B.E. Smith Retained by Prairie Lakes Healthcare System for CEO Search

March 8, 2018 – As the healthcare industry continues its transformation, talent management remains a high priority. The shortage of physicians and other clinicians is one matter. But healthcare organizations must also fill new and expanding leadership roles to carry out strategic initiatives in response to reform efforts, and whatever changes are coming. This has produced a high demand for top-notch leaders in the sector – and executive recruiters who can land them.

Prairie Lakes Healthcare System in Watertown, SD, recently tapped healthcare-focused executive search firm B.E. Smith to find its next CEO. Senior executive consultant River Meisinger is leading the assignment.

The CEO is responsible for the overall leadership, management and direction of Prairie Lakes Healthcare System. The individual will focus on building collaborative relationships with physicians, board members and the community as a whole, said the search firm.

Prairie Lakes Healthcare is seeking an energetic executive leader who is eager to serve as an active, visible leader throughout the organization as well as the community, said B.E. Smith. The organization is looking for someone to create opportunities for development and empowerment for the leadership team, as well as foster a culture of accountability and engagement with staff and physicians.


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Prairie Lakes Healthcare System is an 81-bed facility, serving the needs of ten counties throughout northeastern South Dakota and western Minnesota. The organization strives to not only keep up with the constant changes in healthcare, but keep ahead of them, said B.E. Smith. Prairie Lakes is considered to be one of the most innovative rural healthcare systems in the nation.

Founded in 1978, Lenexa, KS-based B.E. Smith is a full-service healthcare interim leadership placement and executive search firm. For nearly a decade, it has been recognized annually by Modern Healthcare as one of the top search firms in its sector. The firm places interim leaders and executives across all healthcare settings, including acute care hospitals, academic medical and children’s hospitals, physician practices and post-acute care providers.

Mr. Meisinger, who joined B.E. Smith last year, works to develop and maintain relationships with passive talent from the director level and above in critical access hospitals, community, health system and academic medical centers across the country.

Healthcare Recruiting

Healthcare is among the most rapidly growing employment fields, according to analysts at Hunt Scanlon Media, which tracks trends in the executive search and leadership solutions space.

“Healthcare organizations are looking for expanded skill-sets in one of the most resource-constrained employment markets in decades,” said John Gramer, president of Cejka Executive Search. “The result is fierce competition for top healthcare talent, and growing demand for organizational design, succession planning and search services to help define and build the healthcare leadership teams of the future.”

In turn, a number of healthcare organizations have turned to executive search firms to find new leaders in recent months. Here’s a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

Howard Fischer Associates placed Nassar Nizami as chief information officer of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “At a time of immense change in healthcare, we’re delighted to welcome Nassar as a leader for Jefferson’s focus on innovation, technology, and informational science,” said Dr. Stephen K. Klasko, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson …

Dallas-based executive search firm Southerland Partners placed Gerard J. Colman as CEO of Baptist Healthcare System Inc. in Louisville, KY. Keith Southerland, the search firm’s managing partner, led the assignment. Southerland Partners specializes in recruitment for complex integrated delivery systems, academic medical centers, children’s hospitals and payer organizations.

Phillips, DiPisa & Associates, an executive search firm serving the healthcare sector, has placed Matthew Cox as the senior vice president and CFO of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI. Partner Michael Corey led the assignment. Mr. Cox will lead the finance team and assume financial responsibilities for Spectrum Health and its subsidiaries.

Furst Group recruited Michael McHale as the new president and CEO of TRU Community Care in Boulder, CO. Headquartered in Chicago, Furst Group focuses exclusively on the healthcare and life sciences sector. The firm is led by co-founders Bob Clarke, CEO, and Sherrie Barch, president.

Following an extensive Canada-wide search, executive recruiting firm Four Corners Group placed Arden Krystal as president and CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre in Ontario. Four Corners’ healthcare practice has a national Canadian scope and focuses predominantly on organizations providing healthcare.

Executive search firm Quick Leonard Kieffer recently placed Ann Marie Madden as chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services for Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, NC. Quick Leonard Kieffer specializes in placing executive-level employees across the healthcare industry.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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