Canfield to be Blessing’s next president/CEO

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Brian Canfield and Maureen Kahn.

QUINCY — Brian Canfield will become president/chief executive officer of Blessing Health upon the Oct. 6 retirement of Maureen Kahn.

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

Canfield joined Blessing in Dec. 2021 as chief operating officer of Blessing Health, assuming the additional duty of Blessing Hospital president in Aug. 2022.

“The promotion of the Blessing Hospital president to the president/CEO of Blessing Health is an element of the Blessing leadership succession plan,” Tim Koontz, chairman of the Board of Trustees for Blessing Corporate Services, said in a press release. “We could not ask for a better leader to follow Maureen Kahn than Brian Canfield.”

Canfield came to Blessing after nine years as chief operating officer at First Health of The Carolinas and Moore Regional Hospital, Pinehurst, N.C., where he was responsible for three acute care hospitals totaling 509 beds, a critical access hospital, and a staff of 4,500 employees and 950 volunteers. 

Canfield previously served for 28 years in the U.S. Army and Department of Defense. His last assignment was as CEO/commanding officer of Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, N.C. He was the first non-physician selected to command the 340-bed-capable tertiary care teaching hospital with eight multi-specialty ambulatory care and primary care medical home clinics serving a community of more than 185,000 patients.

Canfield also served in Afghanistan where he was responsible for planning, coordination and synchronization of 12 hospitals, 32 clinics, 14 forward surgical teams, and all ground and air medical evacuation resources in Afghanistan for over a half-million US military and partner nation forces.

Canfield holds master’s degrees in healthcare administration, business administration, and in national security and strategic studies. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

“I have worked with Maureen closely since I arrived at Blessing and learned much for her about this organization and the communities it serves. I am prepared and honored to lead this organization into the future, working side-by-side with our exceptional team,” Canfield said.

Upon her retirement, Kahn will have served 22 years with Blessing Health. She began her tenure in 2001 as Blessing Hospital’s Senior Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer.  Kahn became the president/chief executive officer of Blessing Hospital in 2005, and in 2014, she became the president/chief executive officer of Blessing Health and Blessing Hospital. 

“The region is fortunate to have Brian Canfield at the helm of Blessing Health,” Kahn said. “He is a leader with international experience with a focus on community needs.”

Kahn’s tenure included the expansion of services and technology designed to allow people to get the healthcare they need without having to travel out of the area. Accomplishments include:

  • Expansion of heart services, including the addition of cardiac electrophysiology;
  • The addition of orthopedics;
  • Acquisition of robotics to assist surgeons with the latest procedures; and
  • The opening of Moorman Pavilion and the Blessing Surgery Center. 

The quality of Blessing’s care has also been recognized numerous times during Kahn’s presidency, including by the Leapfrog Group for patient safety, U.S. News & World Report for High Performing Hospital status in a half-dozen areas of care, and The Commission on Cancer, a quality program of the American College of Surgeons. Blessing Hospital also achieved Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the highest national honor awarded for nursing excellence.

“Her leadership during the pandemic was phenomenal,” Koontz said. “Facing a disease no one had dealt with before, Blessing worked in concert with other providers to address the needs of the ill — including adding specialized patient rooms in almost a moment’s notice, creating a drive-thru facility for respiratory testing and care that flourishes today as the Blessing Express Clinic, and a free-standing molecular lab that decreased COVID test turnaround times from days to hours. Blessing improved the health of our communities, thanks in large part to Maureen Kahn’s calm and thoughtful guidance.”

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