SGCMH names new CEO


Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital welcomes new CEO, Dr. Steve Pautler. In making the appointment, Rodney Scherer, SGCMH Board President, said Pautler brings to the table a diverse background in healthcare, including Critical Access Hospital experience.

“Steve's leadership style mirrors the direction that SGCMH has been working to achieve,” said Scherer. “Steve has experience in nearly everything we have implemented, and service lines that we are looking to expand.”

Scherer said Tom Keim will be sadly missed.

“Tom has done a tremendous job leading SGCMH during his 13-year tenure,” he said. “The Board wants to thank Tom for the passion he has instilled in each and every employee, and the dedication he showed day in and day out. Tom is retiring and leaving the hospital in great shape and the board feels Steve has the same passion and dedication we are accustomed to at SGCMH.”

Pautler comes to SGCMH from Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrville, TX, just outside of San Antonio. He has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. Louis University, Master of Health Administration from Washington University, and recently a Doctor of Professional Studies from Albany Medical College in New York.

Pautler said he had been waiting for this Ste. Genevieve position to become available.

“I had originally moved to Texas in 2007 and within just a few weeks I was contacted by the recruiter who placed me there,” Pautler explained. “He said the CEO position in Ste. Genevieve had opened up and asked if I was interested. Of course, I was, but I had already made a commitment. So I’ve literally been waiting for 13 years for this role to open up again. Tom has done such a great job and I can’t imagine having a better setup for success to promote and contribute to the health of the community.”

Pautler has local ties to this area--about as local as you can get.

“I grew up on the family farm just outside of Chester, Illinois,” he said. “The family has mostly moved on. I was a Chester Yellow Jacket and really enjoyed the area and missed things like row crops, real trees and the Mississippi River. There are so many things that are great about this opportunity and the community. People are so immediately friendly and welcoming both in the hospital and the community.”

Healthcare is always changing, and that’s what Pautler enjoys.

“There’s no such thing as a time when healthcare is static,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I moved from bedside nursing into administration, because I kept seeing new opportunities. The health needs of the community drive the programs that I try to design. An idea that will work in one community won’t work in another place because people don’t necessarily get sick from heart disease or cancer at the same rate. Being careful to protect what has made SGCMH successful while looking for new opportunities is very important.”

Pautler plans to take some time to learn why things have succeeded at SGCMH and protect those things that have made the organization a success.

“I need to learn that first before I start moving out and offering different opportunities,” he said. “Keep the friendliness and culture, but there are things I think we can do together that will contribute towards the health of the community and growth of this organization successfully.”

Healthcare runs deep in Pautler’s family as his mother was a pharmacy tech in the Navy during World War II; his sister is a retired nurse; and his two daughters are nurses.

“That’s really what drives everything I do in administration,” Pautler said. “My job is to make it easier for the people who are doing the bedside care to do their work. That’s really why I do this. I love seeing things develop over time, and I love seeing improvements in the health of the community.”

The opportunity to improve healthcare overtime is very exciting to Pautler and he is appreciative of the support he’s finding at SGCMH.

“There’s a great leadership team here that is staying and even Tom Kem is staying in the community,” Pautler said. “That’s a key success factor for me to be able to call him on the phone and ask him questions. He’s been nothing but supportive in every measure.”
And starting a new job during a pandemic could be challenging, but Pautler is pleased how SGCMH and community have been handling it.

“It’s funny that many of the things we’re doing now to protect ourselves were things that people did in 1918 or during the London plague of the 1600s—social distancing and protective masks,” he said. “Those things that seem to be universal and eternal that help people, prevent illness and protect themselves are still important today. The incidences of disease has been fairly low in this area for exactly those reasons, and that makes a big difference.”

What does this CEO do in his spare time?

“I recently completed my doctorate, so I’m relearning how to have spare time,” he said. “I had been spending quite a few years with my son’s scouting troop and so lots of weekends were spent outdoors eating over an open fire. I have a passion for reading, running 5 and 10K races and riding his bicycle long distances.”

Pautler plans to live within the city of Ste. Genevieve and will begin his new position on August 12.

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