Cejka Search Seeks Chair for Virginia Commonwealth University

February 10, 2020 – Virginia Commonwealth University has retained the services of Cejka Search to lead its hunt for a new chair of the department of emergency medicine. President and managing director Paul Esselman is leading the assignment.

The chair will report to the dean of the School of Medicine and serve as the department’s academic and administrative leader, providing direction in research; educational programs; faculty recruitment, retention and development; clinical operations; budget management and oversight; and strategic planning for both adult and pediatric emergency medicine. The department chair has a key leadership role in both the School of Medicine and VCU Medical Center and is an anchor for access for the health system.

“The successful candidate for the chair of emergency medicine will be a respected leader and academician with excellent clinical, teaching and research skills,” Cejka Search said. “Demonstrated leadership abilities with experience as a chair, division chief or similar key leadership position is required. The new department chair will have the ability to articulate a vision that enhances the excellence of the department, fosters interdisciplinary collaboration with the VCU School of Medicine, university and the health system, supports diversity and inclusion and undertakes new initiatives while maintaining and growing the existing department’s diverse clinical, research and teaching missions.”

VCU Medical Center serves as one of the region’s comprehensive Level 1 trauma center verified in adult, pediatric and burn trauma care ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the top hospital in Richmond and sixth in Virginia. The department of emergency medicine provides care to about 101,000 patients, including 4,000 trauma cases, spanning all ages and socioeconomic groups.

Healthcare Recruiters

Cejka Search, based in St. Louis, has provided recruiting services exclusively to the healthcare industry for more than 35 years. Its client roster includes Georgetown University Hospital, Northwestern Memorial, Levine Cancer Institute, St. John Providence Health System, Tenet, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, Centene Corp., Cape Fear Valley Health and Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.


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The firm has conducted searches for an array of roles, including chief medical information officer, chief compliance officer, chief of oncology, chief medical officer, chief of pediatrics, chief of neurology, chief nursing officer, CEO, CFO, COO, department chair, chief clinical officer, medical director and chief strategy officer.

Mr. Esselman has years of results-oriented leadership experience within healthcare, helping board members and senior executives define and secure the leadership talent organizations they need. As managing director, he provides strategic oversight and operational direction for the Cejka Executive Search team and is involved in nurturing the firm’s long-term client and talent relationships. He provides client consultation for senior-level executive search engagements, with a focus on C-suite positions and assisting with organization development and succession planning strategies.

Just recently, Mr. Esselman was appointed president of Cejka. He had served as the firm’s senior executive vice president and managing director since 2005. “Paul is truly one of the most impressive retained search executives I have ever met,” said Kevin Clark, president and CEO of Cross Country Healthcare. “As a nationwide leader, he is very well known and respected among healthcare executives in North America, and I’m excited to have him lead Cejka Executive Search.”

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

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