Erica Wehrmeister, RN, BSN, MBA, has been named president of the St. Vincent Central Region, which includes St. Vincent Indianapolis, St. Vincent Seton Specialty Hospital, St. Vincent Stress Center, St. Vincent Women’s, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital and the St. Vincent Neighborhood Hospitals. She brings nearly 20 years of healthcare experience to her new role.
Wehrmeister, a Zionsville resident, had served as COO for St. Vincent Indianapolis since 2014. As president, she will lead the senior management team charged with creating and implementing the strategic and operational direction of the ministry.
A native of Kendallville, Wehrmeister began her career in Ft. Wayne as a charge nurse at Parkview North Hospital and gained experience with roles in the operating room and surgical care center. After several years, Wehrmeister transitioned to Community Health System and served in various nursing and leadership roles at hospitals in Ft. Wayne including Ortho NorthEast, Dupont and Lutheran.
Wehrmeister earned an associate of applied science in nursing at Indiana University Purdue University at Ft. Wayne. She furthered her education by earning a bachelor of science in nursing at Ball State University and a master's in business administration with a concentration in healthcare from Indiana Tech Ft. Wayne.
Wehrmeister is able to bring a new outlook to the position with her training and experience as a nurse.
"I am very glad I practiced as a nurse for 10 years before going into hospital administration," she said. "I've taken care of patients at the bedside and have worked with physicians. It helps me relate to physicians and clinical staff. ... Our executive team here at the Indy campus, we have all been caregivers, and so we are a very clinical based executive team, which makes a strong front for the hospital.
She said St. Vincent name is already well known to residents, and her goal is to grow awareness of services and create community partnerships.
"We do a lot of things to give back to the community, so I want to grow community awareness of what we do," she said. "We have a world-renowned programs. We just need to let people know we are there for them."
In fact, Wehrmeister is credited leading the planning and implementation of the William K. Nasser, MD, Healthcare Education and Simulation Center.
According to information provided by the hospital, Wehrmeister transformed the hospital’s previous vision for a simulation and healthcare education facility from a modest plan into visionary one, growing the size into a 145,000-square-foot state-of-the-art freestanding healthcare education and simulation facility.
"Erica recognized education models evolving in healthcare across the world and applied specific best practices and innovation to update educational opportunities at St. Vincent," a release regarding the SIM center noted. "Her motivation was to create a teaching and learning environment that provides physicians, nurses, residents, allied health professionals and students with the best learning opportunities that focus on experiential learning, professionalism and excellent care for our patients. (Whermeister) identified a facility in need of a new beginning and guided the demolition of a worn space to better utilize resources and transform the location into a modernized space that serves St. Vincent for future generations. Her commitment was obvious in the design and construction of an innovative and inspiring facility with form, function and sustainability in mind."
Wehrmeister noted that St. Vincent often works with groups in Zionsville.
"We do a lot of work with the Zionsville Fire Department already," she said. "Zionsville has been a great community partner for us, and we try to do something in return by offering education hours."
She said the hospital continues to build its relationship with the Boone County Sheriff's Office and the Zionsville Police Department.
The hospital not only partners with groups in Zionsville, Wehrmeister lives here as well.
When Wehrmeister began her search for a home near the St. Vincent campus, several of her colleagues suggested she look into the town, and she found it a perfect fit for her family.
She moved to Zionsville in September 2014, and recently built a new home in the community because her family plans to stay.
"We have a 5-year-old going into kindergarten, so we absolutely adore the community. We love the trails. The downtown feels like home," she said. "We were really looking for a non-congested community. It being a little more rural jut made it feel sparse, but with lots of big town activities. And it's a great commute to the 86th street hospital."
Another aspect of she loves of the town, is how welcoming it is to four-legged family members.
She has four French bulldogs — three of them rescues — age 2 to 13 years.