Xavier Magazine

Profile: Bill Fuchs

Bachelor of Science-Business Administration, 1970;
Master of Health Administration, 1972
President of Group Operations, Catholic Healthcare
West Phoenix

A Big Net | As head of Catholic Healthcare West’s regional operation in Arizona, Nevada, and the southern and middle portions of California, Fuchs is responsible for 14 hospitals, 10 imaging centers, six ambulatory surgery centers, numerous joint ventures, 19,000 employees and annual net revenues of $2.5 billion.

Leaving Home | Fuchs, a St. Louis native, was originally in seminary studying for the priesthood when he began looking for a Catholic—preferably Jesuit—university outside his hometown to continue his education. “I had never heard of Xavier,”
he says. “I saw it on a map. It was a Jesuit university 400 miles away, and it sounded like a start. I liked it the moment we drove onto campus.”

Into the New | “It was a huge adventure to leave the seminary, go 400 miles away, know no one and immediately meet nice, impressive people in Brockman Hall. I entered Xavier as a sophomore, and I didn’t know anything. They would hustle me around and show me how to buy books or go to the cafeteria, things that we didn’t have to do in seminary. It was very, very exciting.”

Finding a Direction | By age 20, Fuchs discovered his life’s true calling. Xavier had one of the few accredited MHA programs in the nation at the time, but getting in was difficult. Fuchs credits former program chair Ed Arlinghaus with giving him the opportunity. “I’m very grateful for what Xavier did for me.”

Career Path | Fuchs did his MHA residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Dade County, Fla., where he remained for seven years following graduation. From there, he moved on to a 10-year association with the Hospital Corporation of America, where, among other duties, he served for a time as executive director of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer center in Tampa, Fla. He then moved again, this time for seven years as head of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lexington, Ky., before launching the consulting phase of his career.

Taking the Reins | Fuchs joined Catholic Healthcare West seven years ago after several years as a consultant. Initially, he served as vice president of operations, working out of Pasadena, Calif., and overseeing seven hospitals. He moved into his current position six years ago.

Bleeding Blue | Fuchs is a lifelong supporter of Musketeer basketball—he hosted a dinner at his Camelback Mountain home for 100 Xavier alumni and fans following this year’s NCAA victory over West Virginia. But he says times have changed since his undergraduate days when the team drew maybe 1,500—all of them students—to home games. “The parking lot outside of Schmidt Fieldhouse held 20 cars and there would be maybe two cars for a game—and those were probably the referees’ cars.”

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