Mickus juggles roles at Mercy, Catholic Healthcare PartnersWritten by Megan Schmidt | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Juggling responsibilities as CEO of a seven-hospital health care system while also serving as executive vice president of its parent organization may seem overwhelming, but there is one thing that helps Steven Mickus fulfill a role that goes on “all day long” — the power of prayer.
“I pray regularly about all the things I do,” Mickus, president of Mercy Health Partners, who last month was named divisional president of the new Northwest Ohio Division of Catholic Healthcare Partners, said. “I’m thankful for the strength the Lord gives me and the intellect, interpersonal skills and high energy to do my job.”
Mickus, who began his career with Mercy Health Partners in 1995 as chief operating officer at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, now oversees 13,000 employees in Toledo, Lima and Lorain for Catholic Healthcare Partners.
Originally from New Jersey, Mickus got his start in hospital administration when he graduated with a master’s degree in business administration from George Washington University and went on to complete a two-year residency at Borgess Health in Kalamazoo, Mich. He then completed a baccalaureate degree with a concentration in finance from Nazareth College, where he would later go on to teach courses in economics and labor management.
Mickus has also taught classes for professionals in the health field through the Chicago-based American College of Healthcare Executives.
Bringing three different branches of Catholic Healthcare Partners together under one person’s leadership helps standardize good health care practices in a world where health care is becoming “more and more complex,” he said.
“Suddenly we can see where we can coordinate our efforts and that leads to better efficiency,” Mickus said.
If not for efficient systems, Mercy Health Partners and the Catholic Healthcare Partners would not be able to provide one of the most essential services — free care to those who cannot pay.
“We do what people need without regard to if someone can pay or not,” Mickus said. “We set up clinics in neighborhoods, we hold free blood pressure screenings. Unless we’re operating efficiently we can’t afford to do the most important things we do.”
It’s this mentality that makes Mickus so well suited for his new position, said Jeff Hardesty, an instructor at Owens Community College who has known Mickus for 10 years through their church, Sylvania’s Westgate Chapel.
“He graciously accepts responsibility,” Hardesty said. “He says, ‘I can do this and I should do this.’ That’s great leadership, because he’s not reactive — he’s proactive.”
Those leadership abilities have helped Mickus spearhead many innovative projects during the past few years for Mercy Health Partners, including investing in a surgical robot called DaVinci, which surgeons can use to operate on patients.
Mickus is also overseeing the creation of a heart pavilion where “open-heart surgeons can work side by side with cardiologists with patients,” using the latest technology in extra-large operating rooms. There are also plans to build a cancer center in the next year.
Tom Welch, a cardiologist at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center who has known Mickus for about 20 years, said it is Mickus’ intelligence and confidence that allow him to pursue such high goals.
“He’s articulate, he’s a great speaker who exudes so much confidence,” Welch said. “And he’s reliable. He tells the truth.”
Mickus said his new role leaves room to improve.
“I’m looking for the preferred state, how to do things better. With Catholic Health Partners, we’re trying to care for more than just a physical ailment, but also solve spiritual and emotional problems,” he said. “That’s what makes this an outstanding career.”