Ascension market leader Nick Desien to retire: 10 things to know

Nick Desien, senior vice president of Ascension Health's Wisconsin Ministry market, is retiring.

Here are 10 things to know about Mr. Desien and his retirement.

1. Mr. Desien's retirement takes effect Dec. 31.

2. Mr. Desien has been with Milwaukee-based Ministry Health Care and St. Louis-based Ascension for nearly three decades.

3. He served first as CFO of Ministry and for 16 years as president and CEO of Ministry before taking on an executive role with Ascension when Ministry joined Ascension in 2013.

4. During Mr. Desien's tenure with Ministry, the system grew to be one of the largest healthcare delivery systems in Wisconsin, with 15 hospitals, 46 clinic sites and more than 10,000 associates, according to a news release.

5. Ministry also acquired Howard Young Health Care in Woodruff, Wis., and Eagle River and Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill, Wis., under Mr. Desien's leadership. It also built Ministry Saint Clare's Hospital in Weston, Wis., and took on sole sponsorship of Menasha, Wis.-based Affinity Health System. Before that, Ministry jointly sponsored Affinity with Glendale, Wis.-based Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.

6. Two years ago, Mr. Desien led the process for Ministry and Affinity to join Ascension.

7. And most recently, he was instrumental in the effort to execute a letter of intent for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare hospitals to join Ascension early next year.

8. Of Mr. Desien's retirement, Robert Henkel, executive vice president with Ascension and president and CEO of St. Louis-based Ascension Health, said in a news release, "It has been a great pleasure to work with Nick for the past several years since Ministry joined Ascension. His commitment and dedication to providing compassionate, personalized care to individuals across the state, especially those who are struggling the most, has been critical to the success of our healthcare ministry in Wisconsin."

9. In a news release, Mr. Desien described his time in Wisconsin as "a wonderful and fulfilling journey."

"My time with Ascension over these last few years has offered me the opportunity to work with incredibly bright, talented, caring and committed leaders from across the country. I respect the compassion, energy, experience and tenacity of all our leaders, associates and clinicians. Together, they will continue to address the many challenges and opportunities Ministry will face as part of Ascension Wisconsin in this new era of healthcare to continue the work started by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother over 125 years ago," he added.

10. A national search for Mr. Desien's replacement as Ascension Ministry market executive for Wisconsin has started and an interim leader will be named next month.


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