St. Joseph’s Health CEO Kevin Slavin announces retirement

After 42 years of serving New Jersey, Kevin Slavin, the CEO and president of St. Joseph’s Health, announced he will retire at the end of 2023.

Slavin led the health system during one of the most challenging times in health care, serving as the CEO at St. Joseph’s throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He also served as chairperson of the board for the New Jersey Hospital Association during 2020, at the height of the pandemic, playing a critical role in the statewide response to COVID-19.

“Kevin has played an instrumental role in our continued success, expanding care throughout the region, leading us through the pandemic and sustaining our 155-year mission to the community. We are privileged to have worked with Kevin and are enormously grateful to him for his many contributions,” Wilfredo Fernandez, chairperson, St. Joseph’s Health board of trustees, said.

“It has been my great honor and privilege to lead St. Joseph’s,” Slavin stated. “I am proud of the organization we are today and the impact we’ve had on so many lives. St. Joseph’s is a remarkable family of extraordinary people, bolstered by our sponsors the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth. I am in awe of their compassion, their commitment to excellence and their resilience, and I am confident that St. Joseph’s will continue to grow and flourish in the years ahead.”

The Tuesday announcement from the Paterson-based health facility said a leadership transition process will take place over the next 12 months and the St. Joseph’s Health board of trustees has convened a search committee to oversee a national search for the next CEO and president.

Slavin will continue to lead St. Joseph’s Health during the search, working closely with the board, his leadership team and many colleagues to implement critical priorities in order to ensure a successful year ahead for the health system.

“Kevin is giving us plenty of time to conduct a comprehensive search and prepare the organization for his departure,” Fernandez said. “The board extends immense gratitude to him for his exemplary leadership.”

“Kevin helped steer us through one of the most important periods for health care in our state’s history, and we will forever be grateful for his leadership,” Cathy Bennett, CEO and president of the New Jersey Hospital Association, said.

During Slavin’s tenure at St. Joseph’s, he guided the organization through several major accomplishments and milestones, including St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson becoming the first hospital in the U.S. to launch an Alternatives to Opioids Program, known as ALTO, a highly successful and unique approach to acute pain management without the use of opioids.

He also spearheaded a partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health that expanded home care, rehabilitation and cancer care to northwestern New Jersey; and, in 2022, under Slavin’s leadership, the health system opened a new 140,000-square-foot ambulatory facility in Totowa. His impact locally includes several award-winning community outreach initiatives to address the social determinants of health in Passaic County — from food insecurity and anti-violence to the launch of New Jersey’s first supportive housing facility adjacent to the campus of St. Joseph’s Health.