St. Mary’s Health Care System Names New President and CEO

Staff Report

Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

St. Mary’s Health Care System and Trinity Health have named Stonish Pierce, FACHE, as President and CEO of Trinity Health Georgia Region, which includes St. Mary’s Heath Care System and Mercy Care in Atlanta, effective April 24. Pierce comes to Trinity Health Georgia from Holy Cross Health in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he has served as the chief operating officer since January 2021.

 “Stonish brings more than 24 years of progressive experience in healthcare to his new role,” said Dessa Morris, Board Chair. “Our selection committee was especially impressed by his history of outstanding accomplishments and specifically the leadership he displayed through the worst years of the pandemic. Most importantly, he is a people-centered leader who has a collaborative leadership style and is dedicated to improving healthcare delivery and operations. His mission and St. Mary’s mission align perfectly.”

Pierce is a board-certified healthcare executive with diverse clinical and leadership experience in acute and ambulatory operations spanning not-for-profit, public, private, government, academic/teaching, and faith-based hospitals, integrated delivery systems, and for-profit physical therapy sectors. 

In his most recent role at Holy Cross, Pierce instituted operational discipline improving operating income by $14.3 million, year over year, yielding a positive FY24 operating income. He was also responsible for coordinating a $41 million multi-year campus optimization plan, facilitating the development of a pre-surgical testing/lab center, and launching an inaugural income guarantee program. During COVID-19, he led efforts to accelerate the delivery of vaccines to urgent care partners and worked with clinical leaders to re-establish open visitation to help with patient-centered care goals.

Like St. Mary’s, Holy Cross Health is a multi-facility, not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system, and a member of Trinity Health. Trinity Health is a Catholic healthcare system with nearly 90 hospitals, hundreds of other healthcare facilities, approximately 123,000 colleagues, and 27,000 physicians in 26 states. 

Prior to joining Holy Cross Health, Pierce was system vice president of specialty services for Beaumont Health, Michigan’s largest health system based on inpatient admissions and net patient revenue. Before that, he served as the regional chief operating and chief business development officer for Chicago-based Presence Health, part of the nationwide Ascension healthcare system. Pierce’s experience also includes positions with San Diego-based Palomar Health, part of the Mayo Care Network, and the VA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Pierce received a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, a Master’s degree in Health Administration, and a graduate certificate in management all from the University of Southern California (USC). He is a four-time recertified Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the USC Price School’s 90 Pioneers of 90 Years recognition, and in 2021 was named one of the Top 25 Emerging Leaders by Modern Healthcare.

Pierce is only the fifth president and CEO of St. Mary’s Hospital and Health Care System since 1966 when the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus turned over management of the system to lay professionals. Preceding him in the role were Edward J. Fechtel, Jr., Thomas Fitz, Donald McKenna and most recently, Montez Carter.

As St. Mary’s begins this leadership transition, leaders and colleagues with St. Mary’s and Trinity Health are also thanking David Spivey, who has served as St. Mary’s interim president and CEO since October 2022.

“Dave has been an inspirational leader within Trinity Health for 35 years, and St. Mary’s Health Care System benefited from his expertise and guidance,” Morris said.