As I reflect on this past year, I cannot help but pause and give thanks.  We have an extraordinary group of Mission Partners who together, in Ministry with our Sisters, are accomplishing extraordinary change for our communities. We have been called to our work for a higher purpose on this earth – to care for others in the Spirit of Christ with the greatest of care and love.  It’s our Mission.

Health care is being affected by political ideology, state budgets, and governmental and private sector pressures to lower costs. Our communities’ expectations are different than a decade or even five years ago. Disruptive technology and changing care models are expanding exponentially as the health care field becomes more and more competitive with fewer and fewer physicians and nurses.

Our OSF HealthCare Board of Directors and executive leadership knew long ago that there was no perfect answer to the multitude of pressures. So they forged a path with the belief that we COULD lead transformation of health care. On this basis, over five years ago, we adopted our current vision statement: “Embracing Gods great gift of life, we are one OSF ministry transforming health care to improve the lives of those we serve.”

We are living that vision. Over this past year, we were ranked for the second year in a row by Truven as one of the top performing health care systems in the country.  This is more than a ranking; it’s an acknowledgement that we are delivering care and well-being to our communities as leaders in health care across the United States.

Our primary care offices are beginning to take new approaches with new pre-visit planning and nurse clinics.  We have forged new paths for rural health care in Streator, Illinois.  We led the way in Illinois with one of the first freestanding emergency departments. OSF Innovation is advancing simulation, providing radical access to care, and helping our communities age in place while addressing social impacts to provide more for those with less.

It shouldn’t surprise us; our Sisters set the mold for leading with bravery and innovation over 140 years ago.  They were not afraid of change or to look at the world through another perspective to address a need.  Following our Sisters’ humble examples, we are leading health care transformation.

This has been a great year, challenging in many ways, but as is the case in times like these, our Mission Partners remain focused on what is truly important. That is to know you and our communities, to care for you, and to ease your way.  Thank you for entrusting your loved ones to our care. That privilege is one we promise never to take for granted.

Kevin Schoeplein

CEO, OSF HealthCare