Texarkana, TX 77° View Live Radar Thu H 75° L 57° Fri H 79° L 62° Sat H 80° L 63° Weather Sponsored By:

St. Michael says goodbye to CEO

St. Michael says goodbye to CEO

September 14th, 2018 by Ashley Gardner in Texarkana News

Chris Karam, Christus St. Michael Health System CEO, speaks about his experiences within the health system on Thursday at the hospital in Texarkana, Texas. Karam has accepted another position within the company at Christus St. Frances Cabrini Health System in Alexandria, La.

Photo by Hunt Mercier /Texarkana Gazette.

There were handshakes and hugs as CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System associates and community members said goodbye to Chris Karam, longtime president/CEO of the hospital, with a reception Thursday evening. His last day is Friday.

Karam will take another position in the CHRISTUS System as senior vice-president of group operations and president/CEO of CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Health System in Alexandria, La. He will have oversight of all the system's ministries in Louisiana and Southeast Texas including St. Frances Cabrini, CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System, CHRISTUS Southwestern Louisiana Health System and CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System.

"I've worked with Chris for 22 years and it's been an amazing experience," said Francine Francis, communication director for St. Michael. "Chris is known not only at St. Michael but in the community for his passion, compassion, vision and most people also know about his corny jokes. We're going to miss him but we're excited for his new ministry in Southeast Texas and Louisiana and we're looking forward to the next phase in our journey."

Karam's first job with the CHRISTUS system was at Schumpert Medical Center in Shreveport, La., in 1986. He began his career in Texarkana in 1996 at CHRISTUS St. Michael Rehabilitation Hospital and worked his way to CEO in 2003 after serving as the hospital's vice president.

He has more than 35 years experience in health care, 32 of those with CHRISTUS.

Karam said there are several things he's proudest of accomplishing as the hospital's leader.

"I'm really proud of the team we have and the great work they do. We've received lots of national awards for care. It's not important for the awards themselves but they are validation we're doing a great job," he said. "Another thing I'm proud of is the different services we've helped provide the poor and underserved by working with different groups in the community. That goes with our faith-based tradition to make sure we're truly living out our mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.We've opened more medical homes for individuals to get care who otherwise might not be able to," he said.

Karam had no plans to leave Texarkana when his new position unexpectedly came open.

"We didn't see this coming. This position gives me the possibility to impact more people's lives. It felt like it was more of a calling than just a job opportunity," he said.

Karam said he and his wife Michelle will miss Texarkana.

"I cannot think of a better place to have spent the last 22 years than Texarkana U.S.A. It's a great place to raise a family. When you can say you wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else for 22 years, that's a statement of what a blessing this has been for me and my family," he said.

St. Michael Chief Operating Officer Jason Rounds will serve as interim CEO.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com