Signature CEO Jan Vest to retire; Schwartzkopf, Sackman get expanded roles

Jan Vest, the longtime CEO and founding member of the Signature Medical Group Board of Directors, is retiring Dec. 31. In addition, two senior executives will be expanding their roles in the company immediately, Vest has announced.

Andrew Schwartzkopf, general counsel, will become chief administrative officer, handling many of Vest’s duties, and Chad Sackman, senior vice president of operations, will be chief operating officer. Vest said the remaining executive team members will remain intact.

Vest said he is proud to be leaving Signature in a strong position among healthcare providers in the Midwest.

“It has been my honor to work with each of you as we have grown the Signature Medical Group into a nationally recognized leader of quality, cost-effective medical care,’’ he said.  “The company could not have grown without the dedication of the physicians and staff across the states of Missouri and Kansas. Each of you should be very proud of the significant contributions you have made as team members of Signature Medical Group.’’

Vest added, “I will be focusing my remaining time on several outside projects such as Bundled Payment Care Initiative (BPCI), Strong Start, and Missouri Collaborative Healthcare. All of these projects are moving forward as Signature continues to grow and change.  I will remain on the Board of Directors as CEO Emeritus. I will maintain my board positions on the Midwest Health Initiative, a St. Louis Business Healthcare Coalition initiative, Missouri Collaborative Healthcare, LLC, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Executives, Arthritis Foundation of Missouri, and the Advisory Board of Lindenwood University School of Nursing.’’

Vest has been a top administrator for 22 years, becoming CEO of Signature in 2001 when the company was founded. Before that, he was CEO of Premier Care Orthopedics from 1998-2001 and an administrator for Mid County Orthopaedics from 1994-2001. In 2001, the two practices merged to become Signature Health Services, Inc., now Signature Medical Group, Inc.

During that period, Vest also worked as a consultant to multiple OB/GYN practices and other specialties, some of which became a vital part of what is now Signature, a physician-owned multispecialty group with more than 150 physicians in Missouri and Kansas.

In 2002, Vest collaborated with the Signature board of directors and doctors and community leaders to create the Signature Healthcare Foundation. The Foundation has provided nearly $1 million in support of numerous organizations that touch the lives of many in the St. Louis and Kansas City regions.

More recently, teams assembled under Vest have earned Signature local and national recognition for its commitment to improving quality healthcare and for leadership in its BPCI (bundled payments) and the Strong Start maternity programs.

Vest said he was grateful for the support of the Signature board, physicians and employees in his tenure with the company.

“You have all worked to create something very special in the St. Louis and the Kansas City markets. I am very proud to have worked with all of you over the last 22 years and appreciate your loyalty and support,’’ he said.

Schwartzkopf has served as general counsel of Signature since 2007. He has managed all of the company’s legal matters, which frequently involve issues regarding health law, employment law, contract law, and mergers and acquisitions.

Schwartzkopf is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and St. Louis Health Lawyers Association. He has served as an arbitrator for the Mandatory Arbitration Program for the Third Judicial Circuit in Madison County, Ill., since its inception.

Schwartzkopf is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Illinois and obtained his J.D. and B.S.B.A. (Finance) from the University of Tulsa.

Sackman has been with Signature since 2001, holding numerous business and clinical positions.  Since 2005, he has been the administrator at Premier Care Orthopedics, and in 2015 became senior vice president of operations for Signature.  He also has been serving as the council chairman for the AAOE Benchmarking and Data Analytics Committee since 2014.

Sackman has a bachelor’s degree in community health and athletic training from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Missouri at St. Louis and Barnes College of Nursing, and a masters of business administration from Fontbonne University.