Mercy Announces New Leaders to Enhance Services in Neurosciences, Surgery and GI, Women and Children

January 8, 2024

ST. LOUIS – Mercy is ushering in a new era of patient-focused care with the introduction of three leaders to spearhead specialty service lines – Brian Connor, neurosciences; Michelle Fortune, surgery and gastroenterology (GI); Dawn Martin, women and children. They join Matt Wright, who leads orthopedics and sports medicine, and Dana Haynie, focused on cancer care, as service line presidents.

Mercy’s strategic shift to performance divisions – teams focused on specific tasks to provide patients with a seamless, coordinated experience – includes primary care, specialty service lines and operations. These new leaders will improve patient access across Mercy, while developing impactful strategies, identifying areas for investment and improving performance.

Mercy doctor's coat Brian Connor, Mercy service line president, Neurosciences.

Connor, who now leads neurosciences, brings experience from his role as chief operating officer at Health First in Melbourne, Florida. His leadership spans various health systems in Florida, Oklahoma and Texas, with notable experience at the Oklahoma Stroke & Neurological Institute. With a background in respiratory therapy, he prioritizes connecting with frontline health care workers and fostering a culture of teamwork and excellence.

Mercy doctor's coat Michelle Fortune, Mercy service line president, surgery and GI.

Fortune, the new leader for surgery and GI services, arrives from St. Luke’s Hospital in Columbus, North Carolina, where she served as chief executive officer. With experience in leading outpatient surgery centers, perioperative services and anesthesia at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina, and National Surgical Hospitals in Chicago, Illinois, Fortune is well prepared to guide the surgery and GI teams and collaborate across services.

Mercy doctor's coat Dawn Martin, Mercy service line president, women and children.

Martin, assuming responsibility for the women and children service line, was most recently president and CEO of Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola, Florida, where she led a 586-bed hospital with an embedded children’s hospital and women’s care center. With additional experience in Ascension hospitals in Connecticut and Tennessee, she has a strong background in Catholic health care, leading surgery centers, outpatient facilities and establishing steering councils for key service lines.

“Our goal is to provide a consistently positive experience for our patients and consumers across Mercy’s many states,” said Dr. Jeff Ciaramita, Mercy president of specialty service lines. “With the collaborative efforts of Brian, Dana, Matt, Michelle and Dawn, together with our regional teams, we are well positioned to enhance and rapidly expand our quality care in each community. This strategic approach will provide our patients with increased access to low-cost, high-quality health care services everywhere that Mercy serves."

Mercy is actively interviewing candidates for the final service line president position in cardiovascular care, reinforcing the commitment to comprehensive and integrated health care services.