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Shawnee Health Names New CEO

July 23, 2023


Shawnee Health is pleased to introduce Christina Carney, MBA, FACHE, of Carterville, Illinois as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective August 1st, 2023. Carney, originally hired to serve as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) in October 2021, brings over two decades of experience in healthcare leadership. Carney will succeed Patsy Jensen, who plans to retire July 31, 2023.

The Shawnee Health Board of Directors engaged HR Full Circle, Springfield, IL, to conduct an expansive search for Ms. Jensen’s successor.  After the completion of the comprehensive recruitment process, the Board selected Christina Carney to be only the 3rd CEO for Shawnee Health.

“Christina Carney’s appointment as CEO comes at a pivotal moment for Shawnee Health, as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare and social services in southern Illinois. As an accomplished executive, Carney has demonstrated a keen understanding of the challenges faced by healthcare providers, as well as the transformative opportunities that lie within these challenges. Her exceptional leadership skills, combined with her unwavering commitment to patient-centered care, made her the ideal choice to lead Shawnee Health into the future,” said Shawnee Health’s Board President Paula Reeves.

Carney stated “I feel incredibly honored to be able to lead an organization that does so much for the community that I grew up and raise my children in. I look forward to adding to the legacy of providing integrated primary medical, behavioral, dental care and social services to southern Illinois. The quality of the team of health professionals within Shawnee Health is next to none.  I know together, we will drive positive change to improve the health outcomes and welfare of residents across southern Illinois.”

Carney is a board-certified healthcare executive, holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Management from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. Carney held executive leadership roles at Southern Illinois Healthcare, SSM Health and SIHF Healthcare prior to joining Shawnee Health in 2021.

Patsy Jensen’s transition into retirement comes after a successful 40-year career within Shawnee Health. Prior to serving as CEO for the past 14 years, Jensen held other leadership positions within Shawnee Health including, Associate Director of Shawnee Alliance (Social Services), Executive Director of River to River Corporation, through the founding and development phases, and Chief Operating Officer. Over the course of Jensen’s tenure as CEO, Shawnee Health has grown as an organization of 285 employees to over 410.

“Shawnee Health’s Board of Directors would like to express how extremely grateful we are to Patsy Jensen for her longstanding commitment to our organization and to the communities of southern Illinois. The impact she has made within the region will be felt for decades,” said Paula Reeves.


About Shawnee Health

Since its inception in 1971, Shawnee Health, as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) has worked to improve the health and welfare of southern Illinois residents through the promotion, development and administration of quality, comprehensive health and social services. Shawnee Health believes that quality care is a right, and continuously strives to ensure that patients and clients receive the highest quality care without regard to age, race, religion, sex, residence, or ability to pay.
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