New CEO to lead Saint Thomas Health Services

Ex-surgeon now at CHS system will lead parent of Saint Thomas and Baptist hospitals

Fifteen months after its previous chief executive officer resigned under pressure from the medical staff, Saint Thomas Health Services today announced the appointment of Michael H. Schatzlein as its new president and CEO.

Schatzlein starts work at STHS on July 1. He comes to Nashville from Lutheran Health Network and its Dupont Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he was also president and CEO. Franklin-based Community Health Systems Inc. owns Lutheran.

"After a comprehensive, nationwide search for a new president, we feel fortunate to have secured someone with Dr. Schatzlein’s experience and skills to lead Saint Thomas Health Services," said Robert J. Henkel, president of health care operations and chief operating officer of STHS parent Ascension Health, the largest not-for-profit health system in the country.

Schatzlein practiced medicine in Indiana as a cardiac and transplant surgeon from 1981 until he moved into hospital management in 1994. We was CEO of two hospitals within Lutheran's network before taking charge of the system in 2007.

In addition to his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine, Schatzlein holds an M.B.A. from Indiana Wesleyan University.

STHS has been under interim leadership since Jim Houser resigned in February 2009. The hospital system's doctors had cast a vote of no confidence in Houser's leadership amid disputes over cost-control measures and other issues.