By Michael Haederle

Kathleen Becker Named UNM Hospitals CEO

Becker coming from St. Louis University Hospital.

Kathleen Becker, JD, MPH, a longtime hospital executive in St. Louis, Mo., will become the new chief executive officer of The University of New Mexico Hospitals, effective July 15.

Becker currently serves as president of SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, a teaching hospital with a Level I trauma center that provides tertiary and quaternary services for patients throughout eastern Missouri and southern Illinois.

"Kate Becker's arrival represents an exciting new chapter for UNM Hospitals," said Paul B. Roth, MD, MS, Chancellor for Health Sciences, CEO of the UNM Health System and Dean of the UNM School of Medicine. "Her extensive experience and record of success in leading a large health care organization will be invaluable for us in delivering on our mission to promote the health and well-being of New Mexicans."

Becker has deep roots in the state. Her grandparents operated a pharmacy in Albuquerque for many years and her father grew up here.

"I'm very happy to return to New Mexico," Becker said. "I plan to do a lot of listening when I get here. I'll meet with UNM Hospitals faculty and staff, as well as community representatives to learn more about the many roles the institution fulfills in providing health care."

Becker previously served as interim president of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and as president of SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond Heights, Mo. Prior to that, she was the CEO of SLUCare, the faculty practice plan of Saint Louis University. She was responsible for coordinating the strategic, administrative and financial objectives of the practice.

Becker is the 2018 chair of the Metropolitan Hospital Governing Council of the American Hospital Association and serves on the boards of the St. Louis Integrated Health Network, Casa de Salud, Fontbonne University, Provident Counseling and Park Central Development. She previously served on the boards of St. Louis Crisis Nursery and The Magic House Children's Museum. She also serves on the Pilot Program Planning Team for Gateway to Better Health.

Becker received her bachelor's degree and her master's degree in public health from Saint Louis University and her JD degree from the Chicago-Kent College of Law.

She replaces longtime UNMH CEO Steve McKernan, who retired last fall. Interim CEO Michael Chicarelli has done an outstanding job, Roth said, and will play a continuing leadership role at UNMH.

UNM Hospitals are home to New Mexico's only Level I trauma center and, as the teaching hospital for the UNM School of Medicine, UNM College of Nursing and UNM College of Pharmacy, provide advanced tertiary and quaternary care for patients throughout the region.

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