St. Mary Medical Center Chief Executive Retiring

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Steve Burdick, chief executive of Providence St. Mary Medical Center and Providence Medical Group-Walla Walla, will retire at the end of the year.

Burdick, who turns 61 in November, has served as the chief executive of Providence in Walla Walla since September, 2006. The medical center has thrived under his leadership. Providence St. Mary has grown, is financially strong and meeting or exceeding national benchmarks for quality, as well as patient and staff satisfaction. The Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce recently named it Business of the Year.

Burdick also deepened Providence’s involvement in the community. He led the effort to back the creation of the Community Health Center at Lincoln High School to improve access to health care for at risk youth. For its work with the Health Center, Providence St. Mary received a Providence Mission Award for exemplary work aiding the poor and vulnerable. Burdick also has played a pivotal role in work to improve access to mental health services in Walla Walla and develop a shelter for homeless youth.

“It isn’t very often you can say you are going out when everything is going really well,” Burdick says. “I leave with a sense of pride in Providence St. Mary Medical Center. I have had the opportunity to work with some of health care’s best. This is a good time for me to step aside and leave the organization in the talented hands of the senior leadership team and medical staff.”

The Walla Walla-based chief executive position will not be replaced once Burdick retires. Providence Health & Services is restructuring operations to reduce overhead expenses to operate more affordably, direct resources to patient care, and continue its mission of serving the poor and vulnerable.

The existing senior leadership team of Susan Blackburn; Dr. Tim Davidson; Dr. Chris Hall; Lori Asmus, RN; Rob Watilo, and Yvonne Strader, RN will continue in their respective roles while expanding their leadership accountabilities in day-to-day operations and involvement in the community.

The role of Lane Savitch, chief executive at Kadlec Health System, will expand to include oversight of Walla Walla to continue to grow and enhance health care services across Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities. Savitch has been with Kadlec since 2006.

“Providence St. Mary has served this area for 136 years with an unwavering commitment to the health care needs of the community, especially the poor and vulnerable. I’m honored to have been part of it,” Burdick says. “Providence St. Mary has a bright future ahead of it as it continues to grow to care for our community.”

Providence St. Mary Medical Center, a 142-bed regional hospital located in Walla Walla, Wash., is the fourth largest employer in Walla Walla County. The Providence Medical Group is the largest group of primary care providers and specialists in the Walla Walla area.