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Today's Integration of SLUCare with SSM Health

July 1, 2022

Dear members of the Saint Louis University community:

Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for SLUCare and the School of Medicine. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for the University, as well.

After a successful seven-year academic partnership with SSM Health, SLUCare — the School of Medicine’s exemplary clinical practice — is now integrated into SSM Health. SSM Health is now one of the region’s leading integrated healthcare networks, with both an Academic Medical Group (SLUCare) and a Community Medical Group.

We recognize the tremendous impact that SLUCare and its dedicated faculty and staff have had on our University and our community over these many years. Integration will ensure that SLUCare will thrive for many more years to come.

Our SLUCare faculty will see more market-competitive salaries, and SSM has committed to a salary review and more diverse career opportunities for SLUCare staff. The academic practice will be a stronger, more vital presence, expanding access to quality Catholic health care to more patients across the St. Louis region.

Kevin Elledge, who has been our trusted SLUCare CEO, today takes on a new role as SSM Regional Medical Group Administrative President. Working with the clinical chairs and SSM Health, Kevin will ensure organizational stability, quality health care delivery, and market growth.

Patients will continue to see mission-driven advances in health care diagnostics and treatments pioneered by SLUCare and SSM Health.

At the School of Medicine, the clinical and basic science departments will continue to be led by our same capable chairs and division directors, with steady and visionary leadership by Dean and Vice President for Medical Affairs Dr. Christine Jacobs. Our academics and research will grow even stronger.

This transaction establishes an endowment for the School of Medicine that will support and enable our core missions of education and research, provide needed resources for the appointment of permanent chairs, and help to develop new state-of-the-art medical education facilities — of which our students, staff and faculty have long dreamt.

Over the next six months or so, the professionals in ITS, business and finance, human resources, facilities, compliance and legal will support the transition of services to SSM Health. The importance of their collaborative engagement cannot be overstated.

SLUCare’s move to SSM Health means our University’s organization has been reduced by about one-third and our reliance on tuition revenues, endowment performance, and philanthropy has increased. But expanded medical research, better funded academic medicine programs, and new health education facilities will provide enormous strategic advantages for our institution.  

To all the clinical faculty and staff of SLUCare, thank you for your caring and committed service to Saint Louis University. I look forward to our continued collaboration in fulfilling our mission of education, research, patient care and community engagement. Our efforts will be further enhanced through our partnership with SSM Health. As you make SSM Health a stronger, more diverse health system, our St. Louis-area patients will greatly benefit.

Like many of our students, staff, faculty, and patients, Fran and I have forged trusted relationships with our physicians, nurses, advanced practice providers, and clinical staff at SLUCare. We look forward to continuing those relationships. Your professionalism and compassion are evident in every patient interaction.

With appreciation,

Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.