Christopher Howard

After eight months of searching, the Sharp HealthCare Board of Directors recently voted to appoint Christopher Howard to oversee its three specialty hospitals and 18,000 employees as the organization's next president and CEO. The executive from St. Louis will replace retiring chief executive Mike Murphy, who was named CEO in 1996,  effective Jan. 31, 2019.

"After conducting an extensive search over the past eight months, Sharp's Board of Directors determined that Chris is indeed the right person to be the next leader of our organization," said Richard Freeman, immediate past chair of Sharp's board and current chair of its executive search committee. "He brings a wealth of experience from one of the most respected integrated healthcare delivery systems in the country, and he is highly regarded for his leadership in healthcare quality and safety, patient experience, organizational culture and business strategy."

Howard comes from SSM Health, where his most recent role was as chief operations officer and served as SSM’s president of Hospital Operations prior to COO, overseeing 16 acute-care hospitals and the related integrated operations in four states. Howard also served as president of SSM Health St. Louis, overseeing SSM's flagship region encompassing $1.6 billion in revenue, six acute-care hospitals, two specialty hospitals and their affiliated medical groups and managed care operations.

Howard attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a Master of Science degree in healthcare administration, a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts degrees. Additionally, Howard is also a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives and has served in various membership roles in the American Hospital Association, Medical Group Management Association, St. Louis Regional Chamber and others.

"I am excited and honored to join the Sharp HealthCare system," said Howard. "I have followed Sharp's reputation and achievements, and they have been remarkable. I look forward to being a part of the Sharp leadership team and to help advance their vision to be the best place for employees to work, the best place for physicians to practice medicine and the best place for patients to receive care."

"We are very excited to have Chris as the next president and CEO of Sharp HealthCare, and we are very confident that his knowledge, experience and energy will be instrumental in moving us forward in our efforts to be San Diego's healthcare leader," said Lori Moore, chair, Sharp HealthCare Board of Directors.

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