President and Chief Executive Officer
“Every hospital has a story. Ours has always been one of hope, of rejuvenation, of affirmation that people in this community and every community all deserve the same access to high quality healthcare. We are focused on seeing and treating the whole person. We exist to ensure dignity for every person. This mission, in this part of Chicago, is essential and I feel a tremendous sense of duty to help St. Bernard carry it forward for decades.”
A strategist, prolific fundraiser, policy expert and staunch advocate for closing socioeconomic disparities, Charles A. Holland, Jr. has long been the driving force behind St. Bernard’s remarkable sustainability since joining the organization in 1998 and being promoted to President and CEO in January of 2013. He has delivered an inspired vision and renewed emphasis to modernizing the hospital campus and clinical capabilities, raising quality measures and developing talent. Holland is equally determined that the integral St. Bernard Catholic identity, strong sense of mission and vibrant culture remain even more relevant to the patient experience.
One of a handful of America’s important voices championing inner city community healthcare, Holland has boldly navigated this 115-year organization through a unique and dynamic chapter in its history. At a time when many smaller hospitals cut services and merge with larger systems, St. Bernard has done neither and continues to invest in areas Holland sees as fundamental to remaining a pillar on the south side. Under his direction, the Hospital has significantly expanded its offerings and launched dozens of vital patient education programs for illness prevention, promotion of wellness, and addressing social determinants of health.
Holland’s career hallmark is his extraordinary sense of duty and urgency to fill unmet patient needs. As leader at one of the few remaining religious and independent hospitals in Chicago, he has shown an unwavering commitment to be responsive to diverse and growing health, economic, and emotional requirements of many nearby residents. Among numerous accomplishments in his 21-year tenure, his most ambitious neighborhood response has been the construction and opening in 2016 of the gleaming new Ambulatory Care Center, a contemporary, state-of-the-art, three-story facility that has already grown outpatient volume almost 15% and transformed healthcare delivery in Englewood. Rather than travel long distances to multiple locations for specialty care, something residents struggled to do, patients now can stay close to home and conveniently receive the following: advanced imaging and comprehensive diagnostic screenings, a variety of women’s health services, physical therapy regimens, a pharmacy, and many more clinical offerings - all under roof.
In a move just as dramatic, and one that underscores St. Bernard’s long history of providing the community with essential health services that previously proved nearly impossible to access, Holland stewarded the growth of several scarce service lines almost non-existent for Medicaid and Medicare recipients – dental and behavioral health. The decision to amplify dental care was formed from information learned from Holland’s launch of a Pediatric Mobile Van travelling in and around the community. Unrelenting demand for even routine treatments like fillings and extractions convinced him to establish a significant and robust clinical practice on the Hospital campus. Now physicians and staff can provide as many children and adults as possible the opportunity to receive basic and complex oral care – with a unique focus on the thousands of special needs children and adults who find it nearly impossible to get appropriate treatment. Just as noteworthy, St. Bernard has answered the call around behavioral health. As severe social service cuts increased and more patients with mental health challenges came through the Emergency Department, Holland hired more physicians while adding dedicated space and additional inpatient beds to provide holistic care to vulnerable patient populations.
Under his leadership, Holland also solidified the Hospital’s stature as a developmental and economic engine in the Englewood community. The largest employer by far, his strong emphasis on service culture training provides valuable professional education to hundreds of staff, equipping them with job skills for life. Additional economic contributions to the St. Bernard community stem from his work on Bernard Place, the New Homes for Chicago project consisting of 77 units of affordable homes, which won the prestigious Richard H. Driehaus Award for Outstanding Nonprofit Neighborhood Real Estate Project in 2004. Holland’s focus on enhancing the St. Bernard donor base led to raising more than $4 million in funding for critical new programs. As the leader of St. Bernard’s planning efforts, Holland is the point person for the development of the hospital’s ambitious Facility Master Plan.
Prior to joining St. Bernard, Holland worked in a variety of managerial capacities, with expertise in strategic planning, communications, fundraising and business. He brings experience from the non-profit and for- profit sectors, including the Archdiocese of Chicago (under Joseph Cardinal Bernardin), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Field Museum, Montgomery Ward & Co. and the Montgomery Ward Foundation, and a Boston health planning council. In 2011 Holland completed the Ministerial Leadership Preparation Program of the Francis Cardinal George Center for Ministerial Development, a program designed to prepare lay leaders to assume leadership of Catholic healthcare organizations. This followed a Master of Arts in social service administration from the University of Chicago and in health law from Loyola University Chicago. He earned a Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree in sociology and social work from the University of Akron.