Ascension Wisconsin leadership structure takes shape

Positions created, eliminated as health systems integrate

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare officially joined Ascension on March 1.

The organizational structure of Ascension Wisconsin is beginning to take shape as it integrates four health systems as part of a merger completed this spring.

Ascension Wisconsin has brought on new Chief Operating Officer Tracy Rogers, who was formerly COO of Alexian Brothers Health System in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The organization has also decided to use Wheaton Franciscan’s building at 400 W. River Woods Parkway in Glendale as its Wisconsin headquarters.

Earlier this week, Ascension announced it will implement a new leadership structure in the next three to four months that will include hiring two presidents to oversee operations in northern and southern regions in the state. Ascension is currently searching for people to fill the roles.

“Current Ministry Health Care President Daniel E. Neufelder has elected not to pursue the new position of president of the Northern Region of Ascension Wisconsin,” Ascension representatives wrote in a statement. “Neufelder will stay in his current role until the new president of the Northern Region has been recruited and oriented to the position over the next few months. After leaving Ascension, Neufelder plans on spending more time with his family, engaging in charitable work and providing health care consulting services.”

Earlier this month it was leaked that Wheaton Franciscan will lose six senior vice presidents and 10 vice presidents in the coming months as the health systems integrate.

The six senior vice presidents are Wheaton’s Dr. Rita Hanson, chief medical officer; Greg Smith, chief information officer; Dr. Brenda Bowers, chief nursing officer; James Gresham, senior vice president of continuing care and clinical operations; Michael Lepore, senior vice president and chief administrative officer; and Wayne Frangesch, senior vice president of human resources.

The 10 vice presidents who will leave have not been named.

Wheaton and its eight Wisconsin hospitals officially became part of Ascension on March 1. The combined health care organization now operates 27 hospitals and 114 primary care clinics in Wisconsin and is expected to generate nearly $3.5 billion in revenue annually.

A BizTimes Cover story published in December examined several aspects of the merger.

 

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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