Leadership Change at Rush Copley — Finn Retires; Diederich, Shilkaitis Take New Roles

Leadership Change at Rush Copley — Finn Retires; Diederich, Shilkaitis Take New Roles

Barry C. Finn, president and CEO of Rush Copley Medical Center, will retire and a leadership transition will begin Friday, Rush Copley announced today (Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019) in a news release.


As part of an extensive board-led succession planning effort, John Diederich will become the new president and CEO of Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora.

Diederich has appointed Mary Shilkaitis to be senior vice president of operations and chief operating officer.

“Barry Finn has been a transformational leader during his 17-year tenure,” said Bruce Dienst, chairman of Rush Copley Medical Center. “His visionary leadership has led to the success in our financial position, elevated clinical excellence, significant expansion of the medical center and integration with the Rush University System for Health. His tenure at Rush Copley has made a significant impact on the medical center and in our community.”

Dr. Ranga Krishnan, CEO for the Rush University System for Health, said the future of Rush Copley Medical Center is bright thanks to the momentum built under Finn’s leadership.

“We have the highest confidence that John will continue carrying out the vision that Barry created, while capitalizing on new opportunities arising through a systemized approach,” he said.

Since Finn’s arrival in 1996, Rush Copley experienced unprecedented expansion of clinical services and is regularly recognized nationally for excellence in patient safety, health care equality and maintaining financial strength and stability.

Finn was instrumental in leading the integration with RUSH in 2017.

During his time as CEO, Rush has made more than $300 million in capital investments — including the building of Rush Copley Healthcare Center on a 45-acre campus in Yorkville, the creation of six Rush Convenient Care centers, and the implementation of a best in class electronic medical record system.

Rush Copley Medical Group has grown from 12 to more than 130 providers and achieved record high scores for employee engagement, which he also inspired in donors. During his tenure, Rush Copley received more than $30 million in philanthropic contributions and saw the creation of critical free services, all supported by philanthropy, including Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center and Rush Copley’s Movement Disorders Program.

Finn was the seventh CEO in Rush Copley’s 133-year history, a position he held since 2002. He also served as chief financial officer from 1996 to 1999 and chief operating officer from 1999 to 2002. In addition, he held the title of senior vice president and hospital integration officer for RUSH.

“It has been an extraordinary privilege to serve as CEO of Rush Copley and lead an incredibly dedicated and talented team of health care professionals who have advanced excellence in medicine and patient experience,” Finn said. “John will provide the leadership needed to help Rush Copley continue the mission of delivering excellence – to patients, employees and the community.”

The leadership changes will take effect on Nov. 15.

Plans for the Future

Diederich began his career at Rush Copley as a teenager working in the hospital’s kitchen.


He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master’s of arts in hospital & health administration, and an MBA at the University of Iowa. Upon completing his education, Diederich returned to Rush Copley and held several leadership positions in patient registration, finance and operations.

He has served on Rush Copley’s executive team for more than 17 years. As chief operating officer for the last 13 years, Diederich oversaw clinical, ancillary and support operations of the hospital including a $50 million annual capital improvement budget and all medical center construction projects.

“Professionally and personally, this is an incredibly proud day for me to take on the role as CEO of Rush Copley,” said Diederich. “I am humbled and honored to lead the medical center as we continue to navigate a changing health care landscape and further our mission to provide excellence in patient-centered care at Rush Copley and throughout the Rush system.”

In addition to serving his community as a health care leader, Diederich serves as chairman of the board of the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, is a past chairman of the board of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce and is a board member of the Marmion Academy Board of Trustees.

Along with his wife, Joanne, and three sons, he is a life-long Aurora resident.


Shilkaitis will play a key role as senior vice president of operations and COO.

She presently serves as vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Rush Copley, where she spearheads the strategic vision for nursing excellence overseeing nursing practice, development and education in inpatient, outpatient and the rehabilitation settings.

She earned her baccalaureate degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and her master’s degree in nursing and business administration from Lewis University.

Shilkaitis serves as adjunct faculty at Lewis University and non-remunerated adjunct faculty at Rush University. She will retain her current responsibilities until a new CNO is named.

About Rush Copley Medical Center

Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, IL, is a 210-bed hospital that serves the greater Fox Valley area with more than 500 physicians and 2,500 clinical and professional staff members. Rush Copley is part of Rush University System for Health, an academic health system whose mission is to improve the health of the individuals and the diverse communities it serves through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research and community partnerships.

The RUSH system comprises Rush University Medical Center (including Rush University), Rush Copley Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital, as well as numerous outpatient care facilities.

Rush University, with more than 2,500 students, is a health sciences university that comprises Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College.

SOURCE: Rush Copley Medical Center news release