Pam Davis announces retirement effective June 30, 2017

November 17, 2016
Pam Davis

System CEO Pam Davis has announced her decision to retire from Edward-Elmhurst Health effective June 30, 2017. After more than 28 years leading Edward, and subsequently Edward-Elmhurst, Davis recently notified the System Board of Trustees about her plans.

Davis said, “It is difficult to adequately express how wonderful these years have been for me. I am so proud to be associated with all of you – dedicated colleagues and friends who help people lead healthier lives and comfort patients in their most vulnerable hours. Thank you for everything that you have done for me. My heart is full.” 

Edward-Elmhurst Board Chair Ron Schubel said, “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Pam for her outstanding contributions to this healthcare system, and to the communities we serve. She has been a catalyst for so many advancements in healthcare in this region and beyond.” 

Mastro, Dunley Promoted
The Board announced the appointment of Edward-Elmhurst veteran Mary Lou Mastro, MS, RN, FACHE, as System CEO of Edward-Elmhurst Health effective July 1, 2017. Davis and Mastro will be System Co-CEOs Jan. 1 to June 30 to facilitate a smooth transition. Hospital CEOs and System Executive Vice Presidents will report to Mastro.

Schubel said that after June 30 Davis will continue as CEO Emeritus through 2017 reporting to the Edward-Elmhurst Board of Trustees.

Schubel said, “We have been working with Pam for some time on an orderly and thoughtful succession plan which we have activated upon her decision. We are extremely pleased to announce Mary Lou as the new leader of our system. She will provide continuity and will lead us into a successful future.” 

Mastro joined Davis at Edward in 1988. An inspiring leader throughout her tenure, Mastro has held many operational and management roles.  She served previously as President of Linden Oaks at Edward and is currently President & CEO of Elmhurst Hospital where she has led record volume growth and financial stability. With more than 35 years working in hospitals, Mastro brings extensive experience in hospital strategy, operations, planning, licensure and regulatory compliance, public policy and advocacy, physician relations, new business development, and patient care.  

Davis added, “I’m extremely pleased that Lou has been named as my successor. She is a tremendous leader and colleague who will do great things at Edward-Elmhurst.”

Pamela Dunley, MBA, MS, RN, CENP, has been appointed President & CEO of Elmhurst Hospital effective Jan. 1. Dunley has served as the Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer of Elmhurst Hospital for the past ten years. She joined Elmhurst Hospital in 1997 and has served in various leadership roles. She was a member of the executive leadership team of Elmhurst that planned and built the state-of-the-art replacement hospital which opened in 2011. Dunley was instrumental in Elmhurst’s journey to become a Planetree Designated Organization and achieve Magnet Status for Nursing Excellence.

Along with Dunley’s appointment, two other executives have been promoted at Elmhurst Hospital effective Jan. 1: Laura Eslick, MBA, PMP, FACHE to Chief Operating Officer, and Jean Lydon, RN, MS-MBA, AOCN, to Chief Nursing Officer.
Schubel added, “Pam Davis has built a terrific leadership team around her, which is allowing us to make this transition smoothly and in a timely manner at the system and hospital levels.”

Davis’ Legacy: The Transformation
When Pam Davis arrived at Edward Hospital in 1988, she quickly established a reputation as an innovative and dynamic executive. During her tenure, she led Edward Hospital’s transformation from a small community hospital with an average reputation into a regional medical center rated among the most preferred hospitals in the state with numerous national accolades. Today Edward-Elmhurst Health employs nearly 8,500 and has revenues of $1.3 billion.

Davis recounts, “When I took this job, the first few years were the most difficult of my career.  I was young and impatient and had lots of ideas.  After some settling in, our physicians and staff bought into the vision – to become the best provider in the region. And, thanks to so many current and former staff and physicians, that vision has become a reality. We have faced and overcome many challenges, all while having a ton of fun along the way. And while we take the work we do seriously, you can never take yourself too seriously.”

Mastro said, “Pam’s biggest asset is her ability to take calculated risks and succeed where others may shy away. She is fearless and tenacious and has tremendous integrity. That has led to many innovations and stronger healthcare for our communities. She was a major force behind the merger of Elmhurst and Edward – and it has exceeded expectations.” 

At one point in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Davis and her leadership team oversaw so much development that a new campaign called the “Growth Zone” was established to help communicate the multitude of expansions and renovations. Innovations and “firsts” under her leadership include:

  • Opening the first medically-based fitness center in DuPage County
  • Building the first all-private inpatient rooms in Illinois
  • Purchasing Linden Oaks and remaining committed to behavioral health
  •  Creating the first-of-its-kind Heart Hospital
  • Championing the launch of Access DuPage to help care for the working poor
  • Achieving Magnet Status for Nursing Excellence
  • Developing world class stroke care through an affiliation with Northwestern Medicine
  • Establishing a Plainfield campus
  • Founding Illinois Health Partners accountable care organization with DuPage Medical Group
  • Overseeing the successful merger between Edward and Elmhurst Hospitals 

In 2004, Davis and Edward Hospital President & CEO Bill Kottmann helped uncover corruption in state government during the Edward Plainfield Hospital application process that led to the conviction of several political operatives and ultimately the imprisonment of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Davis was chosen ABC World News “Person of the Week” with Charles Gibson for her undercover work with the FBI, and received the prestigious Naperville CAPS Public Service Award for exceptional service to the community “for her courage and integrity in taking a personal stand against corruption.” She was named “2005 Person of the Year” for Naperville by the Daily Herald.

Kottmann, Davis’ colleague since 1991, said, “She has an amazing spirit, and she has developed a great rapport with the medical staff and employees throughout her tenure. She is truly one of a kind and has been a wonderful leader for all of us. And she has a great sense of humor and curiosity which makes it fun to come to work.” 

Davis added, “I’ve known since a young age that I wanted to run a hospital. Both of my parents were physicians, and I was fascinated with how everything worked as I tagged along on rounds at the local hospital. I’ve lived my dream job.”