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May 15, 2024

St. Francis Hospital names new president

Contributed Valerie L. Powell-Stafford has been named president of St. Francis Hospital.

St. Francis Hospital has named a new leader. Valerie L. Powell-Stafford has been named president of the Hartford-based hospital, which is part of Trinity Health Of New England. 

She replaces Thomas Burke, who announced plans to leave the post last fall. 

Powell-Stafford has more than 25 years of experience, having most recently served as president and CEO of HCA Northside Hospital, in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

In her new role, which she will officially begin on June 3, Powell-Stafford will also oversee Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital in Hartford.

“Along with her extensive leadership experience, Ms. Powell-Stafford brings an energy and enthusiasm we know will filter throughout our existing leadership team, colleagues and community,” said Montez Carter, president and CEO of Trinity Health Of New England, which also owns Stafford Springs-based Johnson Memorial Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury and Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.  “As the healthcare industry continues to face obstacles, we are honored to have a new president at Saint Francis’ helm to carry on, and further grow its more than 125-year legacy of bringing award-winning, high-quality care to those who need it most.” 

Powell-Stafford served as president and CEO of HCA Northside Hospital since 2019. During her tenure, the hospital was named on Healthgrades’ America’s Best 250 Hospitals list and earned the Patient Safety Excellence Award for 2024, ranking among the top 5% of all hospitals for clinical performance and patient safety, according to an announcement. 

She also spearheaded the recruitment of new physicians, implementation of a robotic surgical program and development of a nursing school on the hospital campus. 

Prior to her time at HCA Northside, Powell-Stafford held a number of leadership positions in other HCA Healthcare Florida hospitals, including CEO of Englewood Community Hospital, chief operating officer and ethics and compliance officer at Blake Medical Center and COO of Doctors Hospital.

She received her Master of Health Science Administration degree from the University of Michigan and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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