Vice President, Operations
Samantha “Sam” Johannsen oversees our Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Urgent Care Departments.
My Leadership Why: “It’s through our connections with each other and working together that we can achieve our biggest goals.”
Sam has served as a health care leader since the early 2000s with experience in primary care, specialty care and ancillary services. When she joined Springfield Clinic as an operations manager, it was the support from her peers and mentors that made Springfield Clinic feel like home. Having seen the way teams from across the organization come together to find solutions to problems and enact big change over the years, Sam is eager to lead the charge for primary care.
“What motivates me each day is working with the physicians and our teams to accomplish our goals and see ideas become realities. There is never a lack of support or feeling like you’re out on your own here. Everyone here at Springfield Clinic bands together when there’s a need, to serve our patients and take care of our employees. That’s really inspiring and motivating.”
Sam’s areas of focus include growing and developing the primary care teams and connecting providers across the Clinic so they have a streamlined way to share ideas to build the best possible primary care practices for patients. With a passion for data and the stories it can tell, Sam is also looking at operations process improvement, so that patients have a consistently exceptional experience, whether they’re walking into Urgent Care, visiting the office for their annual check-up or seeking help for an illness or injury.
Received her master’s degree in business and health care administration from the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Ind., and her bachelor’s degree in business from Arizona State University in Phoenix, Ariz.
Previous experience includes operational oversight for independent private practices in the highly competitive Phoenix health care market and human resources, particularly recruitment, talent sourcing and employee onboarding.
Originally from central Illinois, enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, traveling and attending live performances at local theaters. You can find her often traveling to and attending her children’s sporting events and activities.
Vice President, Brand, Experience and Advocacy
Zach Kerker leads the development and reputation of the Springfield Clinic brand, efforts to improve the patient experience and community and legislative advocacy efforts.
My Leadership Why: “Death to it’s always been done this way.”
Zach has spent much of his career riding a wave of market disruption. After starting in broadcast television, Zach left to create Channel1450.com, a digital platform for local sports content that would change the way fans in central Illinois would consume sports media. In 2018 he joined Springfield Clinic, despite having no experience in health care, with a mission to modernize patient communication and the patient experience.
“Springfield Clinic was looking for someone who didn’t bring a traditional health care mindset to the team, and I thought it was a tremendous opportunity. Health care has been one of the last industries to adopt a modern consumer approach for the patient. It’s frustrated me personally as a patient, and I saw a chance to have a positive impact on that for our community. I’m comfortable in the often uncomfortable space of change, and that’s been a necessary mindset for what we’ve set out to do at Springfield Clinic.”
Grew up in Mendon, Illinois and now lives in Chatham with his wife, Lori and their two daughters, Harper and Dagny.
Graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2006 with a degree in Mass Communications.
Winner of 2018 Illinois Capital Innovation Awards “Innovator of the Year.”
Fan of Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Cardinals.
Benjamin McLain leads Springfield Clinic’s hospital-based and ancillary services programs which include the areas of Hospital Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Laborist Medicine, Radiation Oncology, Radiological Medicine, Laboratory, Radiology, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy.
My Leadership Why: “See a need; fill a need.”
Benjamin considers his leadership style to be founded on building up and nurturing other emerging leaders. He believes being a good mentor makes him a better leader himself because, together, he and his leadership team can actively engage in driving the direction of their departments, instead of him solely dictating the direction.
Opportunities to build a bigger and better hospital program in the area abound, and Benjamin works every day to create and execute that strategic vision with his team. He sees the tremendous need in the region for expanded hospital services and believes wholeheartedly his job is to both help fill that need and meet the expectations and needs of those hospital teams.
“When we partner with our local hospital administrators to help meet their needs, and they’re satisfied with what we implement to make the quality of life for their patients better, that’s my favorite part of a day.”
25 years of experience in the health care field focused on operational leadership, including small critical access hospitals and large health systems, providing oversight to multi-hospital service line leadership.
Native of upstate New York; now lives in Chatham, Ill., with his wife, Dawn and three sons, Tristan, Aiden and Landon.
Received a bachelor’s degree in biology and athletic training and a Master of Business Administration from Olivet Nazarene University.
Enjoys spending time with family, playing competitive sports, camping, participating in Boy Scouts of America and teaching Financial Peace University.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Katie Rutledge, SPHR, oversees all areas of Human Resources, including Benefits, Compensation, Employee Relations, Training & Organizational Development and Talent Acquisition.
My Leadership Why: “Making Springfield Clinic a great place to work; empowering our workforce to provide an exceptional patient experience.”
Katie considers one of her top priorities to be championing her team to be as successful as possible in their roles. This is what Human Resources is all about, she believes: supporting the rest of the organization to carry out Springfield Clinic’s mission every day, because a positive environment for employees helps them create a community of caring for patients. This vision is simple, but the work is not always, and that’s what makes each day exciting.
“What motivates me is always being able to move things forward. If we sat stagnant, I’d go crazy. Health care is always evolving; there’s always an ongoing challenge in the industry. That means there’s always something out there that we can move toward and improve upon—and that’s where I thrive.”
17 years in human resources leadership that includes all areas of HR, including leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies in the Chicago area.
Earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication and a Master of Human Resources & Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Sits on the Board and Executive Committee for Sparc.
