Mercy Health System Leadership
John M. Starcher, Jr., Esq.
President and CEO, Mercy Health
John Starcher is the president and CEO of Mercy Health – headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mercy Health is Ohio’s largest healthcare delivery system and one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit Catholic healthcare systems. In his capacity as CEO, Starcher oversees the development of system strategies and operations for all 23 hospitals and the clinically integrated network across the states of Ohio and Kentucky. The delivery system offers a full range of acute and post-acute services which treat 6.3 million patients annually through nearly 500 practice locations. Mercy Health employs more than 33,500 people, including 1,300 employed providers, and has net operating revenue of more than $4 billion.
Chief Operating Officer
Brian Smith oversees Mercy Health operations throughout the ministry. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2016, with responsibilities including the management of Mercy Health's seven operating regions, information technology, facility planning and other areas. He also oversees the Mercy Health relationship with Summa Health.
Smith was promoted to executive vice president of Mercy Health in 2012, after serving as CEO of the ministry's North division. Prior to that time, he held the position of executive vice president/chief operating officer with St. Rita’s Health Partners in Lima, which included two hospitals, four physician joint ventures, and a wholly owned physician enterprise. He was with St. Rita’s for more than 20 years.
Anton Decker, M.B.B.Ch.
Chief Clinical Officer
Dr. Anton Decker serves as Mercy Health’s chief clinical officer and is responsible for the strategic leadership of the organization’s clinical enterprise.
Chief Strategy Officer
David Cannady is the chief strategy officer at Mercy Health, leading the ministry’s innovation and planning teams and coordinating implementation of the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan.
Michael BezneyChief Legal Officer and General Counsel
Michael A. Bezney joined Mercy Health in 2002 as senior vice president and general counsel. He has 20 years of expertise in healthcare law, with extensive experience in strategy, negotiations, acquisitions/divestitures, compliance and bond financing.
Prior to joining Mercy Health, Bezney served as vice president and associate general counsel for Advocate Health Care, the largest nonprofit system in metropolitan Chicago. Before he joined Advocate in 1996, Bezney was a partner in the healthcare law department of McDermott, Will & Emery, a Chicago-based law firm. Previously, he served as an associate in corporate law with the Dallas, Texas-based firm of Johnson & Gibbs.
Bezney earned his Doctorate in Jurisprudence from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Texas.
Chief Financial Officer
Debbie Bloomfield serves as the chief financial officer (CFO) for Mercy Health, a role she has held since 2013. As CFO, Bloomfield functions as a strategic partner to the chief executive officer, managing the financial operations of the organization, treasury, supply chain, real estate and construction.
Prior to accepting this role, Bloomfield was the divisional chief financial officer for Mercy Health's southern division (Cincinnati, Lima, Paducah and Springfield). Bloomfield has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare finance, most recently with Mercy Health, a not-for-profit health care system with 23 acute care hospitals and more than $6 billion in assets.
Prior to her career at Mercy Health, Bloomfield was employed by Ernst and Young, LLP, specializing in the healthcare and finance services sectors. Bloomfield holds a PhD in business administration from Touro University International (now Trident University). She has a Master of Business Administration degree in finance and management information systems from Xavier University in Cincinnati and an undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, in accounting from Xavier University.
In addition, she is a certified public accountant in Ohio (active) and a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
Joe GageChief Human Resources Officer
Joseph Gage became Senior Vice President of Human Resources in 2011.
Gage came to Mercy Health from Tenet Healthcare Corp. where he served as vice president of human resources, hospital operations for seven years. Prior to joining Tenet, he managed HR and/or labor activities at Levi Strauss and Co., Delta Air Lines, and The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company.
Gage possesses a blend of experience and expertise from healthcare and industry that strengthens Mercy Health's capacity to lead human potential goals and strategies. Mercy Health's commitment to providing safe, high-quality, cost-effective healthcare depends on an engaged and dedicated team of approximately 34,000 employees.
Chief Managed Care Officer
Judson Ivy founded Ensemble Health Partners in 2014 after spending nearly 15 years as a revenue cycle executive in large hospital systems. His belief in loving what you do, providing excellent service and caring about your team are at the core of the Ensemble Health Partners philosophy.
