College of Health Sciences
Distinguished Alumnus in
Speech Pathology and Audiology Award
Robert J. Erickson, Sp '88
"I believe that service is the core of effective leadership," Bob Erickson says.
As the newly named president and chief executive officer of St. Francis Health Center in Topeka, Kan., Bob will play a key role in serving the health care needs of northeastern Kansas. He will guide the operations of a 378-bed hospital that provides care to a 20-county area and has been listed as one of the top 100 hospitals in the nation.
Bob isn't on the front lines treating patients. His job, equally important, is to handle the strategic and business issues vital to the operational health of the facility providing the care. In his new job, he'll also be a mentor to the St. Francis management team, as he was at Wisconsin's Aspirus Inc., where, until recently, he was regional chief operating officer.
"I view my role as a servant leader who invites, encourages, develops and empowers leaders to become more self-sufficient and more effective as persons and as contributors for the organization," he says.
That goes for himself, as well. "I view my own journey as a leader as one that never ends," Bob says. "So I solicit feedback and look at my own strengths and weaknesses often to continue my growth and development."
Marquette was a "transformational experience that helped shape my personal journey as a servant leader," Bob says. "I know that the concepts of excellence, faith, leadership and service are empty without action. I hope that by leading through example, those values are witnessed, evident and testament to my faith."
Bob got a chance to return to Marquette this summer and spend the day on campus with his daughter. "I'm proud to say she's very interested in attending Marquette in a few years," he says.
Fun facts about Bob
Favorite quote: A mentor told him he must always remember, “You manage things, but you lead people.”