Benedictine Health System President/CEO Dale Thompson to Retire in December

Dale M. Thompson, president/CEO Benedictine Health System (Photo: Benedictine Health System)

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DULUTH, Minn.--()--Dale M. Thompson will retire as president/CEO of Benedictine Health System (BHS) effective Dec. 31, 2013.

Thompson, 65, was named president/CEO of Benedictine Health System in 2003. The Benedictine Health System is a nationally recognized Catholic, mission-directed, values-based health care system providing a full spectrum of health and housing services to aging adults. BHS owns and manages skilled nursing, assisted living and independent living communities across the upper Midwest and offers services in areas such as therapy, rehabilitation, memory care, home health care, adult day and transitional care. The System consists of approximately 40 campuses in six states and serves about 6,000 aging adults on a daily basis. BHS generates approximately $400 million in annual revenues, employs over 5,000 individuals and is sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minn.

Brian Lassiter, chair of the BHS Board of Directors, said the BHS Board of Directors is responsible for succession planning and leadership continuity to ensure a successful organization long into the future. The Board has been focused on succession planning efforts for more than two years not only for the president/CEO position but for other key leadership positions at BHS. The board anticipates that a new president/CEO for BHS will be named sometime this fall.

“Dale is an extraordinary leader, and BHS truly has been blessed with his service,” said Lassiter. “He has a unique combination of characteristics – a strong business acumen, entrepreneurial instincts, deep industry knowledge, high levels of integrity and authenticity – that have made him such a credible, well-respected leader within BHS and the industry. While we are very sorry to see Dale go, the Board is pleased that he will leave the System in a strong position: a highly effective senior leadership team, a solid strategic plan, and culture that now craves growth and performance excellence.”

Thompson’s achievements during his tenure in office include:

  • Ten years of positive financial performance even during challenging times.
  • Driven quality improvement in national long-term care and BHS following criteria from the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.
  • A respected leader representing the health care ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery.
  • Achievement of three levels of recognition by the Minnesota based Performance Excellence Network.
  • The development of a culture based in the BHS Core Values of Hospitality, Stewardship, Respect and Justice.
  • Serving as part of the leadership team that created Essentia Health and that ultimately transformed BHS into an organization focused entirely on long-term care.
  • Numerous partnerships including those with HealthEast, Allina Health, Mayo Health, Steele County and many others.
  • A national reputation as an expert in long-term care and former president of the American Healthcare Association.
  • Development, implementation and achievement of multiple strategic plans for the System.
  • Serving on numerous state task forces shaping policy including long-term care and long-term care for Minnesota veterans
  • Service on several advisory committees for the Catholic Health Association.

“We are deeply grateful to Dale for his unwavering dedication and commitment to our Catholic health care ministry,” said Sister Lois Eckes, OSB, prioress of St. Scholastica Monastery. “He has been a stellar leader whose vision, guidance and passion for long-term care has been a priceless gift in the unfolding and sacred story of the Benedictine Health System as it lovingly cares for thousands of residents and provides meaningful work for our employees each day. While we feel a deep sadness that Dale is bringing his leadership of BHS to a close, we wish him abundant blessings as he steps into the next chapter of his profoundly graced life.”

Before joining the Benedictine Health System, Thompson was president and chief executive officer of Benedictine Health Dimensions, the former long-term care division of BHS, and president and chief executive officer of Health Dimensions Inc., a long-term care organization he cofounded. Thompson is also past president of the American Health Care Association, a national non-profit federation of affiliated health organizations. Thompson, a resident of Blaine and Brainerd, Minn., plans to take a short sabbatical and perhaps consider an “encore career” in addition to fishing and pursuing other interests following his retirement.


Benedictine Health System
Julie Sellers, manager, marketing

Release Summary

Dale M. Thompson will retire as president/CEO of Benedictine Health System effective Dec. 31, 2013.


Benedictine Health System
Julie Sellers, manager, marketing