AMITA Health Leadership Changes in Joliet, Kankakee

AMITA Health system administrative leadership has announced the appointment of Christopher Shride, current president of AMITA Health St. Mary’s Hospital Kankakee, to the position of president for AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet effective Feb. 5, 2022.

Chris Shride, President AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet (left)  & Karen Gallagher, Administrator AMITA Health St. Mary’s Hospital Kankakee

Chris’ appointment comes at a pivotal time for AMITA Saint Joseph Joliet, as Herb Buchanan, current president, leaves the role to take on the task of chief operating officer for AdventHealth Midwest Region.

The leadership of AMITA St. Mary’s Kankakee will remain in good hands, though, as Karen Gallagher, current chief nursing officer and vice president of operations, will take on the new role of administrator for the hospital effective Feb. 7, maintaining her direct report to Shride.

For more than five years, Shride and Gallagher have carefully and professionally guided the operations at AMITA St. Mary’s Kankakee. Over that short time, the hospital has risen from a 2-star CMS rating to 4 stars and achieved numerous recognitions from Healthgrades, including multiple years in the Top 10 percent in the Nation for Patient Safety and Top 15 Percent in the Nation for Outstanding Patient Experience.

“We’re so happy to have Chris and Karen take on these additional responsibilities within our system,” said Polly Davenport, senior vice president and regional operating officer for AMITA Health’s Northwest Region. “It’s incredibly fulfilling to see leadership talent expanded and promoted internally. I’m sure both will quickly dive into their new roles and build upon what’s already been accomplished over the past several years.”

Over the past 24 years, Chris has held leadership positions in a unique set of healthcare-related settings, including health system, large physician group, medical technology company, banking and law firm.

Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Olivet Nazarene University, a master’s degree in health administration and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree specializing in health law both from Saint Louis University. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County Board, the Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce and Executive Board, among other professional and community organizations.

Gallagher has a long history with AMITA Health, having joined the organization in 2007. Prior to coming to AMITA St. Mary’s Kankakee, she was the director of nursing for medical, surgical, telemetry, dialysis, critical care services and the nurse float pool at AMITA Saint Joseph Joliet. She’s also held positions of leadership with AMITA Health Adventist Health Care at Home and Centegra Health.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Ill., and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix. Karen holds Nurse Executive Board Certification (NE-BC) from the American Nurse Credentialing Center and is a member of the Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders (IONL), where she serves on the Policy/Advocacy Committee and the Program development Committee.