B.E. Smith Places CEO at Avera Health

June 25, 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.

B.E. Smith recently placed Bob Sutton as chief executive officer of Avera Health, a faith-based health system out of Sioux Falls, SD.

A rigorous, national search process resulted in a large response from many qualified candidates. “We narrowed the field down to several outstanding candidates, from both inside and outside of Avera,” said Mary Kay Panowicz, Avera System members chair and chair of the CEO search committee. “Bob was set apart by his enthusiasm and commitment to the Avera mission, his vast knowledge of South Dakota, its communities and surrounding states and his compassion as a servant leader.”

The Right Experience

Born and raised in South Dakota, Mr. Sutton has more than 25 years of professional leadership experience, most recently as Avera executive vice president of human resources. He has been with Avera since 2013 and has served in roles such as regional president, CEO of Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre and SVP of community relations.

Mr. Sutton is currently president of the South Dakota Board of Regents, completing a term that ends in 2019. He also has extensive past and present involvement on boards, including the Bush Foundation’s South Dakota Advisory Committee and South Dakota Housing Development Authority Board.

Avera’s search team said Mr. Sutton is an ideal fit for system CEO, a role in which he will oversee 300 care locations and service 100 communities in five states.

“Bob brings important experience from both healthcare and non-healthcare leadership,” said Ms. Panowicz. “His visionary leadership skills will continue Avera’s growth and strategic development as one of the nation’s most sophisticated health systems delivering rural healthcare.”

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.

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. 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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