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Columbia Business Monthly

Roper St. Francis Healthcare Selects Joseph DeLeon As President, CEO

Jun 27, 2024 03:46PM ● By David Dykes

(Pictured: Joseph DeLeon. Photo provided.)

Joseph DeLeon, an accomplished healthcare leader from Texas, will join Roper St. Francis Healthcare as president and CEO, and, following seven months of effective leadership, Interim CEO Dr. Megan Baker will become the system’s chief operating officer.

DeLeon is the current president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, an 851-bed Magnet-designated, full-service hospital that serves North Texas with a Level I Trauma Center. He brings more than 29 years of senior leadership experience in operating a hospital, maintaining strong finances and expanding access for patients. DeLeon starts on Monday, Aug. 5.

“Joseph is a veteran in every sense of the word as he has excelled in healthcare management since 1991 and served our country as a former captain in the United States Air Force Medical Services Corps,” said Edward McKelvey, chairman of the Roper St. Francis Healthcare Board of Directors. “We are thrilled to choose Joseph to further elevate our stellar reputation and expand access to quality healthcare while carrying out our mission of ‘healing all people with compassion, faith and excellence.’”

Roper St. Francis Healthcare is a not-for-profit health system in Charleston, South Carolina, and when DeLeon arrives, Baker will become chief operating officer and serve in a dyad role with Dr. Chris McLain, chief clinical officer.

DeLeon first joined Texas Health Resources in 2005 as vice president of professional services and business development at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, where he was responsible for all ancillary functions, strategic planning and business development activities for the hospital.

In January 2013, DeLeon was named president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth. Under his leadership, that hospital achieved Truven 100 Top Hospital recognition two years in a row and the Pinnacle of Excellence Award for Patient Experience from Press Ganey.

The Texas Health Southwest leadership team also worked to bring the hospital Texas Health Clearfork online and become a joint replacement destination. DeLeon returned to Texas Health Fort Worth as president in 2018.

He has managed many large facility and campus construction projects. The latest is Texas Health Resources' biggest project: the $304 million, nine-story Jane and John Justin Tower. This building covers over 420,000 square feet and includes 144 patient beds, 15 advanced surgical suites, and new pre-op and post-op services.

DeLeon is active in the community, volunteering on multiple key community groups, including the Fort Worth Chamber and the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as chairman of the boards of Texas Rehabilitation Hospital and the Tarrant County March of Dimes, and on the boards of the North Texas Community Foundation and the Healthy Tarrant County Collaboration.

DeLeon has been recognized many times for his leadership of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, including a 2017 Minorities in Business Award from the Fort Worth Business Press and three years in a row in The 400, Fort Worth Inc.'s compilation of 400 of the Most Influential People in Fort Worth. The awards recognize Tarrant County’s top leaders in business and the community.

He earned a bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in business management in 1991 and a master's degree in public administration in 1994 from Texas A&M University.

The Post and Courier reported the military also had an influence on his move. DeLeon's son-in-law is in the South Carolina Air National Guard and will be stationed at McEntire Joint National Guard Base near Columbia, and with him will be two of DeLeon's grandsons, the newspaper reported.

As interim CEO, Baker, who is a respected breast health specialist, has overseen teammate enhancements as part of the shared services agreement with Bon Secours Mercy Health, a major construction project with the doubling of Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital and teammate engagement efforts with a recommitment to rounding, enhanced leader meetings and the popular weekly communication feature “Minute with Megan.”

Baker joined Roper St. Francis Healthcare in 2015 and brought a pioneering spirit to grow surgical volumes. She has led multidisciplinary cancer programs both in the academic medical center setting and community hospital setting.

As one of the system’s first Integrated Practice Network (IPN) clinical leaders, she served as physician leader of our Surgery and Perioperative IPN and later as medical director of the Oncology IPN and the Roper St. Francis Cancer Center.

She is a graduate of Columbia University and earned her medical degree at Wright State University School of Medicine. She completed her surgical residency at the Medical University of South Carolina.