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SLU's Michael Rozier, S.J., Ph.D. Tapped for New Catholic Health Leadership Roles

by Maggie Rotermund
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Michael Rozier, S.J., Ph.D., an assistant professor of health management and policy in Saint Louis University’s College for Public Health and Social Justice, has been named the president of SSM Health Ministries.

SSM Health Ministries is the sponsoring body responsible for preserving SSM Health’s Roman Catholic identity and serving as a liaison to the Vatican. Rozier first joined SSM’s Health Ministries in 2018.

Michael Rozier, S.J., Ph.D.

Michael Rozier, S.J., Ph.D.  is an assistant professor of health policy and management in Saint Louis University's College for Public Health and Social Justice. SLU file photo.

“Fr. Rozier’s deep expertise in public health and passion for social justice make him a wonderful fit for this important role,” Laura S. Kaiser, FACHE, president/chief executive officer of SSM Health, said in a press release. “His valuable insight and leadership will help us further our Mission to ensure all people have access to the care they need.”

The relationship between SSM Health and Saint Louis University extends back more than a century. In 1903, SSM Health’s founding congregation, the Sisters of St. Mary, welcomed SLU School of Medicine students into their hospitals for education and training. SLU’s physician practice, SLUCare Physician Group, provides services to patients at SSM Health’s Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital and Saint Louis University Hospital. In 2015, the partnership between the two Catholic organizations was expanded as SSM Health purchased Saint Louis University Hospital from the University.

Rozier will also co-direct a program to help the Catholic Health Association (CHA) develop the next generation of leadership for Catholic health care in the U.S.

The Catholic Health Executive Institute (CHEI), a program sponsored by CHA in partnership with Saint Louis University, will bring senior leaders from CHA-member health systems who are new to their positions together with experienced executives to discuss critical issues facing Catholic health care. CHEI aims to provide senior leaders with the knowledge they need to make decisions informed by the tradition of Catholic health care and a network of colleagues who can support them in the years to come.

CEOs from each Catholic system in the country nominated senior leaders to participate in the program. A cohort of 30 participants started last fall with the study of concepts foundational to Catholic health care, including the Scriptural tradition, history, and the organization of the Church. Later this year, all participants and faculty will gather in Dallas for three days of collaborative learning.

In addition to his leadership in Catholic health care, Rozier continues to work with students. This semester he will serve as Georgetown University’s first visiting Jesuit Chair in the department of health systems administration at Georgetown’s School of Nursing and Health Studies.

Rozier’s role as visiting chair will focus on advancing the department’s degree offerings, as well as further developing his research agenda. He will teach a semester-long class in the health care management and policy program titled “Delivering Care Across the Continuum.” The class will explore questions of where and how health care in the United States is delivered, who pays for it, how health care quality is measured and the political aspects of policy reform.

Christopher King, chair of Georgetown’s department of health systems administration, told Georgetown’s The Hoya that the renewed focus on health inequity in light of the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the selection of Rozier as its Jesuit chair.

“Numerous events over the past few years have reminded us of the relationship between injustice and health. Moreover, COVID and its implications are testing the bandwidth of our healthcare infrastructure,” King told The Hoya. “At a time of so much uncertainty, these circumstances make this an ideal moment for a Jesuit Chair in the Department of Health Systems Administration.”

Last year, Rozier received the College of Public Health and Social Justice’s Terry Leet teaching award. In 2019, he received an EthicalGEO Fellowship from the American Geographical Society (AGS). 

Rozier earned his Ph.D. in health management and public policy from the University of Michigan. He also holds an M.Div. from Boston College, an M.H.S. from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. in chemistry from Saint Louis University. He previously worked as an ethics fellow with the World Health Organization.

College for Public Health and Social Justice

The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only academic unit of its kind, studying social, environmental and physical influences that together determine the health and well-being of people and communities. It also is the only accredited school or college of public health among nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States.

Guided by a mission of social justice and focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex health problems, the College offers nationally recognized programs in public health, social work, health administration, applied behavior analysis, and criminology and criminal justice.