Hospital Sisters Health System announces new President and CEO, Damond Boatwright, ’94

As seen on HSHS.com

Note: Damond W. Boatwright is a member of The Citadel Class of 1994 who earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and played for the Bulldogs throughout college. Upon learning about his new position, the college asked him to send his thoughts to this question, “How did The Citadel help you get where you are now?” He was kind enough to send the following response:

“First, my mentor, Frank Demarco, (Class of 1968) was a Citadel alumnus and he introduced me to the healthcare field the summer immediately after graduation. In addition, he supported my development and opened up operational opportunities that allowed me to build necessary competencies to be successful well into the future. 

Second, the cadet Honor Code, ‘a cadet does not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do,’ built inside of me a high level of integrity to help guide my decision making through many challenging times.

Finally, coming out of The Citadel, I have felt a patriotic calling to make the world around me a better place in which to live. Oftentimes I think of the Books of Samuel in thinking “if not me, then whom shall he send?”

Damond Boatwright, Citadel Class of 1994, president and CEO, Hospital Sisters Health System

SPRINGFIELD—HSHS is pleased to announce that Damond W. Boatwright, MHA, MHS, FACHE, has accepted our offer to serve as president and CEO of Hospital Sisters Health System. He will start in this role in June 2021, succeeding the current president and CEO of HSHS, Mary Starmann-Harrison, who retires in July after serving in this role for the past decade.

“Damond is a bright, talented and innovative leader with over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry,” Sister Jomary Trstensky, OSF, chair of Hospital Sisters Ministries (the public juridic sponsor of HSHS). “His passion for working in Catholic healthcare was profoundly evident throughout the interview process. We are excited to welcome him to HSHS.”

Boatwright will be relocating to the Springfield area from Madison, Wisconsin. He currently serves as regional president for SSM Health Wisconsin, a role he has served in since 2014. SSM Health Wisconsin includes 7 hospitals and 4 affiliates, 85+ physician clinics, a pharmacy benefit company, 10 nursing homes and an insurance company. Some of Boatwright’s accomplishments at SSM Health Wisconsin include achieving growth in several key service lines; successfully integrating one of the largest independent multispecialty groups in Wisconsin; maintaining top decile patient satisfaction and quality scores; and developing and chairing SSM Health Wisconsin’s first advisory council on inclusion, diversity and equity.

Prior to SSM Health Wisconsin, Boatwright served in various leadership roles at Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) from 2001 to 2013. His career at HCA took him to hospitals in Virginia, Florida, Missouri and Kansas, serving in executive leadership roles with increasing responsibilities.

“Damond’s leadership record at HCA and SSM is exemplary,” said Bill Murray, chairman of the HSHS Board of Directors. “I am confident he will provide the leadership needed to help HSHS continue working through the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Damond is committed to moving HSHS forward as an integrated healthcare ministry, ensuring that high-quality healthcare is accessible to all our communities.”

Boatwright is originally from Charleston, South Carolina. Though he once aspired to become a physician, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at The Citadel in Charleston in 1994. It was a chance meeting with a Citadel alum who worked in healthcare administration that led Boatwright to pursue a career in healthcare.

Boatwright worked full-time at HCA while completing his Master of Health Administration and Health Sciences (MHA, MHS) at Medical University of South Carolina. After finishing graduate school, Boatwright worked as an administrative fellow for Duke University Health System in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“‘Every good and perfect gift is from above,’ James 1:17. I’m truly humbled and appreciative of this wonderful gift to be part of the HSHS family,” said Boatwright. “The opportunity to be a servant leader and help continue to lead our ministries into the future is truly a blessing. We are going to be stronger together.”

Boatwright has served as a board member at the Catholic Health Association and is the immediate past chair of the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA). He received Modern Healthcare’s Up and Comer Award in 2009, and in 2010, he was featured in Becker’s Hospital Review’s Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know. In 2020, Boatwright was named as a WHA Distinguished Leader. He was also recently honored as In Business magazine’s 2021 Executive of the Year in Madison, Wisconsin.

Boatwright has been involved in a number of interesting extracurricular activities throughout his life. He was a college football player who served as varsity football captain at The Citadel, and he is proud to be a certified judge with the Kansas City Barbecue Society. Boatwright has also been involved in the Knights of Columbus as a 4th degree knight and honor guard member.

Boatwright and his wife, Makeba Williams, MD, have two children named Damond Jeremiah (DJ), 9, and Shelby Ruth, 7. Makeba is a physician who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology. In their spare time, they like to cook and enjoy the outdoors.

About Hospital Sisters Health System

Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states– Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay).  HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org