Steve Edwards is retiring as president and CEO of CoxHealth.
Edwards, who is slated to exit May 31, 2022, in the past year was diagnosed with cancer, according to a letter to employees included in a news release.
"I was privileged to receive amazing care guided both by our team at CoxHealth and the Siteman Cancer Center. After successful surgery, I am recovering well and I feel strong," Edwards said in the letter. "However, in this cancer journey I was blessed to gain perspective, which affirmed my decision to retire."
Edwards, 56, has led CoxHealth as president and CEO since 2012. He's been a CoxHealth employee since 1992, and his father, Charlie Edwards, was a previous CEO of the health care system.
In retirement, he said he wants to spend time with family and on hobbies.
“While I am retiring, my work is not done. I plan to stay on at CoxHealth in a limited advisory capacity assisting leadership changes and helping teach and coach future leaders,” Steve Edwards said in the letter.
The CoxHealth Board of Directors has convened a search committee that already has begun its work, according to the release. The goal is to have a new top executive in place before Edwards' exit in May.
“We have been deeply fortunate to have Steve serve CoxHealth’s patients and employees, and the community as a whole, especially through periods of great change,” said Rob Fulp, chair of the CoxHealth board, in the release. “He will be greatly missed, but we will forever be impacted by his dedication to do right by the community he cares about.”
Edwards has been an active voice amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and he's garnered recognition from the Missouri Hospital Association and as the 2020 Humanitarian Award winner for his efforts.
During Edwards’ tenure, CoxHealth has been on a growth trajectory. A $130 million expansion at Cox South was completed in 2015, and the health care system has invested tens of millions of dollars in recent years on regional clinic investments.
Read the profiles of this year's honorees.