As Maureen Kahn wraps up her tenure of leading Blessing Health, she sits down with MRN’s J. Robert Gough to discuss the challenges, the successes and some of the regrets of her more than 20 years at the helm.

From Blessing Health:

Maureen Kahn, MSN, MHA, RN, president/chief executive officer, Blessing Health, retires July 1 after 22 years in leadership at Blessing, the last eight years as its system president/CEO.

Blessing Health consists of Blessing and Illini Community Hospitals, a provider group and network of rural health clinics, college of nursing and health sciences, charitable foundation and durable medical equipment/biomedical/linen services businesses. Blessing serves west central Illinois, northeast Missouri and southeast Iowa with an employee team of nearly 4,000.

Kahn’s career began in 1975 as a registered nurse in a cancer research unit at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA. 

“When I was 6 years old I had my tonsils removed,” she recalled. “When I came home from the hospital I announced that I was going to be a nurse when I grew up. I never changed my course.”

Kahn earned a diploma from Frankford Hospital School of Nursing, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Gwynedd Mercy University, a master’s degree in health care administration from Hamilton University and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix. She held various leadership positions in Philadelphia, New York and Boston during her career.

After a successful healthcare career on the east coast, Kahn joined Blessing Hospital in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer, was promoted to President/Chief Executive Officer of Blessing Hospital in 2005, and in 2014 became the President/Chief Executive Officer of Blessing Health and Blessing Hospital. 

“My goal has been to grow patient care and keep the focus on people first,” she said. “I wanted people to have what they needed, making sure they did not have to go far to get the best healthcare. If we could do it here, and it made sense, I wanted to make sure that we provided it here. The people of this region are important to me.”

Specifically, Kahn sites the following as Blessing Health’s significant accomplishments over the past 22 years:

  • growth of the heart program – including the addition of cardiac electrophysiology;
  • creation of medical-surgical and OB/GYN hospitalist programs and intensivist program;
  • establishment of orthopedic care; and traumatologist programs in orthopedic, neurosurgery and general surgery; 
  • medical technology updates including surgical robotics, construction of hybrid operating room and expansion and relocation of ambulatory surgery center;
  • achievement of nursing Magnet status at Blessing Hospital;
  • enhancement of Blessing Health’s medical group through strong provider recruitment and acquisition of Hannibal Clinic;
  • expansion of urgent care with establishment of Walk-In and Express clinics;
  • construction and opening of the Blessing Health Center 4800 Maine in Quincy, a multi-specialty campus and imaging center;
  • expansion of rural and specialty clinics and of on-site child care for children of staff; and
  • response to the COVID pandemic, which included creation of the region’s only molecular lab.

“I will always remember the two-and-a-half years of COVID and the brave staff who stood by their community every single day. Their commitment and resilience were amazing. Their strength was needed by all,” Kahn concluded. “I am very proud of what we accomplished.”

Kahn is a member of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association’s Political Action Committee, of the Vizient/Mid-America Executive Board, the American College of Healthcare Executives and the BJC Collaborative Board. She holds an honorary Doctorate of Healthcare Administration degree from Culver-Stockton College, Canton, Missouri, and is a member of the Studer Group’s “Fire Starter Hall of Fame”. Studer Group works with healthcare organizations around the world to help them achieve and sustain exceptional improvement in critical organizational outcomes. The Fire Starter Hall of Fame award recognizes a leader who, through their dedication and passion, guides and supports an organization’s commitment to excellence while keeping the true spirit of an organization alive and flourishing.

Kahn’s local board memberships included the Great River Economic Development Foundation, Culver-Stockton College and Mercantile Bank.   

She and her husband, Barney, have four children who live in New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Illinois, and seven grandchildren.


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Maureen Kahn, Blessing Health


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