St. Louis, MO – Following a nationwide search, the SSM Health Board of Directors has selected Laura Kaiser as the health system’s new President/Chief Executive Officer. Kaiser will begin with SSM Health on May 1 and replace William P. Thompson, who will retire at the end of April after 37 years of service with the organization.

Kaiser is an accomplished health care executive with more than 30 years of experience in improving clinical quality and patient satisfaction, fueling operational performance and growth, and successfully facilitating health care integration, according to a press release. She comes to SSM Health from Intermountain Healthcare, where she has served as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer for the past five years. Prior to Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser spent 15 years at Ascension Health, serving in a number of leadership roles, including Ministry Market Leader of the Gulf Coast/Florida region for Ascension and President/CEO at Sacred Heart Health System.

“Ms. Kaiser is a gifted and visionary leader with a proven track record of achieving extraordinary results,” said David Cosby, Board Chair, SSM Health Board of Directors. “We believe she is the right leader to help lead our organization into the future, while ensuring the strength of our mission and providing our patients and customers with the exceptional care and service they have come to expect from SSM Health.”

As President/CEO of SSM Health, Kaiser will be responsible for leading all aspects of one of the largest integrated health care systems in the nation, states the news release. She will be instrumental in guiding SSM Health’s transition to a value-based model of care as it strives to improve the health of the community, further enhance the patient and member experience, and lower the overall cost of care.

“It is an honor and a privilege to join the wonderful SSM Health caregiver team and to lead this extraordinary faith-based health care system with an international reputation for quality,” said Kaiser.

Kaiser, a Missouri native, earned a bachelor of science in Health Services Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia as well as a master of business administration and master in healthcare administration from Saint Louis University. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.