Skip Section Navigation


Published on September 22, 2015

3 questions with St. Vincent’s new CEO Michael Schatzlein

By Colleen Michele Jones, Jacksonville Business Journal

Just three weeks into his new role as CEO of St. Vincent’s HealthCare, Michael Schatzlein is still getting his feet under him but already has a pretty good idea of where he's headed.

Schatzlein replaced former CEO Moody Chisholm on Sept. 8. He comes to the Jacksonville health care system from Nashville, Tennessee, where he was president and CEO of Saint Thomas Health, a part of Ascension, the same parent company as St. Vincent’s.

The Business Journal caught up with Schatzlein recently to chat with him about the health care scene Jacksonville and what he hopes to achieve in his new leadership post.

1) Jacksonville, as you know, has a large and varied landscape of health care providers. What separates St. Vincent’s from the other big name providers in the market?

“The reason I work for Ascension — and that others work for Ascension — is because of the spirit-based, faith-based concern for the care of all people, particularly those who are struggling. While we do not proselytize, we do care for the whole of the person and their health journey, it’s not just scientific. Great doctors is another reason — we’ve got great doctors and we have the capability of being a population health care provider, a continuum provider, with a commitment to not just seeing anyone who needs to be seen in the emergency room, regardless of the ability to pay, but also find a place for them in our facilities.”

“Well, I’ve worked in Tennessee and Indiana, both states with right-wing Republican governors, they did make it work in Indiana but so far that hasn’t been the case in Tennessee. We at Ascension believe in 100 percent access, 100 percent coverage and seek out those who need help. ...I’ve never been able to understand why any state would not extend Medicaid other than pure raw politics. I know Gov. Scott — we have some of the same friends — so I’d like to sit down and talk with him more about the issue in person.”

3) How would you characterize your leadership style?

“Well, what I enjoy most is mentoring people — identifying and encouraging people doing their jobs really well and developing those people, just as I had great mentors who mentored me. To see people flower and grow and take on more responsibilities is what I love to do.”

View full the full story.