New CEO named for Mercy Health Network


For The Catholic Messenger

WEST DES MOINES — Bob Ritz has been named CEO of Mercy Health Network (MHN), its board of directors announced May 2. Ritz, who has led Mercy Des Moines as president since 2013, will assume his new post July 1.


“Bob has boundless energy, unquestionable integrity, and commitment to our ministries, drive, focus and compassion. He uses all of his talents to build high performing teams and I am excited for the future of Mercy Health Network under his leadership,” said Dave Vellinga, who announced his retirement as CEO in November.

Dean Swindle, MHN board member, said: “Bob has done an excellent job leading his team in adapting to the constant changes in health care and transitioning from a volume-based environment to focus on value and health for our patients.” Swindle also serves as president of enterprise business lines and is the chief financial officer for Catholic Health Initiatives.


“Bob has a history of creating a next-level vision for the Catholic Health Care systems he leads,” said Sally Jeffcoat, MHN board president and executive vice president, West/Midwest Group Trinity Health.

MHN, based in West Des Moines, is an integrated system of hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities dedicated to delivering outstanding health care services and improving the health of people throughout Iowa and contiguous areas.  MHN and its two owner-members own and operate eight medical centers and other services in six major markets in Iowa — Clinton, Des Moines, Dubuque, Mason City, Sioux City and Waterloo/ Cedar Falls – and community hospitals in seven other locations. MHN has 27 affiliated organizations, including Mercy Iowa City, an affiliation announced just last week.

MHN was founded in 1998 under a joint operating agreement between two of the largest Catholic, not-for-profit health organizations in the United States: Catholic Health Initiatives, based in Englewood, Colo., and Trinity Health, based in Livonia, Mich.  MHN includes more than 3,200 licensed hospital beds, employs more than 17,000 people and has annual operating revenues of more than $2.5 billion.

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