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Mercy Springfield President Accepts Job in Arkansas

Dr. Robert Steele/Photo Credit: Mercy Springfield

The president of the region’s largest employer is stepping down.

In a news release Friday, Dr. Robert Steele, president of Mercy Springfield, announced he’s accepted the position of chief strategy officer at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. It’s where his father served as a pediatric infectious disease doctor and where Dr. Steele spent summers doing research in the lab.

“I love Mercy, and I have really enjoyed my time here. But when an offer came to work alongside a childhood friend, in a city I consider to be ‘home’ - and where my wife has family - I just couldn’t turn it down,” Steele said.

During his time as president of Mercy Hospital Springfield, Dr. Steele has overseen the opening of the new children’s hospital and the construction of Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital Springfield.

Jon Swope, president of Mercy’s Central Region, will assume interim duties as president during the transition period. The release also noted that Dr. Alan Scarrow will continue his role as president of Mercy Clinic Springfield, and Jay Guffey will continue to lead as senior vice president and chief operating officer for Mercy Hospital Springfield.

“Dr. Steele has been a strong leader and outstanding clinician during his time here. He is a strategic thinker who brought so many talents to the organization; his upbeat personality and skill set will be missed,” Swope said.

“I will deeply miss my patients and the Springfield community,” said Dr. Steele. “I have enjoyed working with the outstanding leadership team, co-workers and physicians at Mercy, who strive everyday to meet the needs of our patients. It has truly been an honor.”

Data from the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce shows Mercy Hospital Springfield employed nearly 8,800 people in 2013, the most in the metro area.