In addition, he held multiple related positions with Community Health Systems, including director of patient financial services, regional patient financial services director and vice president regional service center. As vice president at Community Health Systems, Ivy was responsible for establishing a new regional service center and received multiple internal awards for his accomplishments.
Chief Marketing Officer
President and CEO, Mercy Health – Lima and Toledo Regions
President and CEO, Community Mercy Health Partners (Springfield, Ohio)
Caldwell holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Texas at Arlington and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas. Matt started his healthcare career in nursing and has experience in critical care, recovery room, orthopedic post-operative care and as a case manager.
CEO, Mercy Health – Cincinnati Region
Senior Vice President, Operations Finance
As Mercy Health’s senior vice president, Operations Finance, Chris Hilton is responsible for a variety of key ministry support services, including Supply Chain, AP SSO, Reimbursement, and Capital and Long Range Planning. He also has oversight of finance and performance for Revenue Cycle/Ensemble Health Partners.
He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Georgia Southern University, and earned a CPA license from the state of Georgia (currently inactive).
CEO, Mercy Health – Youngstown Region
SVP and Divisional CFO
President, Mercy Health Physicians
Staci Lucius joined Mercy Health as president, Mercy Health Physicians, in August 2017. She works closely with regional CEOs to identify and implement best practice excellence across the ministry. With more than 1,300 providers across the state of Ohio and Kentucky, Mercy Health Physicians serves patients in nearly 500 locations.
Lucius has nearly 20 years of progressive healthcare operations experience, specifically focused on delivering growth and transformation strategies across healthcare systems. She has key expertise in partnering and collaborating with physicians, as well as building and leading high-performing teams to meet the evolving needs of the healthcare marketplace.
Most recently, Lucius served as chief operating officer of the OhioHealth Physician Group, where she led operations for the company’s physician network of more than 1,100 providers across 200 sites. Prior to OhioHealth, Staci served as assistant vice president of operations for the Health Management Associates’ (HMA) Eastern Group, as well as interim president of HMA’s Health Management Physician Network.
Lucius is a 1994 graduate of Arkansas Tech University, where she received a bachelor’s degree with a double major in rehabilitation science and psychology. She earned a master’s in health care administration from Oklahoma State University in 2010.
CFO, Mercy Health Physicians and Mercy Health Select
Dave Nowiski is the current CFO for Mercy Health Physicians, HealthSpan Partners, Mercy Health Select and Mercy Health's Behavioral Health Institute. He has been with Mercy Health for the past 18 years in various financial leadership roles.
CEO, Mercy Health – Lorain Region
Edwin Oley has been an instrumental figure in healthcare in the Lorain County community for more than 38 years. After earning a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University’s College of Pharmacy in 1977, Oley practiced clinically at St. Joseph Hospital for several years. In 1988 he was elevated to director of pharmacy and in 1996 he joined the executive management team of the newly merged St. Joseph and Lorain Community Hospitals.
Oley's leadership has been instrumental in bringing many invaluable health care resources to Lorain County. In the late 1990s, he oversaw the development of a regional cancer program, with one of the outcomes being a creative relationship with University Hospitals and the construction of the Mercy Cancer Center. His leadership brought comprehensive cancer care to the Lorain County community that is nationally recognized in supporting patients across the region.
In 2000, Oley was made the CEO of Oberlin Medical Center, which only months before had announced its imminent closing. Within months, Oley was able to restore services to the community, attract high-caliber physicians and right the dire financial situation the hospital faced.
In his nine-year tenure as Chief Executive Officer of the Lorain Region, Oley has worked passionately to develop talent among his leadership and staff. Making people his priority has earned Mercy regular recognition in the NorthCoast 99, being recognized as one of the best places to work in Northeast Ohio seven times. He has been visionary in expanding Mercy’s clinically integrated network of primary and specialty care physicians enhancing access to care across the region. Always understanding the importance of partners, Oley has forged relationships with the Lorain County Metro Parks to create the Mercy Health and Recreation Center, as well as with University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital to provide the highest level of pediatric care in Mercy’s emergency rooms. Oley has ensured Mercy’s organizational and financial strength, furthering its ability to thrive in a changing healthcare environment and extending healthcare access for the region’s residents.
