By Owen Phelps, Ph.D.

Director, Yeshua Institute

At last! Praise the Lord! A Catholic employer has finally earned a place on Forbes magazine’s list of the 500 best places in the U.S. to work.

For eons I’ve been publicly lamenting the lack of Catholic employers’ on Forbes’ list. Now that era has ended.

Congratulations, OSF Healthcare.

OSF HealthCare has been named one of the best employers in the country for 2018 by Forbes magazine -- and was the highest ranked Illinois-based company earning the distinction.


The Peoria, Illinois-based integrated health system is owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. OSF HealthCare employs nearly 21,000 mission partners (employees) in 126 locations, including 13 hospitals throughout Illinois and Michigan. Overall, Forbes ranked it 46th out of 500 large companies (those with 5,000+ employees).

“Being recognized as number one in a state as large as Illinois with as many fine organizations is really quite rewarding,” said Bob Sehring, CEO of OSF HealthCare.

To come up with the list, Forbes partners with market research company Statista to identify the companies liked best by employees. Statista surveys 30,000 Americans working for companies with at least 1,000 employees. The surveys are anonymous and ask respondents to rank how likely they would be to recommend their employer to others on a scale of zero to 10. They are also able to nominate organizations in industries outside their own. The final list ranks the 500 large and midsize (1,000-5,000 employees) that receive the most recommendations.

OSF was the top Illinois employer out of the 33 that made the list. All but three were from the Chicago area. OSF HealthCare was the fifth highest ranked healthcare provider out of 25 that made the national list.

Sehring says he hopes people see the recognition as testament to the efforts by OSF HealthCare employees to engage the communities it has been called to serve in transforming healthcare.

“We are, as an organization, we spread far and wide within Illinois but also up to Escanaba, Michigan. That is one of the particular challenges for organizations of our size is how do you communicate across that broad-spectrum, how do you communicate from inpatient to ambulatory to home care? And how do you connect it, not only to engaging the mission partners which is vitally important, but also to patient satisfaction? And, again, our mission partners across those broad communities really have just done a wonderful job in both areas.”

The complete Forbes list can be seen here.