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St. Francis Medical Center Appoints Chief Administrative Officer, Expands Partnership with Lourdes Health System

VC low resVincent M. Costantino, MBA, has been appointed as Chief Administrative Officer at St. Francis Medical Center, responsible for the hospital’s strategy and management.

Costantino comes to St. Francis with a 15-year history of experience in healthcare operations. Prior to St. Francis, Costantino was with Aria Health (formerly Frankford Health System) in Philadelphia, where he was Executive Hospital Director, providing business development and operational leadership for the system’s Torresdale and Frankford campuses.

Prior to his tenure at Aria, Costantino served as Senior Vice President of Hospital Operations and Chief Operating Officer for Raritan Bay Medical Center. While at Raritan Bay, Costantino oversaw hospital operations for its Perth Amboy and Old Bridge hospitals.

“St. Francis is an innovative healthcare leader in New Jersey and I look forward to developing and growing its business operations,” said Costantino. “I am honored to take on this leadership role and to guide St. Francis in delivering the outstanding care our patients have come to expect.”

Costantino earned his master’s degree in Business Administration from Rutgers University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

Christy Stephenson, who served as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, and Executive Vice President, Strategic and Clinical Transformation, will continue working on strategic and population health projects for the system. Stephenson is credited for her guidance and leadership.

In addition to the appointment of Costantino, St. Francis Medical Center is expanding its partnership with Lourdes Health System, its sister institution through Trinity Health.                      

Trenton-based St. Francis Medical Center and Camden-based Lourdes Health System have worked together as partners in care, serving the Southern New Jersey community for more than 65 years. The two medical institutions are within close proximity to one another, and have well-regarded heart programs and shared billing services.

“It only became natural that our two organizations would be drawn together even further to explore ways we can work together,” said David Knowlton, Chairman of the Board, St. Francis Medical Center. “By forging a solid partnership and combining our strengths, it is our goal that together, we can affect real and positive change, making a difference for the patients and Southern New Jersey communities that we serve.”

One of those strengths for both St. Francis and Lourdes is its cardiovascular service lines. “Our two organizations have been collaborating to develop a regional center of excellence for cardiovascular services,” explained Knowlton. “Together, we are poised to have one of the most extensive and busiest minimally invasive cardiac surgery programs in the country.”

In 2014, Lourdes was recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery and among the top in the nation for overall cardiac care. Lourdes was also named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics.

St. Francis Medical Center has an outstanding record in patient safety, receiving an “A” in the 2014 Fall Leapfrog Hospital Survey. It was recognized as a Top Performer for the key quality measures of Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Pneumonia and Surgical Care by The Joint Commission. St. Francis was  named a Top Hospital in New Jersey by Castle Connolly and a  2015 Top Hospital for  Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery by Inside Jersey magazine. St. Francis is the only hospital in Mercer County that provides cardiac surgery, and offers a state-of-the-art hybrid surgical suite that allows for interventional and surgical procedures to be performed in the same operating room.

Through the partnership, Lourdes and St. Francis will have a combined cardiothoracic (CT) surgery team that provides services at both Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and St. Francis Medical Center. The team will be led by nationally renowned physicians Atiq Rehman, MD, FACS, who recently joined Lourdes’ staff as its director of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery and as director for Quality and Performance Improvement; as well as Robert Poston, M.D., who recently joined St. Francis as Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery. Both are well-known for their highly specialized expertise in the use of robotics for minimally invasive, sternal-sparing surgery. Together, these surgeons create one of the most experienced minimally invasive CT surgery teams in the U.S.

Another shared service for the two organizations is LHS Health Network, LLC, Lourdes’ Accountable Care Organization (ACO). Employed primary care physicians at both organizations will be partnered in LHS Health Network, which offers pay-for-performance models with Medicare and commercial payers. In 2014, Becker’s Hospital Review named LHS Health Network to its annual list of “100 Accountable Care Organizations to Know.” Both Lourdes and St. Francis participate in community health partnerships that serve to support population health goals: Lourdes with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers and St. Francis with The Trenton Health Team.


“Having an expanded partnership between Lourdes and St. Francis makes perfect sense at this time,” explains Alexander J. Hatala, President and CEO of Lourdes Health System. “Within Trinity Health, our parent organization, we are focusing on the ‘Triple Aim’ of better value, better access and lower cost. In order for our hospitals to remain viable into the future, we must work together and capitalize on our strengths. We are pleased to be working with Vince and his team as we further our mutual business goals and operations.”  

About St. Francis Medical Center

St. Francis Medical Center, a member of Trinity Health, is an acute care teaching hospital recently ranked by Consumer Reports as one of the top ten hospitals in New Jersey for safety and number one in Mercer County. Most noted for its Cardiac Surgery program and the first accredited Stroke Center in Mercer County, St. Francis features regional services including the Heart Hospital, a Regional Cancer Center, a Sleep Disorder Center and an extensive Community Outreach Program.

St. Francis’ partners in care include LIFE St. Francis (Living Independently For Elders) and LifeCare Physicians, PC, which includes Primary Care and Surgery throughout the region, as well as Lourdes Health System (also a part of Trinity Health). St. Francis Medical Center and Lourdes Health System work together closely in serving the South Jersey community.

About Lourdes Health System

The Lourdes Health System is one of the region’s leading healthcare providers, recognized nationally for excellence in clinical care and service to the community. The system has two general acute care hospitals, located in Camden and Willingboro, New Jersey, and a network of outpatient facilities and physician practices located throughout Southern New Jersey.

Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center is a destination hospital for heart care, recognized consistently by Healthgrades for excellence in many service areas. It is the only hospital in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Delaware ever to have been awarded the American Hospital Association’s top honor for excellence in community outreach services. Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County is well-regarded for its long-term acute care unit, as well as its behavioral health services, including a specialized program for military service members, veterans and their family members.


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