Chief Operations Officer
- Laura Kaiser, President & CEO
- Mark Adams, MD, Interim Chief Clinical Officer
- Lynn Bruchhof, Chief People Officer
- Carter Dredge, Chief Transformation Officer
- Maggie Fowler, Chief Nursing Officer
- Paula Friedman, Chief Strategy Officer
- Alexander Garza, MD, Chief Quality Officer
- Chris Howard, Chief Operations Officer
- Marcus Julian Interim President/CEO Dean Health Plan
- Carolyn Koenig, Chief Administrative Officer
- Philip Loftus, Chief Innovation Officer
- Douglas P. Long, JD, General Counsel
- Patrick McCruden Chief Mission Integration Officer
- Kris Zimmer, Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Operations Officer, Chris Howard is focused on ensuring SSM Health’s hospital, medical group and major business operations in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin deliver exceptional clinical quality, safety and service for every patient.
Howard has 30 years of experience in health care administration, with special expertise working with integrated delivery systems, hospital, medical group and health plan operations. All regional presidents and freestanding hospital presidents report to him. He also oversees SSM’s Performance Excellence Organization and system facilities/real estate, as well as pharmacy, laboratory and environmental/food services across the system.
Howard joined SSM Health in 1994 and formerly served as President of SSM Health’s St. Louis and Oklahoma Divisions. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President of SSM Health Care of Oklahoma, Inc., and Director of medical practice operations for Integris Health in Oklahoma City.
Howard holds a Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health and also holds bachelor’s and master degrees from the University of Oklahoma, Norman.