INA, Ill. (Nov. 5, 2013) – A new face has joined the Rend Lake College Foundation Board of Directors in the form of Phil Gustafson of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan, Inc. and SSM Health Care.
Already well-known throughout the district for his work in the health care field, Gustafson has served as President and CEO of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan of Southern Illinois and as System Vice President for SSM Health Care since December 2008. With many years of experience in hospital administration, he says he hopes to use RLC’s connection with the communities in its district as a director and voice for the college.
“I’ve been involved with some projects with Rend Lake College in the past and, of those people I worked with, I’ve developed some very good relationships and I’ve been very impressed,” said Gustafson. “I think that I can provide some help with the strategic planning and long-range planning to help Rend Lake College and the Foundation achieve its mission, especially in the health care industry.”
He began his health care career as an assistant administrator at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and has served in four other states, including Illinois. Before joining St. Mary’s Good Samaritan and SSM Health Care, he was CEO of West Valley Hospital in Goodyear, Ariz.
Prior to embarking on what has become a 30-year career, Gustafson earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, a Master of Science Degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Master of Health Administration Degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. He has been a fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives for more than 20 years.
Through the experiences of his career, Gustafson pointed to the relationships between RLC, the community and the needs of local industry as unique reasons for his desire to become a director.
“Overall, I’ve been impressed with what Rend Lake College has done,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever see an entity try to be so responsive in what the needs in the community are. The partnerships between the college and local businesses are significant and I see that as a very special approach that I want to be involved in.”
Gustafson was brought onto the board in October, and with only a few weeks of experience as a director under his belt, he said his long-term goals for working on the board are still too early to tell.
“At this point, I’m looking for opportunities for some great discussions and creativity,” he said. “I hope to bring some thinking outside of the box, and I think we’re all going to go through some enriching changes. I’m sure that our work together is going to reflect on the educational framework and the mission of the college.”
RLCF CEO Shawna Manion added that Gustafson’s contributions to the Foundation have already been numerous, and she looks forward to working with him as a director.
“Phil is an incredible asset to the community of Mt. Vernon and to the district of RLC,” she said. “The working relationship he has formed with us over the years will be strengthened by seating him on the Foundation board, and we look forward to utilizing his experience and knowledge in healthcare to help us better serve our students.”
For more information about the RLC Foundation, visit online at www.rlc.edu/foundation.