Furst Group Recruits ACHP CEO

April 7, 2016 – Executive search firm Furst Group has recruited Ceci Connolly as president and CEO of Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP). She succeeds Patricia Smith who retired at the end of 2015.

In her new role, Ms. Connolly will work with some of the most innovative executives in the health sector to provide high-quality, evidence-based, affordable care.

Since 2012, Ms. Connolly has served as managing director of PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI), where she led national thought leadership and research initiatives for the firm and its clients. A veteran journalist, author and commentator who spent 25 years in the news business, she served as the national health correspondent for The Washington Post. She is the co-author of “LANDMARK: The Inside Story of America’s Health Care Law and What It Means for Us All.”

Ms. Connolly serves on the board of Whitman-Walker Health, a $26 million non-profit, community health center, serving 15,000 clients a year. She is a founding member of Women of Impact (WOI) for Healthcare and serves on the national advisory committee of the Altarum Institute Center for Sustainable Health Spending.

“We are thrilled to have Ceci lead us forward in our mission to provide the highest quality care to all Americans,” said Patricia Richards, president and CEO of SelectHealth of Salt Lake City, and chair of the ACHP board of directors. “Her experience and commitment to improving the nation’s health system will serve ACHP well as we head into the future.”

“I am honored to be joining a team that is in the vanguard of the nation’s healthcare transformation,” said Ms. Connolly. “Community health plans are poised to play an even greater role in the future.”

The Alliance of Community Health Plans is a national leadership organization bringing together innovative health plans and provider groups that deliver affordable, high-quality coverage and care. Its member health plans provide coverage and care for more than 18 million Americans.

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.

The firm recently completed senior level search assignments at El Rio Community Health Center, Primary Care Progress, University Health System, Prevea Health, and Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care. Earlier this year, Furst Group placed Paulette Davidson as chief operating officer of integrated healthcare system Regional Health in Rapid City.

Healthcare is among the most rapidly growing employment fieldsThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that healthcare employers added 37,000 new jobs in March, with most of the increase occurring in ambulatory health care services (+27,000) and hospitals (+10,000). Over the year, healthcare employment has increased by 503,000.

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

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