Annette M. Walker Named New Leader of St. Joseph Health

Visionary Executive Known for Innovation Will Work With Current CEO During Transition Period

Dec 14, 2015, 15:00 ET from St. Joseph Health

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- St. Joseph Health, a 16-hospital health system serving three states, has announced that Annette M. Walker, MHA, will succeed Deborah Proctor to lead the organization.  Proctor will continue to serve as President and CEO until a planned partnership with Providence Health & Services completes regulatory review, with Walker assuming added responsibilities during the transition period.

Under the combined organization planned with Providence, Walker will become division president of the St. Joseph Health entities serving California, Texas and New Mexico, which will become part of the new combined organization. As announced earlier, Rod Hochman, MD, will be the president and CEO of the new organization to be known as Providence St. Joseph Health, with Walker reporting to Hochman. 

"Annette is the rare mix of health care visionary as well as an experienced caregiver who is well-versed in hospital and system operations," says Proctor.  "She has earned the respect of all of us at St. Joseph Health through her intelligence, foresighted thinking and, most important of all, her ability to bring people together in a manner reflective of the values of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange." 

Walker's career spans more than 30 years, starting in the clinical laboratory and progressing to health system leadership. As the current SJH executive vice president of Strategic Services for St. Joseph Health, Walker guided the health system's strategic development process and led boards and executives to position the organization for the monumental shifts in American health care. Among her other accomplishments are the creation of an internal consulting office, development of the St. Joseph Health identity and launch of nationally recognized wellness initiatives and partnerships which led to new distributions channel supporting successful consumer and business-to-business strategies. 

Walker joined St. Joseph Health in 2005 after serving in leadership positions throughout Southern California health care. The author of numerous articles on health care delivery, she has received nationwide honors for her work, including Modern Healthcare's Innovation in Healthcare Technology Award, the California Hospital Association's Ritz E. Herman Innovator Award, and the Hospitals and Health Networks Innovator Award.

Walker holds a master's degree in health care administration from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor's degree in biology from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She and her husband Chuck are the parents of six children and grandparents of nine. 

About St. Joseph Health
St. Joseph Health (SJH) is one of the nation's top Catholic health systems, which serves communities throughout California, Texas and New Mexico. A $6 billion not-for-profit organization, St. Joseph Health consists of 16 hospitals, medical groups and physician organizations, home health agencies, hospice care, outpatient services, skilled nursing facilities, community outreach services and health and wellness centers. Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, SJH reaches out to care for the poor and vulnerable in each region that it serves. For more information, visit


SOURCE St. Joseph Health