Anthony Tersigni, President and CEO of Ascension


Anthony Tersigni is the Chairman and CEO of Ascension, which operates the U.S.’s third largest healthcare system, including 114 nonprofit hospitals, 225 tax-exempt subsidiaries, and more than 125 for-profit subsidiaries. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "in fiscal year 2013, Ascension’s network of for-profit and nonprofit subsidiaries reported $17 billion in revenue, yet paid no corporate income taxes on its nonprofit operations and few property taxes, capital gains taxes and sales taxes." But, despite retaining their non-profit tax status, Ascension has pioneered the model of a non-profit health system that often acts like a for-profit. They close hospitals in poor neighborhoods because uninsured patients hurt their profitability. A Minnesota attorney general found that Accretive Health Inc. (in which Ascension owns a significant stake) "stationed bill collectors in emergency rooms, awarded prizes to hospital staffers who collected the most money and fired those who failed to meet quotas." They even have a subsidiary called Ascension Ventures that has created venture capital funds on Wall Street to put millions into startup companies.

The company is a corporation within the Catholic Church; it reports to the Vatican regarding key transactions and must adhere to church directives such as prohibition on abortion. The relationship to the Vatican attracted attention from reproductive justice activists when Ascension reportedly told doctors at an Oklahoma hospital that they could not prescribe birth control. Additionally, Ascension's Michigan hospitals has been criticized for a wide range of workers' rights abuses, including understaffing that has led to declines in patient care quality and union busting, as well as fraudulently over-billing Medicare

Tersigni is active in the local business community, including the St. Louis Regional Business Council. His wife, Flora, is on the board of KIPP Charter Schools.

Tersigni's Relationships:


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Key Info:

Total Pay (2012): $4 million

Key Relationships: St. Louis Regional Chamber, KIPP St. Louis, Wall Street Journal CEO Council, Detroit Economic Club.

About Ascension: "Ascension operates the country's third-largest health system. The company oversees a network of 114 nonprofit hospitals, about 225 tax-exempt subsidiaries, and more than 125 for-profit subsidiaries, including a venture capital fund to invest in startup companies. It's also participating in a for-profit joint venture with an India-based hospital chain to establish a $2 billion 'health city' in the Cayman Islands. Ascension's parent, Ascension Health Ministries, is a "public juridic person"--or corporation--within the Catholic Church. Ascension, whose revenue last year totaled $17 billion, reports to the Vatican regarding key transactions." (From "How a St. Louis-based health care system became one of the nation's biggest" by Jim Doyle, St. Louis Post-Dispatch). 

Corporate Headquarters Address: 4600 Edmundson Road, St. Louis, MO, 63134