Jeff Murphy, the CEO of Presence St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, today announced plans to retire at the end of this month.

Murphy has been president and CEO of the hospital for seven years and has had a 36-year career in the health care administration and insurance industries.

Sandra Bruce, Presence Health president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that under Murphy’s leadership the hospital “has developed into a premier community hospital that is one of the key assets in our health system.”

Presence Health is the largest Catholic health system based in Illinois, created in November 2011 through the merger of Provena Health and Resurrection Health Care. 

She added that Murphy attracted new physicians while adding new services to keep up with advances in medicine and technology.

Under Muprhy’s leadership St. Francis became the first hospital within Presence Health to achieve Magnet status for nursing excellence, the first to launch a comprehensive electronic medical record system and the first to become a Certified Chest Pain Center, a Certified Primary Stroke Center and to receive the national Beacon Award for outstanding ICU care.

During his tenure, St. Francis, a full-service, 271-bed hospital with a Level I Trauma Center, has consistently ranked among the Best Hospitals in the Chicago metro area in U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey.

He also recruited the North Shore Physicians Group, the largest physician group acquisition in the system’s history and completing numerous renovations and remodeling projects on the hospital campus, most recently the transition to all private rooms.

Murphy said that in retirement he plans to spend more time pursuing his many outside interests, splitting his time between his homes in Hinsdale and in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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