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HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital President and CEO announces plans to retire

January 30, 2024 

Theresa Rutherford, RN, MSN, MBA, FACHE, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer, has announced her plans to retire from HSHS this spring. Her last day will be April 1, 2024. Rutherford will retire with over 45 years of experience in healthcare. 

Rutherford shared, “I am honored to have served the patients who put their trust in us, throughout the communities where I have lived and practiced my faith, with the amazing colleague teams I have worked alongside. 

Every person is called to serve at a time according to God’s plan. We have accomplished great things in our time together. Now you are ready and able to live and write the next chapter of our mission, “to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan healthcare ministry.”

“To quote St. Francis,” Rutherford continued, “I have done what is mine; now may Christ teach you yours.”

Rutherford began her healthcare career as a nursing assistant at St. Mary’s in 1979. Her career progressed to becoming an LPN, and in 1990 she graduated as an RN from Millikin University. She served in assistant manager, manager and director roles. In 1999, she started her first senior leadership role as Chief Nursing Officer in Galesburg, followed by moving to Dubuque, Iowa, to become CNO/Chief Operating Officer at Finley Hospital. 

In 2006, she returned to where her healthcare career started, St. Mary’s in Decatur, to serve in a dual role as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Executive. Rutherford again heeded the call to serve HSHS in 2013, when she was promoted to Chief Executive Officer at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham. And, as the last step in a long career of servant leadership, she returned home to St. Mary’s in 2021 as the President and Chief Executive Officer.

In statements to her leadership and colleagues, Rutherford added, “Even in retirement, I will remain an avid supporter of Catholic healthcare and the HSHS team. We will see each other around as Decatur is home and my family and I are depending on you for our healthcare needs. God Bless You and your work!”

Over the coming months, HSHS will be conducting a candidate search to identify a future candidate to lead St. Mary’s Hospital.
HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital President and CEO announces plans to retire
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