Harbarger on a Habitat for Humanity build.

St. Dominic Health Services President Claude Harbarger has announced his intention to retire, effective June 30.

Harbarger’s full statement follows:

“It is with a sense of both profound gratitude and heartfelt emotion that I write to you today to inform you of my intention to retire as President of St. Dominic Health Services (SDHS) on June 30, 2019. I leave with much gratitude for the privilege I have had for the past 32 years to serve in the St. Dominic’s ministry of Christian healing. At the same time, a sense of heartfelt emotion exists to leave this ministry and my cherished relationships with the many people at St. Dominic’s who I so value and appreciate.

You will note this decision coordinates with the sponsorship transition of St. Dominic’s to the Franciscan Calais Ministries and the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS). After thoughtful deliberation, I believe the timing of this decision will best facilitate St. Dominic’s positioning into the FMOLHS organizational structure, and it has been made in full and cordial collaboration with the Dominican Sisters, the SDHS Board of Directors and leadership at FMOLHS.

I am pleased to announce that Lester K. Diamond, who serves as President of St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital, will also begin serving as President of St. Dominic Health Services on July 1, 2019. Lester will fulfill this dual role as the functions of SDHS transition into the FMOLHS organizational structure and processes in the future.  I am leaving with every confidence that the St. Dominic’s team and its leadership are positioned to successfully carry on this profound ministry in the days ahead.

In reflection over my career at St. Dominic’s, God’s goodness to me is clearly evident both in His opening the door for me to come to St. Dominic Hospital in May, 1987 and in His leading and carrying me over the years. I am profoundly grateful to the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, the boards, medical staff, leadership, residents, volunteers, auxiliary members and fellow employees – in short, to each of you – who have labored so diligently to keep the light of St. Dominic’s ministry shining brightly.

In closing, thank you again for allowing me the privilege of serving with you in the St. Dominic’s ministry of Christian healing. I leave you gratefully realizing what a rare and special vocational calling I have been blessed to enjoy for so many years at St. Dominic’s.”

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