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Sisters of St. Francis Health Services announce new vice president for Innovation

MISHAWAKA, IND. — The Sisters of St. Francis Health Services (SSFHS) is pleased to announce that James C. Sparks, Ph.D. has been appointed vice president for Innovation for SSFHS.

James C. Sparks

James C. Sparks

Dr. Sparks received his bachelor’s of science and doctorate degrees in biology and biochemistry from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and he received his post-doctoral training in clinical laboratory science at the University of Tennessee Memorial Research Center and Hospital in Knoxville. Dr. Sparks is an associate fellow of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry and has more than 35 years experience in health care operations, primarily in the clinical laboratory arena.

In his new role, Dr. Sparks will work with SSFHS’ senior leadership and with system and hospital medical, quality and performance improvement leaders to identify and share operational and clinical best practice standards and processes throughout the system. He will also facilitate a system-wide approach to new and emerging health care technology identification and evaluation using existing technology assessment teams and processes to develop transparent and consistent approaches and strategies in this key capital investment arena.

Dr. Sparks previously served SSFHS as the president and CEO of their seminal central laboratory venture and was instrumental in leading the merger of its operations with the laboratory operations of two other health care systems in the Chicago area – Provena Health and Resurrection Health Care. Prior to his service at SSFHS, Dr. Sparks was a member of senior leadership at Specialty Laboratories, Genzyme Genetics, Nichols Institute and SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories. He also served as an independent consultant to pathology practices and to biotechnology entrepreneurs and investors.

“Purposeful, worthwhile work and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others have all been part of my experience over the years I have been part of SSFHS. Our mission of continuing Christ’s ministry in our Franciscan tradition is the best descriptor of a healing mission as I can imagine, and we who work in this ministry are blessed to be able to participate in this mission. All of our employees are part of our system to do well by doing good, and we are continuing to find ways to bring our collective attention to patient-centered care that is safe, effective, efficient, timely and equitable. It is a deep honor and privilege for me to be a part of this community of servant-leaders and to make whatever contribution I can to further its mission and values.”

Dr. Sparks and his wife have lived in downtown Chicago for the past 10 years and are active in neighborhood and charitable organizations and functions.

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