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St. Joseph’s Health names Luke new CEO

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A man whose father completed his general-surgery training in Syracuse in the 1950s is set to lead St. Joseph’s Health.

St. Joseph’s Health has named Leslie Paul Luke as the health-care system’s 14th president and CEO.

Luke will succeed Kathryn Ruscitto in that role on Feb. 20, St. Joseph’s said in a news release issued Friday afternoon.

He currently serves as interim CEO of Tennova East, a seven-hospital system in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Luke was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but was raised in Hawaii where his parents are from. His father was a general surgeon who completed his training in Syracuse in 1955, St. Joseph’s said.

“After a thorough and comprehensive process, the search committee is pleased to have found the most highly qualified individual to assume leadership of our growing non-profit regional health care system,” Vincent Sweeney, chair of the board of trustees at St. Joseph’s Health, contended in the organization’s news release. “Throughout his very successful career, Les has managed significant work in performance improvement with a particular focus on driving quality. He also has deep experience in the physician practice space. This combined with his extensive knowledge of health care administration and genuine, collaborative nature makes Les uniquely qualified to successfully lead St. Joseph’s Health into the future.”

Luke, 55, holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in health administration from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

In 1991, he received his first CEO role at a 50-bed, nonprofit hospital in Kentucky. Since then, he has served as CEO of three other hospitals, St. Joseph’s said.

In 2006, he joined Franklin, Tennessee–based Community Health Systems Inc., where he held several key leadership roles including his current position.

Luke and his family will relocate to the Syracuse area from Brentwood, Tennessee.


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