October 8, 2021 – Executive recruitment firm Furst Group, which serves the healthcare and insurance industries, has assisted in the placement of Audrey Williams-Lee as chief people officer of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. The hospital said it changed the title of this role from chief human resources officer to emphasize the importance of people in advancing its mission. “Audrey brings impressive experience leading a diverse, service-oriented workforce in major companies, such as the Hyatt Hotels Corp. and McDonald’s Corp.,” said Tom Shanley, president and CEO of Lurie Children’s Hospital. “We expect to benefit from her new perspectives, rich experience in human resources and deep commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. We welcome her enthusiasm to help us successfully navigate the transformational changes facing Lurie Children’s as the healthcare industry moves into the future.”
Ms. Williams-Lee’s experience encompasses serving as a HR leader and advisor for C-suite executives and their leadership teams, community engagement, and setting and directing strategies for philanthropic giving. She has worked across several industries, holding human resources roles at Unilever, McDonald’s and W.W. Grainger. On the non-profit side, she was CHRO for Opportunity International. Ms. Williams-Lee’s community involvement includes working with organizations to help children heal from trauma. She serves or has recently served on several mission-driven boards, including Youth Guidance in Chicago, Hephzibah Children’s Association, and Oak Park & River Forest High School’s Community Council. She also has presented at several conferences and summits focused on the future of work, equity in hiring, and work and economic mobility.
“To meet the demands of a competitive market and dynamic industry, having a talented, diverse, engaged and well-developed workforce will further accelerate Lurie Children’s success,” said Ms. Williams-Lee. “With nearly 140 years of focusing on the health and wellbeing of all children, Lurie Children’s commitment to providing outstanding healthcare for children, as well as care for families and communities, is unparalleled. I look forward to working with Dr. Shanley and the rest of the executive leadership team to strengthen this foundation and position the organization as an employer of choice.”
Lurie Children’s is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. It is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Last year, the hospital served more than 220,000 children from 48 states and 49 countries.
Furst Group, which is headquartered in Rockford, IL, partners with many of the premier healthcare organizations in the world, from providers and payers to life-science companies and private equity/venture capital firms. While Furst Group’s roots are in managed care, the firm continues to be one of the nation’s leading executive search partners to health systems, hospitals, academic medical centers, post-acute and hospice and palliative care facilities. Its work with insurers stretches back to the HMO era, yet the firm also teams with life-science, pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
Furst Group also has offices in Phoenix, AZ; Radnor, PA; San Francisco; Brentwood, TN; Chicago; Irving, TX; Minneapolis, MN; Seattle; St. Louis; and Washington, D.C.
Furst Group Recruits CFO for Baystate Health
Furst Group assisted Baystate Health in Springfield, MA, in the hiring of Raymond McCarthy as treasurer and CFO. Mr. McCarthy has served as interim CFO since March. “Ray has worked tirelessly and skillfully to keep our health system financially stable during the pandemic and the accompanying recession, ensuring that Baystate Health got its fair share of state and federal relief dollars and deployed its resources flexibly and effectively,” said Mark A. Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health.
Earlier this year, Furst Group assisted City of Hope, located in Duarte, CA, in the placement of Angela L. Talton as its first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. She will provide leadership for the biomedical research and treatment center’s holistic and integrated efforts to continue its efforts to build a diverse and inclusive culture at all levels of the enterprise. “At City of Hope, we are committed to deepening our culture of diversity, equity and inclusion both in the workplace and through our continued efforts to bridge gaps in cancer research, access, treatment and outcomes in diverse populations across our country,” said Debra Fields, executive vice president and chief transformation officer at City of Hope. “Angela is an accomplished, proven leader who will help further our vision.”
Ms. Talton has expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion encompasses leadership development, recruitment and retention of talent, communication strategy, philanthropic giving, supplier diversity and analytics. Most recently, she advised national clients through her firm, ALTalton Consulting. Prior to that, she served in senior executive roles at industry leader Nielsen for nearly 12 years, including chief diversity officer, senior vice president of global diversity and inclusion, and SVP of global call center operations.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media