SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital - Midwest - Vivian
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Health System Spotlight: SSM Health

SSM Health is a regional leader in patient care, with many of its hospitals ranking as high performers by the U.S. News & World Report and appearing on Vivian’s list of 10 great healthcare employers in Oklahoma City. The health system encompasses several regions, providing a wide array of job opportunities for nurses and allied health professionals. Read this comprehensive health system spotlight to discover what it’s like working for this large organization and the many benefits and nursing programs it offers.

Overview of SSM Health

The origins of SSM Health began in 1872 when five German nuns left their homeland in search of religious freedom. After settling in St. Louis, Missouri, they soon found themselves in the smallpox epidemic and began advocating for medicine and supplies to treat patients with the deadly virus. Soon after, the nuns became locally known as the “Smallpox Sisters.”

Inspired by their efforts and advocating for quality patient care, the sisters opened their first hospital in 1877 called St. Mary’s Infirmary. As the hospital expanded and grew into a more extensive health system, it earned the formal name of Sisters of St. Mary, or SSM Health for short.

This once-small hospital has grown tremendously and is now one of the Midwest’s largest employers. SSM Health employs over 40,000 non-clinical professionals and 12,800 healthcare providers who deliver exceptional care. This healthcare system spans four states and consists of 23 hospitals, 12 post-acute care facilities, and over 300 physician offices. Many healthcare professionals choose this health system due to the enormous array of SSM Health careers available in various locations, including the following medical facilities:





Mission, Vision and Values

SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital Mt. Vernon in Mount Vernon, IL - Vivian

SSM Health focuses on providing spiritual and quality health services to the communities it serves. This integrated healthcare network defines its vision as “Peace, hope and health for every person, family and community, especially those in need.”

As a faith-driven healthcare organization, it centers its mission around the Catholic religion. SSM Health defines its mission as, “Through exceptional health care services, we reveal the healing presence of God.”

As noted on its website, SSM Health strives to embody individual sacredness and dignity through its core values, which include:

  • Compassion: focusing on care centered around God and empathy towards others
  • Respect: promoting an environment of dignity and individual well-being
  • Excellence: striving to provide exceptional, quality care at every patient encounter
  • Stewardship: using financial and other resources to ensure safe practices
  • Community: cultivating relationships that inspire service and promote justice 

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

SSM Health embraces workplace diversity, equity and inclusion. It seeks to foster diversity awareness amongst its communities, employees and patients. According to SSM Health’s website, the Association of Diversity Councils listed the health system as one of the top 25 diversity councils in the country. In pursuit of equality and inclusion, SSM Health also supports organizations such as the:

  • Anti-Defamation League
  • Guardian Angel Settlement Association
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • National Association of Women Business Owners
  • National Conference of Community and Justice

The healthcare organization also attracts a culturally diverse network of employees, vendors and suppliers that reflect its mission and values. Furthermore, SSM Health has a Minority Business Enterprise program that supports and purchases goods from small businesses and those owned by minorities, women, veterans and disabled individuals.

Community Initiatives

This expansive health system seeks to improve patients’ health and lives through community-based initiatives customized to each region. 

  • To mitigate food insecurities, SSM Health in Illinois partners with two local organizations to distribute produce and pantry items through a mobile food market. 
  • SSM Health’s mid-Missouri hospitals provide community health screenings and education about nutrition and exercise through local health fairs.
  • Its Oklahoma facilities provided more than $68 million in community benefits in 2022. Most of these contributions were uncompensated care services through its hospitals, urgent care centers and multi-specialty physician offices. 
  • SSM Heath’s St. Louis Metropolitan area locations provided over $93 million in community education and research for 2022. Many of this region’s efforts concentrated on health needs such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and maternal health. 
  • SSM Health in Wisconsin focuses on pregnant women and screening for social determinants of health that impact care. It partners with organizations like the Dane County Health Council and ConnectRx Wisconsin to improve access to healthcare for pregnant women and their families.

