Alameda Health Taps Witt/Kieffer for Chief Medical Officer

March 14, 2016 – Executive search firm Witt/Kieffer has been selected by Alameda Health System (AHS) in Oakland, CA, to lead its search for a new chief medical officer. William T. Peruzzi MD, stepped down from the position in August. The search is being led by consultant Steve Yamada and associate Sue LeGrand.

AHS is seeking a collaborative, inclusive physician leader to assume the post. The incoming CMO is expected to lead a thorough assessment and review of infrastructure, resources, quality, peer review and other medical staff office practices. The selected candidate will also lead the new physician structure, Alameda Health Partners, in becoming the vehicle for employment or affiliation of physicians, for billing physician services, and ultimately the means to enable AHS to assume risk for care delivery.

According to the position spec, the new medical officer “must be a transparent, inclusive, balanced leader” who can position AHS in improving access, efficiency in care transitions & delivery, consistency with quality metrics, and creating a culture of physician engagement. Candidates will have substantial clinical practice experience and executive leadership experience in an urban safety net or non-profit setting. He or she must hold a medical degree from an accredited institution and be board certified in the appropriate specialty.

Alameda Health System is an award winning provider of care with 849 beds at nine facilities, located throughout Alameda County, California. The organization is widely recognized for its cardiology, emergency and trauma care, maternal/child health, surgery, orthopedics, gastroenterology, and senior health (geriatrics) services. It is a major regional trauma center as well as a nationally recognized teaching institution affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine.

Witt/Kieffer is a specialist in this area, assisting hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, medical schools & physician groups; biotech, pharmaceutical, diagnostics & medical device companies; colleges & universities and not-for-profit community service & cultural organizations with senior administrative recruiting assignments.


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Mr. Yamada, who works from the firm’s Emeryville, CA office, conducts senior management searches for hospitals, healthcare organizations, universities and various not-for-profits including foundations, professional/ trade associations and community-based organizations.

Witt/Kieffer is currently engaged in a number of searches for chief medical officers, including those for Ascension Senior Living, DCH Health System, Deaconess Health System, Hospice of the Chesapeake, Medical College Physicians (Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin), Saint Agnes Medical Center and Torrance Hospital IPA.

The role of the chief medical officer has evolved in recent years and, as in this case, organizations are looking for broader skill sets.

“Clients are looking to physician leaders to be more than a clinical advocate in the boardroom,” said Nancy Donohoo, a VP at Tyler & Company who has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry. “They want a CMO who can read and interpret financial statements, participate in negotiating value-based contracts, drive innovation across the medical management function, and advance the strategic goals of the enterprise. Having exposure to a variety of insurance product lines is also very attractive.”

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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