President steps down at Ascension hospital beset by strikes

Chris Shride, president of Ascension Saint Joseph-Joliet (Ill.), has resigned from his role — just over a week after nurses at the hospital completed their second strike in three months. 

Members of the Illinois Nurses Association, which represents 500 nurses at the facility, launched the most recent two-day strike Nov. 21. Union members contend that hospital management has failed to reach an agreement on wages in members' three-year contract, and that members are faced with unsafe patient loads amid chronic understaffing. 

Mr. Shride — who assumed the hospital's helm on Feb. 5, 2022, when it was still AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet — "made the difficult decision to step down, leaving the organization effective Sunday, December 31, 2023," an Ascension spokesperson confirmed to Becker's in a Nov. 30 statement. The St. Louis-based health system did not directly respond to Becker's inquiry regarding a specific reason for the departure. 

"He has been a dedicated servant leader and we wish him every happiness and success as he moves on to the next chapter in his career," the statement read. 

An interim president has been named, but the spokesperson declined to specify who. The unnamed leader will begin prior to Mr. Shride's exit to ensure a smooth transition. 

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