Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital president Tony Schwarm started his health care career as a patient care tech 40 years ago. He steadily moved up the ranks to become assistant administrator at Fayette County Hospital in Vandalia, Illinois, and then president of Clay County Hospital in Flora, Illinois. He then became president of Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital in spring 2005.
Because both Fayette County and Clay County hospitals were part of Christian Health Services, which would eventually join with the former Barnes and Jewish hospitals to form BJC, Schwarm has spent all of his 40-year career with BJC and its forerunners. He recently was honored for his service by his colleagues and MBSH board members.
After 40 years, he says it has been — and still is — a privilege to work for BJC. “In my current role, I am so fortunate to work with an accomplished management team and the most engaged group of providers,” he says.
He appreciates the opportunities he’s had to be part of major building projects in all three of the facilities in which he’s worked. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see the exterior transformation while working on the quality of care on the inside of the facilities,” he says. “BJC’s commitment and investment in rebuilding the Sullivan facility has been tremendous.”
That commitment and investment has extended beyond the hospital walls, Schwarm says, impacting patients in Sullivan and surrounding communities. “I’m especially proud of improving the reputation of the health care provided in the communities we serve, as well as the recruiting and retention of the provider group at Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital.
“The BJC brand is highly regarded in the communities we serve, and the top-notch specialists visiting our facilities allow the members of our community access close to home.”
Schwarm says additional quality enhancements made possible as part of BJC include eICU/telehealth coverage, as well as stroke and STEMI designations, to name just a few.
As he looks to the future, he hopes to continue to build upon the hospital’s school partnerships, weekend clinic and adult care programs in an even more patient-centric way; expand the services offered through telehealth; and leverage the already outstanding provider program to recruit and retain additional providers to care for the community.
Pictured from left are Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital operations vice president Lisa Lochner, MBSH president Tony Schwarm and BJC group president Sandra Van Trease