Health Care

Via Christi Hospitals president resigns

Michalene Maringer, president and CEO of Via Christi Hospitals and Outpatient Centers, resigned Tuesday.

Kevin Conlin, president and CEO of Via Christi Health, announced the resignation. His statement said he wouldn't make any additional comments.

Conlin has appointed Randy Peterson, Via Christi Health senior vice president, as acting CEO.

A Via Christi spokesman said Maringer resigned Tuesday morning. He did not know whether she had other plans, and he said Conlin was out of the office and not available for comment. Maringer could not be reached for comment.

Peterson is senior vice president for regional operations at Via Christi Health, overseeing Via Christi hospitals not in Wichita.

Maringer, who reported to Conlin, was appointed to the position in July 2008. She oversaw more than 5,000 employees spread over a number of locations, including the Via Christi hospitals on St. Francis and East Harry, the behavioral health center and the rehabilitation hospital.

She also was in charge of Via Christi Hospital on St. Teresa, the new hospital under construction at the far west edge of Wichita.

Ground was broken for the new west-side hospital not long after Maringer joined Via Christi, and she has overseen its construction.

The $93.1 million project northeast of 21st Street and 151st Street West is scheduled to open in August.

David Riffel, a partner in Howard and Helmer Architecture, has worked with Maringer on the new hospital and said "she's had a lot of influence in terms of all the biophilic" elements of the building. That refers to incorporating nature into design and using it to help in the healing process.

"She's provided some good leadership in that area."

Maringer came to Via Christi from St. Anthony's Medical Center in St. Louis, where she had been executive vice president and chief hospital officer. Shortly after she started the job in Wichita, she said she hadn't been looking for a new position but joked that hospital executives seemed to "recycle" about every four years.

A nurse by training, she also has held administrative positions at hospitals in Illinois; she's a native of the Chicago area.

In an interview in 2008, she said that she keeps her nursing license up to date and that at some point in the future, "My fantasy is to go full circle and work as a cardiac nurse again."

About 10 years ago, she married for the first time, to Edward Korosa. His polka band, Eddie Korosa Jr. and His Boys From Illinois, is based in the Chicago area. Maringer said in the 2008 interview that he planned to join her in Wichita after his daughter graduated from high school.