CEO Barbara Martin: Practiced, Passionate, Confident Leader of Vista Health System

Barbara Martin has served as president and CEO of Waukegan, Ill.-based Vista Health System since 2006, and has led the organization through a revitalization that has made it one of the fastest growing health systems in Illinois. As president and CEO, Ms. Martin oversees two hospitals — Vista Medical Center East and Vista Medical Center West — with a total of more than 400 beds as well as a campus in Lindenhurst, physician practice offices and diagnostic imaging and rehabilitation satellite locations.

CEO Barbara MartinMs. Martin has led Vista through steady expansions and renovations including the following projects: modernization of the electrophysiology/catheterization laboratory and construction of a new progressive care unit, a surgery and wound care center and an obstetrics and maternal birthing unit. In addition, she has led Vista to achieve its highest levels of patient care, reaching a 25 percent increase in admissions and a 35 percent increase in surgeries. Ms. Martin's success comes from her ability to face day-to-day operations as well as problems with comprehensive experience and knowledge of the healthcare continuum. She has had experience in nearly every level of healthcare delivery, from the clinical and operational side to the process of recruiting physicians and building strong physician relationships.

"I have worked in all aspects of hospitals, from being a new graduate nurse all the way to being the CEO of the hospital. [In addition], my experience with three different large systems has really prepared me to deal with any day-to-day problems and view them not as problems, but as opportunities. I like walking through the doors every day and working with passion. I feel very confident that Vista Health can address any problem because I have had hands-on experience. I feel very comfortable handling the challenges [a] CEO [faces]," says Ms. Martin.

Ms. Martin began her career as a registered nurse at Ingalls Memorial Hospital, where she held a series of leadership roles before becoming director of nursing. She joined Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill., as vice president of hospital operations and ambulatory services. Eight years later she moved into the corporate functions of Provena Health as system vice president of clinical operations and system improvement. Ms. Martin later joined Temple University Health System in Philadelphia as vice president of patient service operations, before joining Vista Health in 2003 as COO.

Barbara Martin will be a featured panelist at the Becker’s Hospital Review Annual Chief Executive Officer Strategy Roundtable, taking place Nov. 1, 2012, at the Ritz Carlton Chicago. Please join us for the Roundtable from 4 - 6 p.m. Dinner and a reception to follow.Registration limited to 100 attendees. To register or learn more about the event, click here.

If you have additional information or updates for this profile, or would like to recommend a leader to be profiled in the future, please contact Lindsey Dunn, editor in chief, Becker's Hospital Review at

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