Four Corners Group Finds CEO for Southlake Regional Health Centre

Four Corners Group Finds CEO Arden Krystal Southlake Regional Health Centre

September 25, 2017 – Following an extensive Canada-wide search, executive recruiting firm Four Corners Group has placed Arden Krystal as president and CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre in Ontario. Jim Stonehouse, a partner with the recruiter, led the search along with project manager Nevila Xherro.

Southlake Regional Health’s board of directors said it was seeking to recruit an accomplished senior leader committed to its vision and values and devoted to healthcare innovation. The board wanted a CEO who would engage diverse and multiple constituencies and champion its philanthropic endeavors.

Ms. Krystal fit this bill. She is an experienced and authentic senior executive, said Four Corners Group. She has a reputation for using her expertise in clinical operations leadership, innovation and system change to energize people, drive improvement in patient and employee experiences, and provide strategic and operational oversight in large, complex organizations, said the recruiter.

Proven Leader

Since 2008, Ms. Krystal has held senior executive roles in two of the largest health regions in Canada: The Fraser Health Authority and the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) in British Columbia. In those roles, she was responsible for leading thousands of staff and physicians, improving and sustaining quality of care and overseeing financial stewardship of budgets totaling over $1 billion. Most recently, she was EVP, patient and employee experience, at PHSA. She has also worked for Vancouver General Hospital and Vancouver Coastal Health.

In her new role, Ms. Krystal has responsibility for strategic and operational planning, financial management and leadership of all service and line operations of Southlake.  As president and CEO, she is also the senior administrator responsible for Southlake’s relationship with system partners.

Southlake Regional Health Centre, with an annual operating budget approximately $375 million, is a full-service hospital with a regional, clinically advanced focus. It offers almost 400 patient beds and accommodates more than 90,000 visits to the emergency department, 22,000 in-patient admissions, and 600,000 out-patient visits each year. As a regionally designated site, Southlake is responsible for developing and providing advanced levels of care to the more than one million Canadians. The organization has more than 3,000 employees, 540 physicians, and 900 volunteers.


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Four Corners’ healthcare practice has a national Canadian scope and focuses predominantly on organizations providing healthcare: hospitals, home care organizations, regional health authorities, long term care centers, academic medical centers, and related provincial planning and delivery agencies.

Mr. Stonehouse has 19 years of executive search experience, predominantly in the health care sector. He has worked with some of the most prominent healthcare providers, health policy and consulting groups, and numerous life sciences and medical device companies. He serves as Four Corners’ healthcare practice leader.

“Approximately 65 percent of our search work is at the CEO level, with the balance typically at the vice presidential level,” said Mr. Stonehouse. “In addition, we have robust experience in recruiting senior medical leadership roles, such as physician administrators, into client organizations. We cover all the functional areas typically found within healthcare provider organizations: finance; human resources, clinical informatics, corporate services/ facilities, nursing and interdisciplinary health professional senior leadership, medical leadership and others.”

Active Healthcare Sector

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.

According to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, healthcare employment continued on an upward trend over the month (20,000) and has risen by 328,000 over the year. Employment in hospitals edged up over the month (6,000).

“We are witnessing accelerated demand for recruitment assistance across all categories of employers,” Mr. Stonehouse said. “Much of this can be attributed to the demographics of senior administrative teams. Simply put, attrition related to retirement is a key driver for the need for recruitment assistance. Many senior executives in provider organizations have accelerated their retirement plans as the prevailing defined benefit pension plans accrue attractive financial incentives predisposing many executives to retire earlier than would otherwise be the case.”

As to the supply of qualified candidates, he noted, “we have found that a tightening supply of experienced candidates within the broader healthcare system has prompted many employers to seriously assess candidates from other industries, where the candidates’ skill sets and experience can be translated into the health care provider space. We expect this trend to accelerate.”

With respect to positions most in demand, he said, “senior financial leadership roles and senior medical leadership roles figure prominently,” Mr. Stonehouse said. “That said, for the reasons mentioned earlier – accelerated attrition related to retirement – robust demand exists for leadership roles across the spectrum of functional areas.”

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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