CoxHealth Steve Edwards.jpg

CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards announced he will be leaving this role as leader of the health organization in May 2022.

He started out working on the grounds crew, and CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards announced he will be going out the same way when he steps down from leading the health system on May 31, 2022.

“I plan to don a T-shirt and shorts and work with our grounds crew,” Edwards wrote in a letter to CoxHealth staff. “At the end of that day, I will retire as president and CEO. I started on the grounds crew and that is where I would like to finish my career.”

Edwards began in leadership at CoxHealth in 1992, working his way through the healthcare system until being named CEO in 2012. Edwards is the second member of his family to lead CoxHealth, his father Charlie Edwards was also CEO of the organization.

“We have been deeply fortunate to have Steve serve CoxHealth’s patients and employees, and the community as a whole, especially through periods of great change,” chairman of the CoxHealth Board of Directors Rob Fulp said in a statement. “He will be greatly missed, but we will forever be impacted by his dedication to do right by the community he cares about.”

The CoxHealth Board of Directors has formed a search committee to find a new president and CEO before Edwards leaves in May.

“We take the responsibility of finding the next leader very seriously,” Fulp said. “Our leaders have frequently been found from within our health system, and we know the quality of talent we have at CoxHealth. However, our priority is to find the best person for the job, whether they are currently at CoxHealth or not. We will search with intentionality and focus on this mission.”

Edwards announced in a letter to CoxHealth staff about his retirement that during the last year while he was leading the hospital’s COVID-19 response, he was having a private battle with cancer. 

“​​I was privileged to receive amazing care guided both by our team at CoxHealth and the Siteman Cancer Center. After successful surgery, I am recovering well and I feel strong. However, in this cancer journey I was blessed to gain perspective, which affirmed my decision to retire.”

Edwards also told staff he felt they could find the next CEO from within, but that it was ultimately “a decision for our board to make.”

“Our team is loaded with talented people, tested and forged into amazing leaders through the pandemic,” Edwards wrote. “It is time to let them lead.”

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