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Health Care Hall of Fame

Fred Brown
Inducted in 2014

Fred Brown
1940-
Inducted in 2014


An integrated healthcare delivery system was a foreign concept to many in the industry back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. As hospitals within the same region competed with each other--as well as with other providers--Fred Brown was one of a handful of hospital executives at the time who saw the potential benefit in combining the resources of many different healthcare partners to create a comprehensive system of care for the communities they served.

Those who have worked with him and for him over his 50-year-plus career say it was Brown’s vision to provide a continuum of care that led him to initiate the 1993 merger of St. Louis-based Christian Health Services—where he was CEO—with Barnes Hospital and the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis. It was the union of those three organizations that laid the foundation for what would eventually become BJC HealthCare, which Brown ran for the next seven years as founding CEO and vice chairman.

With 13 acute-care hospitals in Missouri and Illinois, BJC was one of the first systems to incorporate teaching hospitals, as well as long-term care and home health services, a medical school and behavioral healthcare into its network. The system has since expanded to serve more than 200,000 residents in the St. Louis area, with a staff of nearly 30,000 at 200 care sites, including hospitals, home-care services, hospice, long-term care facilities, doctors’ offices and rehabilitation centers.

Brown said the merger wasn’t about creating a large health system but was more a response to the many changes going on in healthcare at the time. “We saw the introduction of managed care in the 1980s, the introduction of the for-profit movement in the country,” he said. “And I thought that one of my responsibilities was to ensure that there was sustainability within the organization over a period of time.”

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