DAYTON, Ohio (August 2, 2021) – The Board of Trustees of Premier Health announced today that Mary Boosalis, President and CEO of the health system, plans to retire around the end of the first quarter in 2022, after more than 35 years of service to the people of the Miami Valley region.
Her career has been marked by partnerships, successfully navigating unprecedented challenges, and a strong orientation towards physician and clinical quality in advancing Premier’s mission of building healthier communities. She has made significant strides in the advancement of women in executive leadership roles, culminating in her own current position at Premier and assembling an executive team made up of more than 50% women. Her passion for diversity, inclusion and equity has never wavered throughout her life and has long been a focus of her work. A much sought-after speaker on leadership in healthcare and diversity, Mary has lent her expertise to thousands of others, sharing her experiences in a genuine and fact-based manner that has provided a pathway for many to emulate.
“Mary has done an exceptional job, leading Premier through some of the most challenging times in the history of our community and in the health system’s 130 years, all with the highest standard of ethics,” said Anita Moore, Chair of the Premier Health Board of Trustees. “She is mission-driven and is a talented strategic thinker who finds and implements well-thought out solutions. She places her focus on patients and the physicians, nurses, and other clinical and support staff at Premier—all with the goal to build stronger and healthier communities.”
Recognizing the value of partnerships, Mary has worked closely throughout her career with physicians and staff; healthcare, education, and business partners; and a myriad of community organizations. Mary has played a leadership role in many innovative initiatives, resulting in positive and impactful changes to healthcare across the entire region. Exceptional growth within the Premier Physician Network, the opening of the Premier Health Regional Referral Center, and the opening of nine urgent care sites have enhanced access for patients throughout the service area.
Highlights of her collaborative work include the expansion of Miami Valley Hospital’s main campus with the construction of the Heart and Vascular Tower, earning many significant design awards for positive patient care delivery and ecological design resulting in silver level LEED certification. Miami Valley Hospital is the 15th largest hospital in the nation as measured by Becker’s Hospital Review and has received numerous quality awards, currently marking six consecutive years as a Top 100 Hospital nationally as rated by Healthgrades.
Additionally, Mary was an integral part of the strategic vision and development of the Miami Valley Hospital South campus, which has grown exponentially over the years. The campus offers an ever expanding array of services including a Level III Trauma Center, along with Cancer, Orthopedic and Obstetrics centers. When Miami Valley Hospital South opened in 2007, it included the fifth free-standing emergency room in the country.
As a key member of Premier leadership, she has worked for decades on campus and neighborhood development, partnering with the City of Dayton and other business partners to improve area neighborhoods near Miami Valley Hospital and in northwest Dayton through the Genesis Project and the Phoenix Project. Work continues today to further develop these areas. A partnership with the University of Dayton focuses on the site of the former Montgomery County Fairgrounds through the onMain project. Premier also entered into a joint venture with Encompass Health to build the Rehabilitation Institute of Ohio, opening a modern and convenient facility in 2020, designed to better serve patients needing advanced rehabilitative therapies.
The decision to close the former Good Samaritan Hospital was the most difficult of her career and was done knowing that quality healthcare would continue to be available for northwest Dayton residents, along with those residing in many other communities, at Miami Valley Hospital and other nearby clinical facilities and providers. A major part of the decision was predicated on the redevelopment of the former hospital site and those efforts continue today through Phoenix Next, partnering with the City of Dayton and CityWide. Extensive community input has been garnered to determine a vision for the future and remains a key focus for Premier. In conjunction with Premier’s pledge of $15 million dollars for redevelopment of the hospital site, Phoenix Next recently announced that Premier Health will build a new 12,000 square foot facility focusing on urgent care, physical therapy, lab services, medical imaging, and physician office space on the site of the former hospital, and plans to seek other partners for the redevelopment of the site. This further enhances a long tradition of partnering with community organizations serving northwest Dayton, including the Gem City Market, the Hope Center, Homefull, and area barbershops to provide health education and screenings. A new paramedicine program, in concert with the City of Dayton and Dayton Fire Department has demonstrated impressive results in serving chronically ill patients through convenient home visits.
With a background as a critical care nurse, Mary has championed numerous clinical initiatives. She was the executive sponsor for Premier in developing and launching the Premier Health-Wright State University Neurosciences Research Institute. She was a key leader in the decision for Premier Health to join the M.D. Anderson Physician Network, bringing enhanced access to a top, nationally recognized cancer center to the local community.
For many years, she has actively supported efforts to decrease opioid use and addiction issues in the region, culminating in Premier partnering with Verily and area healthcare providers to implement OneFifteen, a unique and exciting approach to recovery for those with an addiction diagnosis.
During the past 18 months, Mary’s leadership ability and experience has been critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. Challenges to obtain personal protective equipment, testing supplies, vaccine distribution, and most importantly, supporting front line and support staff has been a passionate focus. Working with the Premier team to act on a constant stream of information that often necessitated changes to be made, sometimes by the hour, was essential in serving the thousands of patients who needed care.
Enhancing partnerships with other decision makers at the local, state, and national levels, resulted in finding unique solutions to challenging problems associated with COVID-19. The University of Dayton and Premier stood up one of the first drive through testing sites in Ohio, serving patients efficiently and with compassion. Premier’s physicians, nurses, and other clinical and support staff partnered with others to initiate a first in the nation COVID treatment, and other groundbreaking accomplishments to fight a relentless virus.
“Premier will lose a great leader when Mary Boosalis retires, but she will leave a tremendous legacy defined by pioneering accomplishments, deep and enduring partnerships, and her unsurpassed integrity,” noted Dr. Eric Spina, President of the University of Dayton. “Certainly, the University of Dayton has been blessed by Mary given her strong leadership of our Board of Trustees as the first female chair, the comprehensive partnership between UD and Premier that has enabled our navigation of the pandemic and more, and the anchor institution work we do together in greater Dayton. While I will miss Mary’s deft touch and generous grace at the helm of Premier, I look forward to her continued meaningful contributions to the community I know she loves.”
Mary earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing, magna cum laude, from California State University at Fresno, and a master’s degree in Health Services Administration, magna cum laude, from Arizona State University College of Business. She is a diplomat of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and a member of numerous boards including the Ohio Hospital Association, the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, the University of Dayton, serving as the current chair, the Dayton Development Coalition, the Dayton Business Committee, and Hub Group, Inc. She is a past member of the Sinclair Community College Board, the Life Connection Board, and is a past chair of the Dayton Area American Heart Association Board.
In 2019 and again in 2021, Modern Healthcare recognized Mary as being one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Healthcare in the country through their biennial award. In 2020, Modern Healthcare named Mary to the national list of 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives. Mary has also been named to the 10 Top Women list by the Dayton Daily News, has been recognized as an Ohio Most Powerful and Influential Woman by the Ohio Diversity Council, and as a Woman of Influence by the Dayton YWCA. She was honored as a member of the inaugural class of the Dayton Business Hall of Fame.
Citing that it was time to retire, Mary is looking forward to being with her family and pursuing other activities that have long been on her list of retirement goals. The Board of Trustees will be conducting a national search for Mary’s replacement.