Passage and Associates Tapped to Find Healthcare CEO

February 3, 2017 – Executive search firm Passage and Associates LLC, has been retained by Kittitas Valley Healthcare to lead its search for a president and chief executive officer. The hunt for a new CEO follows the termination of past chief Paul Nurick last June. Managing director Jennifer Robinson is leading the search along with founder Jim Passage.

In the coming weeks, the search firm will work with the Kittitas Valley board to determine the minimum qualifications and characteristics for applicants to the CEO position. The recruiters will then solicit applications, with a particular emphasis on candidates who have experience in rural healthcare. Candidates who pass the initial screening will be considered for interviews in the coming months.

“We want to ensure a thoughtful process that yields the best possible candidate for our district,” said Liahna Armstrong, president of the Kittitas Valley Healthcare board of commissioners. “The board is committed to the meaningful inclusion of members of our community and employees during the CEO search process.”


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With an interim CEO established and a full complement of commissioners in place, the board of commissioners is now focused on commencing the search for a permanent CEO. Julie Petersen joined KVH last June to serve as its interim CEO. The board hopes to have a permanent CEO installed by mid 2017.

Situated in the heart of Washington, Kittitas County Public Hospital District No. 1 provides care to Kittitas County and surrounding areas. The public hospital district is governed by a five-member elected board of commissioners and is almost exclusively supported by revenue generated from patient services.

Unique Perspective

Passage & Associates provides senior level recruiting services that include executive, board of directors and management level positions. Mr. Passage founded the firm in 1978 and has worked with companies throughout the Pacific Northwest and around the world finding and placing top talent. He has the unique perspective of having seen both sides of a healthcare executive search. He was formerly a member of the board of commissioners for Chelan County Public Hospital District No. 1 (Leavenworth).

His colleague on the search, Ms. Robinson, began working with Passage & Associates as an executive search consultant in 2004.  As the founder’s daughter, she has grown up with the business.


High Growth Sector for Recruiters

Healthcare is among the most rapidly growing employment fields, and one of the hottest sectors for search firms – this according to recruiters who track leadership trends in specialized niche industries and functions. A growing number of search outfits have been creating new practices and adding staff to address client’s expanding talent needs within the sector. ….. Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

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

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