Maintains certification as a senior professional of human resources (SPHR) and is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).
Born and raised in Springfield and has three children, Ryan, Jake and Emily.
Favorite hobby/other full-time job is being a mom and jumping from one kid activity to the next.
Kenneth R. Sagins, MD, FAAP
Chief Medical Officer
Kenneth Sagins, MD, FAAP, is Chief Medical Officer, ensuring the quality of care for all departments and locations. He is also the clinical liaison for other medical entities, develops strategic clinical needs with the Board and CEO and supports care coordination to deliver positive patient outcomes along with the four physicians that serve as medical directors.
My Leadership Why: “Whether in the exam room or the Board room, it’s never one person who achieves goals; it’s always a team approach.”
Dr. Sagins is uniquely situated to walk in both of Springfield Clinic’s “worlds”: the clinical and the business. But what he values most about his two jobs and the people he works with is how, as he puts it, everyone pulls on the same rope to get the patient what they need. Not only does he feel that he can call on any of his physician colleagues to help take care of his patients directly, Dr. Sagins watches how decisions all the way up to the admin level are made to the end of excellent patient care.
“You’ve got to be on your toes here. I work with some really dedicated, sharp people, and you can’t ever slack, honestly.”
To Dr. Sagins, the most important aspect of his role leading the Clinical Research and Quality Management teams is remaining a full-time clinician. That way, he retains the perspective of his physician colleagues and understands their challenges and needs. He also relishes the opportunity to continue learning every day, whether about a new therapy for a patient’s diagnosis or about what goes into the business side of running a medical organization.
Joined Springfield Clinic as an associate physician in 1997 and served as chairman of the board and a medical director before taking the chief medical officer role.
Completed his residency in internal medicine/pediatrics as well as medical degree at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, and now lives in Springfield with his wife Anne and three children.
In his free time between being a full-time clinician and executive, he plays ice hockey and the guitar.
Vice President, Revenue Cycle and Internal Audit
Sheila Streb leads Springfield Clinic’s end-to-end revenue cycle performance and the overall preparation and execution of a risk-based internal audit plan.
My Leadership Why: “Transforming health care impacts and improves all patient experiences, including my family’s.”
Motivated by the prospect of a new challenge around every corner and getting to be a part of the next big thing, Sheila leads Clinic-wide coordination and transformation of the revenue cycle, introducing improvements at all levels of the organization, in order to achieve performance excellence, drive down costs and achieve financial goals.
“I’m committed to a seamless financial experience for our patients. That requires continued assessment and optimization at both the strategic and operation levels in order to achieve performance excellence. ‘The only ceiling created is the one I create,’ is what I tell my team. It’s exciting to be a part of that kind of transformation, to be a part of ensuring the success of Springfield Clinic for generations to come.”
Sheila’s guiding focus is her roots in the community. While not originally from Springfield, she has raised her family, who have had Springfield Clinic doctors their whole lives, here. It’s how she can see the direct impact her team’s work has on patients’ health care journeys, and she uses it to help drive toward that exceptional patient experience every day.
Began her career in public accounting with a local firm focusing on compliance and financial auditing and tax preparation.
Sheila joined Springfield Clinic more than 20 years ago; in that time, she built the Internal Audit program from the ground up, developed the contracts management function and led the successful transition of the billing system and optimization of related processes.
Attended Eastern Illinois University and University of Illinois – Springfield and received her degree in business/accounting.
Grew up in Gillespie, Ill., and now lives in Springfield with her husband Eric. Together they have three children, Logan, Kasten and Lizzy.
Enjoys spending time at the lake, boating and water sports.
Chief Development Officer
Cal Thomas leads Springfield Clinic’s strategic planning in the areas of Market Intelligence, Regional Strategy & Planning, Provider Recruitment & Integration, Medical Staff Services and Brand, Experience & Advocacy.
My Leadership Why: “Seeing the collective effort of the team coming together to secure opportunities and tackle challenges, celebrating those wins together and jumping right back in to figure out what can be improved upon next time.”
Cal’s focus is creating an exceptional provider and patient experience through business development. His team touches all aspects of those experiences, including the onboarding and credentialing of new providers, the careful analysis of markets and their areas of need, making providers and patients alike aware of the services available and collecting and responding to patients’ experiences after they leave the office.
Cal’s background as a multi-sport athlete is what taught him early-on that teamwork achieves success and makes the hard work more enjoyable:
“By leveraging valuable perspectives from all areas—peers, providers and patients—only then can we discover, develop and deliver a truly differential experience. When people put aside their own interests and come together to work together, that’s when the magic happens.”
20 years in the health care field for both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.
Oversaw program development, operations and mergers for a multispecialty federally qualified health center in the St. Louis and Metro East areas.
Program development, marketing and operational initiatives in the Phoenix, Aspen and Chicago markets gave him various cultural and regional perspectives that lend themselves well to working with the health care diversity of the Midwest.
Born in Rochester, Ill.; lives in Sherman with his wife, Carly, two children, Carson and Callie, and their lab, Cocoa.
Attended Indiana University and Southern Illinois University and received degrees in business administration and marketing.
Collegiate First Team All-American in soccer and played professionally.
Enjoys spending time with family, exercising, coaching, hunting and fishing.