Notable Awards and Honors

SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital Centralia in Centralia, IL - Vivian

SSM Health has earned numerous awards, honors and accolades for its quality care, including being named on Becker’s Hospital Review’s 2023 Top Places to Work in Healthcare list. Many of its facilities have also been noted for their excellence in patient satisfaction. SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Madison, SSM Health Monroe Hospital and SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital – Shawnee earned the Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award in 2022.

SSM Health’s Dean Health Plan Medicare Advantage achieved a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2023. Some additional notable honors received by specific SSM Health facilities include:

  • St. Mary’s Hospital – St. Louis earned Newsweek’s 2023 Nation’s Best Hospitals for Maternity Care award 
  • St. Mary’s Hospital – Centralia recognized on Newsweek’s 2022 “Best Hospitals” list 
  • Monroe Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital – Centralia earned Leapfrog’s “A” for Safety Grade in 2022
  • St. Mary’s Hospital – Madison achieved the Press Ganey 2020 Pinnacle of Excellence award

Additionally, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives’s Digital Health Most Wired survey has recognized this health system every year since 2014.

Working at SSM Health

As a large and competitive healthcare employer, numerous SSM Health careers exist for any healthcare specialty. SSM offers many career advancement opportunities and comprehensive benefits for nurses and other healthcare professionals. 

Benefits and Other Perks

SSM Health values its employees and provides an array of outstanding benefits, including the following:

  • Three medical insurance plan options
  • Dental and vision insurance
  • Health savings and flexible spending accounts
  • 401k, 457b and 403b retirement savings plan options with employer match
  • Short-term and long-term disability benefits
  • Generous paid time off accrual, including holidays, sick pay and personal time
  • Maternity leave coverage at 100% for six weeks through short-term disability 
  • Paid paternity leave of up to 40 hours
  • Adoption assistance
  • Employer-paid and voluntary life insurance
  • Employee assistance program, grief resources and financial support services
  • Tuition reimbursement of up to $4,200 annually for full-time and $2,100 for part-time employees
  • Up-front tuition costs paid up to $5,250 annually through FlexPath Funded
  • Access to on-demand continuing education platform and manager’s toolkit
  • Travel assistance, pet insurance, discounted shopping and identity theft protection services

Nursing Programs

Nurse mentorship

SSM Health strives to reach Magnet recognition at all its facilities and create a culture of improving patient outcomes. Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital has already achieved this highly-regarded status, and all other SSM Health facilities are working on attaining Magnet status. 

It also participates in the DAISY and BEE award programs. The DAISY program recognizes nurses for their extraordinary quality and compassionate care. Conversely, the BEE program recognizes non-nursing staff for their compassion, collaboration and commitment to excellence. 

The health system provides many diverse nursing career opportunities and programs, including the following.

Graduate Nursing Residency

This 12-month program offers blended learning through a rigorous schedule of classroom and hands-on simulation experiences. New nurses learn about communication, role transition, and quality and safety practices. Participants gain further knowledge about their specialty through specific classes and bedside clinical training with an experienced preceptor.  

Specialized Trauma Nursing Verification

At SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital, nurses can opt to earn specialized training in trauma care. Nurses select from courses such as Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses, Trauma Nurse Core Course and Advanced Trauma Life Support. Many of these courses prepare nurses to obtain additional trauma certifications, like the Trauma Nurse Specialist or Trauma Certified Registered Nurse

Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course

The SSM Health Simulation & Training Center in Fenton, MO, offers several annual sessions regarding specialized emergency pediatric training from the Emergency Nurses Association. Nurses who complete this course may take the Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course certification, valid for four years.

Contact Information

SSM Health
10101 Woodfield Lane
St. Louis, Missouri 63132
(314) 994-7800

To learn more about what it’s like to live and work in the areas where SSM Health has facilities, explore Vivian’s Healthcare Employment Location Guides for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Illinois, Wisconsin and St. Louis, MO.

Find your next healthcare role faster and easier when you browse jobs on Vivian Health today.

Amanda Marten, MSN, FNP-C

Amanda Marten MSN, FNP-C is a freelance nurse writer and a certified family nurse practitioner. With 10 years of nursing experience, she's worked in a variety of specialties, including urgent care, travel nursing, post-surgical and intensive care. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, outdoor activities and spending time with her friends and family.

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