The chief executive officer of Missouri-based Ascension, the parent of St. Vincent Health in Indiana, has announced his retirement. Anthony Tersigni says he will step down at the end of the year after more than 15 years in the role.

Tersigni served as chief operating officer of Ascension Health in 2001 before being named president and CEO in 2004. The company's board of directors says Tersigni will continue to serve as a member of the executive committee of Ascension's healthcare investment fund and will provide consultative services to Ascension on an ongoing basis.

"A vibrant servant leader, Tony has shepherded Ascension through a period of unprecedented change in the U.S. healthcare industry while remaining true to the vision and legacy of the founding religious congregations of Ascension," Board Chair Stephen Dufilho said on the company's website. "Never content to simply keep up with external trends, Tony has focused his time and energy on innovating and creating the future — leading transformation at Ascension to enable our Mission of serving all persons with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable."

The board has begun the process of searching for Tersigni's successor.