Barnes-Jewish Hospital Names Richard J. Liekweg President

Jason Merrill

Aug. 3, 2009 – Richard Liekweg has been named group president of BJC HealthCare and president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, effective Sept. 14. Barnes-Jewish Hospital, a 1,252-bed nonprofit academic hospital, is the largest hospital in Missouri and is consistently ranked among the honor roll of America's best hospitals by U.S.News & World Report. Along with Washington University School of Medicine, it is a parent institution of the Siteman Cancer Center.

Liekweg comes to St. Louis after six years as chief executive officer and associate vice chancellor for the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center. In this position, Liekweg was responsible for overall management of the university’s 549-bed academic medical center, including two adult hospitals, child and adolescent psychiatric services, a regional burn center, a comprehensive solid-organ transplant program, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Shiley Eye Center and a Level I trauma center. UCSD Medical Center has 4,500 employees, 600 clinical faculty members and 700 residents.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital is St. Louis’ largest employer, with more than 9,300 employees and a 1,832-member medical staff. Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital is an 84-bed facility in Creve Coeur, Mo., with a unique mix of both community and academic physicians.

“Rich is recognized as a talented administrator and leader who establishes strong relationships with faculty and staff and understands the special missions of academic medical centers and community hospitals,” says Steven Lipstein, BJC HealthCare president and chief executive officer.  “We are excited to have him lead Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.”

At Barnes-Jewish, Liekweg will focus on enhancing the hospital’s reputation as a national leader in medicine by building relationships with Washington University School of Medicine and continuing clinical expansion efforts at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, all while maintaining already high standards of clinical quality and patient safety.

“Barnes-Jewish Hospital is one of the most highly regarded academic medical centers in the country,” Liekweg says. “I am excited to join and continue the mission of patient care, education and research that are cornerstones of the organization. I have a passion for the important roles of teaching and community hospitals and will ensure our staffs are able to continue providing high-quality care to our patients and are focused on continuous quality, patient safety and performance improvement.”  

Prior to joining UCSD, Liekweg spent more than 15 years in leadership positions at Duke University Health System, including administrative director for the department of pediatrics and assistant chief operating officer focused on children’s and women’s services, after which he was promoted to senior associate chief operating officer for Duke University Hospital. In 1999, after Duke acquired Durham Regional Hospital, Liekweg was tapped to be the chief operating officer responsible for the integration of Durham Regional into the University health system. Following the successful integration, he was appointed chief executive officer of Durham Regional Hospital.

Liekweg succeeds Andrew Ziskind, MD, who, after a four-year tenure as Barnes-Jewish Hospital president, moves to a newly created senior vice president role with BJC HealthCare, where he will coordinate systemwide preparations for healthcare reform.

Liekweg holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Virginia as well as a master's degree in health services administration and a master’s degree in business administration, both from the University of Michigan. He serves on a number of professional and community boards and was honored as a Modern Healthcare magazine Up&Comer in 2001.