St. Catherine Hospital Chief Executive Officer Leo Correa has been named the 2019 Business Person of the Year by the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented by one of Northwest Indiana’s largest business associations during the 110th annual “Evening of Recognition and Celebration” on Saturday, March 9, at Dynasty Banquet Center in Hammond.
At the event, St. Catherine Hospital also received a Civil Service/Economic Development award for investment in community and quality healthcare from the City of East Chicago.
Dave Ryan, executive director of Lakeshore Chamber, said Correa’s award is based on leadership, innovation, civic involvement and contributions to advance healthcare excellence in Northwest Indiana.
Leo Correa has served as Chief Executive Officer of St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago since February 2017 and within two short years has brought about transformative change, Ryan said. Correa was honored for his leadership to inspire staff, mobilize hospital initiatives and forge partnerships to improve the health and wellbeing of residents and help to make Northwest Indiana communities a better place.
In accepting the award, Correa said that he is honored to be a recipient of the award and is proud to be chief executive of one of the greatest healthcare facilities in Northwest Indiana.
Since Correa joined St. Catherine Hospital, he has:
- Embarked on several multimillion-dollar projects in the north/south lobbies, kitchen and hospital campus to enhance the visitor experience and create an environment to match the hospital’s culture of high-quality care
- Acquired advanced medical and robotic technologies for surgery, radiology, stroke and acute care and rolled out expansion blueprints for the Cancer Center, Cardiology, Urology and Behavioral Health service lines
- Led a healthcare team achieving top patient safety and quality of care rankings and accreditations from objective national health organizations
- Put operational improvements in place and partnered with medical staff to set the cornerstone of the hospital’s financial and operational turnaround
- Collaborated with staff, civic leaders, Ivy Tech and the East Chicago School District to pilot the “I Have Promise” healthcare career pathway initiatives for high school students
Correa, a 2017 recipient of the Southlake Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement award, also serves on the boards of Community Cancer Research Foundation; United Way of Lake County and Laini Fluellen Charities. He is chairman of the board for “219 Health Network,” a health center developed to meet the community’s primary care, obstetrics/gynecology and behavioral health needs.
Though the Correa family has lived in Northwest Indiana for 15 years now, his role at St. Catherine Hospital represents a true coming home. Correa’s father worked blocks away from the East Chicago hospital as a welder for Union Tank Car Company. The first generation son grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Correa received a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He obtained a master’s degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in health services from Keller Graduate School of Management.
Before joining Community Healthcare System, Correa served as Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Rush University Medical Center. At Rush, he directed facility planning and the transition of a $20 million clinic expansion to a new Chicago campus outpatient facility. He designed floor plans and clinical workflows for newly constructed infusion centers in Oak Park and locations in DuPage County. Prior to 2005, he was Associate Administrative Director for Operations at Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University, Chicago, and Executive Administrator of University of Chicago Cancer Research Center. Correa also served University of Chicago as director of Finance.
Correa said his rewarding journey wouldn’t be possible without the support of his wife, MaryAnn, their children, Eric and Isabel, friends, family, CFNI President and CEO Don Fesko, Community Hospital CEO Lou Molina, St. Mary Medical Center CEO Janice Ryba, Community Care Network Administrator Alan Kumar, MD, the St. Catherine Hospital Board; his administrative team, physicians and staff; civic and business community leaders.