Active in the community, Oley recently served as the chair of the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as a Trustee on the Boards of CommStar Credit Union and the Lorain County Community College Foundation. He is a past chair of the local United Way and has served on numerous boards and committees throughout the county. Oley was recognized by the American Red Cross as its 2012 Community Hero and by the Boy Scouts of America as their 2016 Distinguished Citizen Award honoree.
He has for six consecutive years been named to Inside Business magazine’s “Power 100” list, citing the most influential, effective and visionary leaders across Northeast Ohio.
Vice President, Mission Integration & Spiritual Care
Mark Skaja has served in this role since September 2014, providing leadership and facilitation to regional Mission executives, spiritual care leaders, and other key personnel to ensure that the Mission and values of Mercy Health are effectively communicated and integrated into all facets of planning, decision making and operations.
Skaja served as vice president, Mission Services for the greater Lima region at St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima, OH, from 1992 to 2014. Prior to that, he was director of pastoral care at St. Rita’s Medical Center from 1989 to 1992, and chaplain for rehabilitation services at Saint Mary’s Health Services and Mary Free Bed Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Grand Rapids, MI, from 1983 to 1989.
Skaja has a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from St. Francis de Sales College in Milwaukee, WI. He has a Master of Arts in Theology, Biblical Studies, and a Master of Divinity from St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, MI.
He has been a certified chaplain since 1991.
President and CEO, Mercy Health - Kentucky
Michael Yungmann joined Mercy Health in 2017 as the president and CEO of Mercy Health - Kentucky and senior vice president of Mercy Health.
Prior to joining Mercy Health, Yungmann served as president of BayCare Health System in Clearwater, Fla., for three years. While with BayCare Health System, he focused on physician relationships, service line growth and patient and employee satisfaction. In a previous position as CEO of Southside Regional Medical Center, Petersburg, Va., the hospital achieved HealthGrades 5-Star Ratings for Orthopaedic Services, GYN Surgery and Treatment of Heart Failure. He has healthcare leadership experience at other hospitals in Florida, Tennessee and Missouri, serving in various roles including CEO, Chief Operating Officer/Associate Administrator.
He started his healthcare career as a physical therapist and clinic supervisor and has also been director of Rehabilitation and Cardiopulmonary Services.
Yungmann holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Saint Leo University, St. Leo, Fla and a bachelor’s of Health Science in Physical Therapy from University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
Mercy Health Board of Trustees
Board members at Mercy Health are offered a unique opportunity to: improve the health of the community; advocate change for those in need; grow intellectually, spiritually and emotionally; expand their knowledge; share their expertise; and interact with others in an environment which challenges and stimulates their thinking. Board membership is a synergistic partnership with the organization to develop each other to their fullest potential.
The Mercy Health corporate board of trustees provides overall system direction, approves appointments to regional boards, and appoints and evaluates the system CEO. It approves system and regional strategic and financial plans. It also is responsible for mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and dissolutions of subsidiaries; approves debt and expenditures in excess of the amount authorized for the CEO; and annually appoints an external auditing firm; and also serve on the Mercy Health corporate board, assuring integration of the sponsors' interests in Mercy Health's future vision and strategies and approving certain major actions as required by Church law.
Members of Mercy Health's Board of Trustees include:
- Katherine A. Arbuckle, CPA
- Sister Doris Gottemoeller, RSM
- Lawrence L. Grypp
- Catherine A. Jacobson, FHFMA, C.P.A.
- Denise Koo, MD, MPH
- David C. Leach, M.D.
- Iliana A. Mora
- Sister Jean Orsuto, HM, R.N., M.S.N.
- Leonard M. Randolph, Jr., M.D., Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
- Donald Rohling
- Fr. Myles N. Sheenan, SJ
- Sister Carol Anne Smith, HM
- Sister Mary Stanton, RSM
- John M. Starcher, Jr., JD, President & CEO
- Katherine W. Vestal, R.N., Ph.D., FAAN, FACHE, Chair, Board of Trustees
Please note that Mercy Health's chief financial officer serves as treasurer of the board of trustees and that Mercy Health's chief governance officer serves as secretary of the board of trustees.