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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

South Carolina Alum Named President of SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital

After a nationwide search, University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, alumnus Mr. Travis Capers has been selected as the new president of SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis. His new role, which begins March 28, will involve establishing, maintaining and enhancing quality health care services at the 492-bed hospital.

[Photo: Mr. Travis Capers]

As he transitions to this new position with SSM Health, Mr. Capers is wrapping up his tenure as chief executive officer for the New Orleans-based Ochsner Medical Center, which is part of a not for-profit health care system. During his four years there, the American College of Healthcare Executives Fellow has overseen the strategy and operations of the 181-bed, acute care hospital and its five satellite facilities along with its 900-person staff of 600 medical providers and $168 million operating budget.

Prior to his work with Ochsner, Mr. Capers spent eight years as chief operating officer for Southern Hills Medical Center in Nashville. In these roles, he has led successful initiatives that enhanced high-quality care and service, such as physician alignment, increased market share, improved operating margin, and service excellence.

Mr. Capers also spent time at hospitals in Tallahassee, Florida and Chicago, but he got his start in Columbia. A 1996 graduate of the Master’s in Health Administration (MHA) program in the department of health services policy and management, Mr. Capers earned his undergraduate degree (B.S. in business administration) at South Carolina as well. He credits his South Carolina experiences with prepping him for his career.

“The MHA program was instrumental in preparing me early on in my career,” he says. “The professors instilled invaluable lessons on how to influence and manage change in order to navigate day-to-day operations, and I also learned a great deal regarding strategic planning and the importance of serving your community.”

One of Mr. Capers’ professors was particularly influential — Distinguished Professor Emerita Dr.  Saundra Glover. Dr. Glover has been my mentor since I was an undergraduate student at the South Carolina,” says the Boys Club Advisory Board Member. “She introduced me to the MHA program and connected me with a field that allows me to fulfill my passion of service. Over the last 19 years, I have reached out to Dr. Glover and she has always made herself available to give advice and guidance. Dr. Glover influenced me by being a leader that was willing to support and provide direction. She always had high expectations, which allowed me to develop a gift of being a service leader to others.”

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