, Esker led the division’s strategic growth by increasing the number of employed medical staff members from 78 to 147 and virtually eliminating resignations by medical staff members. Over that same period, clinic office visits rose from 185,000 a year to 286,000 a year, and medical staff satisfaction improved from the sub-median level to the 90th percentile nationally by 2013.

Wente noted that the sustained growth of the practice management unit is directly correlated with the success of the entire health system.

Esker has been with the health system since 1985, beginning his career as a staff pharmacist. Within three years, he was promoted to pharmacy director, and in 2007 he was named vice president of practice management.

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