Thank you to two retiring giants of Catholic health care in diocese

The turn of the calendar to 2015 meant a major turn of the page in the leadership of two Catholic medical centers in the Diocese of Peoria. The changes were set in motion by the announced retirements at year’s end of two men who have dedicated much of their careers to Catholic health care in our diocese — David Ochs and Keith Steffen.

Ochs served as president of OSF Saint James — John W. Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac for 26 years.

Steffen was with OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria for 34 years, starting as a vice president in 1980 and in the role of president and CEO since 1996.

Just listing the building projects these two men oversaw would take up the rest of our space here. The new medical center in Pontiac and the Milestone Building project in Peoria are only two examples.

We can’t imagine the daily decisions they faced as they guided hundreds of employees and balanced financial bottom lines with the mission of The Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis to serve with the greatest care and love. We just know the new leaders — Dr. Michael Cruz at OSF Saint Francis and Bradley Solberg at OSF Saint James — have large shoes to fill.

As we welcome them, we express the gratitude of the diocese to Ochs and Steffen and wish them many happy years in retirement and God’s blessings including, of course, good health. — Thomas J. Dermody

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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