Rich Liekweg has spent the first days in his new role as president and CEO of BJC HealthCare making the rounds.

He attended his first meetings as a member of Civic Progress and the Missouri Hospital Association. He visited the other health care providers across Missouri and Illinois that are part of the BJC Collaborative. And he checked in with each member of the BJC leadership team.

Liekweg, 57, took the reins at BJC on Jan. 1, succeeding Steve Lipstein who retired after 18 years at the helm. Liekweg now leads a system that is the region’s largest employer and includes 15 hospitals and nearly $5 billion in revenue.

“BJC is the largest employer in town, so the decisions they make as an employer impact more people in St. Louis than any other company,” said Rob Fruend Jr., CEO of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission. “They are a catalyst in the community, and they are the biggest health care provider in the state. More and more of the challenges our community faces end up at their front door.