Longtime St. Mary’s Supporter and Advocate for Children with Special Needs Vows to Continue Growth at New York’s Largest Provider of Post-Acute Care for Children
St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children today announced that it has named Stephen Brent Wells as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. Wells, a prominent investment advisor and philanthropist, will replace Jeffrey Frerichs, who stepped down as Chairman to serve as St. Mary’s new President and Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Wells is a Founder and Managing Director of The Solaris Group, LLC, a global wealth strategy and asset management firm, and has been actively involved in furthering the reach and scope of St. Mary’s innovative programs and services for more than 35 years.
“My role over the years has been to try to expand the Healthcare System’s reach to help more children,” Mr. Wells said. “I try to ask provocative questions that explore where St. Mary’s can and should go. My involvement has fostered in me enormous passion for the kids and their great cause. My energy and enthusiasm is constantly renewed by the mission and the ongoing effort to develop innovative new, imaginative and cost-effective ways to care for children with special needs so that they can continue to grow and thrive.”
In applauding Mr. Wells’ selection as Chairman, Jeff Frerichs, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children said, “Steve Wells is a brilliant and valued part of the St. Mary’s family, and I am confident his tenure as Chairman will bring about extraordinary achievements. Steve’s passion for children and determination to improve their lives, combined with his astute business sense, will serve St. Mary’s well.”
Mr. Wells explained that part of his vision for the future of St. Mary’s includes encapsulating existing and new programs for children, such as St. Mary’s Traumatic Brain Injury or Feeding Disorders Programs, and packaging them so that they can help other organizations help needy children, both nationally and around the world. With St. Mary’s currently serving as the New York region’s largest provider of post-acute care for children, and offering a host of innovative programs, Mr. Wells envisions partnering with other organizations, both public and private, to make these unique models available to as many children and families as possible. “I believe,” he said, “that the future of health care is for complementary organizations to join together to create greater reach and scope, thereby helping more children.
“The work of St. Mary’s is all about creating unlimited possibilities for children. One of the things over the years that continually amazes me,” Mr. Wells said “is that children with disabilities have a different perception of what ‘normal’ is. Too often we superimpose our limitations on these children and what they can and can’t do. “It’s our job to expose them to the world, let their indomitable spirits soar and then marvel at what they can do. I am proud to be working for these amazing kids.”
A dedicated advocate for children with special needs, Mr. Wells established the Amy Wells Unlimited Possibilities Fund in memory of his daughter to support St. Mary’s Arts and Music Therapy programs, valuable therapies and activities that play an important role in improving the quality of life for seriously ill children.