Virtually all physician recruiters are excited to bring new doctors to their hospitals. But 2015 Staff Physician Recruiter of the Year Jessica Hall sees an even-bigger picture than most. Working at Good Samaritan Hospital in her native Mt. Vernon, Illinois (part of SSM Health), Jessica is obviously passionate about her part in building the future of her community.

“I love the aspect of building my hometown. We have the potential for absolute greatness. We can be the regional referral center for south-central Illinois. Being able to help build that through recruiting qualified providers is fun.

Jessica is manager of physician and provider recruitment for Illinois for SSM Health and recruits physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants for 142-bed Mt. Vernon Hospital and 134-bed St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia. She and her associate recruited 20 providers in 2015, have added 10 more through May 2016. They also source and screen provider candidates for several independent practices in the area.

Supporting her hometown through healthcare might just be genetic, too. Jessica’s mother is also a native of Mt. Vernon and dean of a local nursing program, and her late father came there in in the 1960s to practice medicine after seeing an ad in the New England Journal of Medicine. Jessica herself has earned a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management and a master of health care administration degree.

Good Samaritan and St. Mary’s Hospitals serve an 11 county area with a population of about 250,000 people. While they are technically in a rural area, they are also only about an hour from downtown St. Louis, a fact that Jessica emphasizes to physician recruits. Rather than pointing out the rural setting, she shows that the Mt. Vernon area has the benefits of a suburb, without the drawbacks of city traffic.

Because of Mt. Vernon’s geographic location, Jessica applied for and can now recruit providers through the federal J-1 program. “It’s been a game-changer for Mt. Vernon.” The hospital now benefits from the skills of an ENT and a hospitalist from Yale, a colorectal physician from Rochester Mayo, a urologist, pulmonary specialists, and geriatricians. Mt. Vernon’s state-of-the-art facilities are a particular draw.

While Jessica’s recruiting skills are obvious and quantifiable, providers she has recruited appreciate the personal touch she offers, including her love for her home area. She is a local resident firmly embedded in the life of the town, married to an insurance agency owner, and mother of two young daughters. As one physician puts it, “she made us feel as if we had a friend from the first day we moved here.”

Jessica dreams of the day when more area natives return to Mt. Vernon and Centralia after college. Through her recruitment of top-quality medical providers, she is doing her part to make that happen.


Jessica Hall was presented with the 2015 Staff Physician Recruiter of the Year award at SSM Health Good Samaritan Regional Health Center on January 13, 2016.

The Staff Physician Recruiter of the Year program is designed to recognize those in the profession who make outstanding contributions to healthcare through their work. Recruiters are nominated by hospital administrators, physicians, and fellow staff recruiters from across the U.S. Nominations are reviewed by an independent panel that selects 10 finalists and one overall winner based on the individuals’ dedication to the in-house physician recruitment field. The award is sponsored by Jackson and Coker, the oldest and one of the most prominent physician recruiting firms in the U.S., serving hospitals and facilities nationwide. To learn more about Jackson & Coker and the Staff Physician Recruiter of the Year awards, click here.