Board of Directors

Steven C. Bjelich

Steven C. Bjelich is President and CEO of Saint Francis Health Care System. Bjelich has 25 years of extensive health care experience at the senior management level, previously serving as President and CEO at Saint Francis Hospital and Health Care Services (Wilmington, DE); Executive Director at Wyoming Valley Health Care System (Kingston, PA); Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer at Saints Mary and Elizabeth Hospital (Louisville, KY); and Executive Vice President/Chief Operation Officer at Medical Center of North Hollywood (North Hollywood, CA). Bjelich has a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Indiana University School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Mr. Bjelich is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Edmond B. Cabbabe, MD

Edmond B. Cabbabe, MD, practices plastic surgery with Plastic Surgery Consultants, LTD in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Cabbabe received his Medical Degree from the Damascus University School of Medicine, and served his Surgical Internship at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital Center in Chicago, followed by General Surgery Residency at University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and training in Plastic Surgery at St. Louis University. Dr. Cabbabe is certified by the American Board of Surgery and Plastic Surgery. Dr. Cabbabe is also a Clinical Professor of Surgery at St. Louis University School of Medicine and has held leadership positions at various St. Louis area hospitals, as well as national and state physician organizations, in addition to numerous publications and honors for his professional and community leadership.

Thomas L. Holloway

Thomas L. Holloway is the Executive Vice President of the Missouri State Medical Association. Before becoming EVP, he was the MSMA’s Director of Governmental Relations for 23 years, and was employed for seven years in Washington, DC, as a congressional aide and as federal affairs representative for a consortium of investor-owned electric companies. Mr. Holloway graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Health Education Foundation, the Missouri State Medical Association Insurance Agency, the Missouri Medical Political Action Committee, and the Friends of the Missouri State Archives, and is on the Board of Trustees of the Missouri Archaeological Society.

S. Gordon Jones, Jr., MD

S. Gordon Jones, Jr., MD, graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. He practices family medicine with the Ferguson Medical Group, Sikeston. Dr. Jones is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Health Quality Association and the Missouri State Medical Association. He is board certified by the American Board of Family Practice and the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Kendig_SueSusan M. Kendig

Susan Kendig is an attorney and nurse practitioner with over thirty years of experience in the health care industry. As President of Health Policy Advantage, LLC, Ms. Kendig provides policy analysis, consultation and strategic development support for healthcare providers and community organizations responding to a rapidly changing health care environment. Her primary areas of focus include patient safety, primary care, and clinical integration, including Patient Safety Organization (PSO), ACO and Medical Home initiatives. She is a Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she coordinates the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program, and teaches graduate level health policy courses. Active in public service at the state and national level, Ms. Kendig has served on the CMS Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC), the Missouri Patient Safety Commission, the Missouri Office on Women’s Health – Women’s Health Council and, the Missouri Task Force on Prematurity and Infant Mortality; and, is a current Missouri Health Connection Board Member. She is a Past Board Chairperson of the National Association for Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) and now serves as NPWH Director of Policy. Ms. Kendig is an appointee to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health; and the National Women’s Law Center and ACOG Well Woman Visit Advisory Committees. She is currently leading the 7th revision of the national Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner: Guidelines for Practice and Education.

LPLeslie Porth

Leslie Porth is division vice president of strategic quality initiatives for Missouri Hospital Association. Prior to joining MHA in 1999, she worked in a mid-Missouri hospital as a nurse in critical care and emergency care units and in an administrative position. Today at MHA, she is responsible for a wide range of population-based strategies to improve the health and safety of Missourians and the quality of care provided in Missouri hospitals. Currently she provides guidance for hospital- and community-based initiatives to address health disparities and improve quality and population-based health outcomes. Leslie also serves as part-time faculty for the University of Missouri – Columbia, where she teaches for the masters in public health program. Leslie received her bachelor’s of nursing from the University of Missouri – Columbia, Sinclair School of Nursing and her master’s in public health from Saint Louis University. She currently is writing her doctoral dissertation in public policy and administration for Walden University.

rr bwRichard A. Royer

Richard A. Royer currently serves as chief executive officer of Primaris. Mr. Royer graduated from the University of Akron, Ohio, with a BS in Accounting, from Cleveland State University with an MBA, and from the Advanced Management Program of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He has 27 years of medical business experience and has been Chief Executive Officer at Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, General Hospital; Executive Director of Columbia Regional Hospital; and founder and president of Avalon Development, a medical financial consulting firm.

Stephen R. Smith, MD

Stephen R. Smith, MD, is a 1982 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Medicine and recipient of the 1982 Russell D. Sheldon Award for Excellence in Anesthesiology. He completed his residency at the University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics, Department of Anesthesiology. Dr. Smith is Board Certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Clinical interests include difficult airway management, trauma anesthesiology, and office based anesthesiology. He serves as Chairman of two work-groups within the Trauma and Burn Quality Improvement Committee, Department of Emergency Medicine Quality Improvement Committee, Vice Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology Quality Improvement Committee, Patient Safety Committee, and has served on the Emergency Preparedness Committee. He was commissioner of the Missouri Patient Safety Committee and Chairman of the Data Collection and Reporting Subcommittee from 2003-2004. He has served as a Delegate to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, President, President Elect, and Board of Directors and Chairman for the Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists. He is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Missouri State Medical Association, St. Louis Society of Anesthesiologists, St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Association and University of Missouri School of Medicine Alumni Association, of which he has been President since April 2011. Currently, Dr. Smith is practicing within a private practice in Anesthesiology at Western Anesthesiology Associates, Inc., in Ballwin, Missouri. Dr. Smith is married with five children, has a SCUBA certification, Amateur Radio Technician License, is a member of the Community Emergency Response Team, and he is Volunteer Assistant Medical Officer with the Monarch Fire Protection District.

Brent VanConia

Brent VanConia joined SSM Health in 1999.  In 2003, he oversaw development of SSM St. Joseph Medical Park, a $32 million ambulatory center with services of ambulatory surgery, radiology, and medical and radiation oncology. Since joining SSM, Brent has also held positions of Vice President Ambulatory Services, COO at two hospitals, and since 2007, as President at St. Mary’s Health Center in Jefferson City, Missouri.  St. Mary’s was the recipient of a Missouri Quality Award in 2009. St. Mary’s is currently designing a replacement 167-bed hospital at a cost of $211 million. Prior to joining SSM, Brent’s previous experience includes working outside health care and several years working in for-profit health care with physicians. Brent has a M.S. in Economics from Southern Illinois University and a M.B.A. from Washington University.

Bruce R. Williams, DO

Bruce R. Williams, DO, is a 1987 graduate of the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed a General Rotating Internship at University of Health Sciences Hospital in Kansas City in 1988. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians. Dr. Williams is a Past President of the Jackson County Osteopathic Medical Association and the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, and he is currently the President-Elect of the Missouri Society of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. He is an Alternate Trustee to the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, serves on the J5 Medicare Carrier Advisory Committee, and has served as a Delegate to the American Osteopathic Association House of Delegates since 1997. Dr Williams practices in Blue Springs, Missouri. His wife, Julie is an attorney and they have one son, Blake who is a student at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and studying Business Management.

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