December 16, 2020 – Dallas, TX-based HealthSearch Partners (HSP) recently placed leaders of three important healthcare provider organizations: Phillip Mazzuca was recruited as chief executive officer of Williamson Medical Center (WMC) in Franklin, TN; Helen Johnson joins Sparrow Eaton Hospital, part of Central Michigan’s Sparrow Health System, as president; and Monte Wilson becomes president of CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Health System in Alexandria, LA.
Each of the assignments was managed by a senior HSP principal. Co-founders Ed Fry and Barry Cesafsky conducted the searches for Mr. Mazzuca and Ms. Johnson while HSP president Ivan Bartolome directed the CHRISTUS search. “These assignments presented formidable challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said HSP. “Travel restrictions and the need for social distancing hampered much of the usual ability to meet and gather freely.”
While there were some mask-to-mask get togethers, most meetings and interviews were conducted by telephone or via Zoom. In some ways, the use of Zoom meetings helped expedite aspects of the search, which many recruiters now find. “I believe the search we did was faster and more efficient because it was easier to find calendar time for a quick hourlong Zoom meeting here or there, while a face-to-face gathering would have taken a half a day or more, including travel,” said Mr. Cesafsky.
A Great Advantage
With the Tennessee search, Mr. Fry met with his client in order to ensure complete understanding of all aspects of the position as well as to fully appreciate the extensive complex services offered at Williamson. Nevertheless, “the ability to meet via ZOOM, often on short notice, was a great advantage in moving the search along rapidly,” added Mr. Fry.
HSP president Ivan Bartolome said that simultaneously completing these three diverse searches—a 203-bed medical center in Tennessee, a 25-bed critical access hospital linked to a large Michigan health system, and a 293-bed major medical center in Louisiana, which is part of a 60 facility medical system—highlights the depth and flexibility HealthSearch Partners provided during a period of extreme national hardship.
In regard to the Williamson Medical Center assignment, Mr. Mazzuca will replace long-time CEO Donald Webb, who announced his retirement in March. Mr. Mazzuca begins his new role on March 8.
A Thorough Search
Mr. Mazzuca has more than 38 years of experience in hospital management, most recently serving as senior vice president for Franklin-based Community Health Systems. “Through our search firm, we identified over 90 qualified potential candidates from across the country and found the right leader here in Williamson County,” said Bo Butler, WMC board of trustees chairman.
With the Sparrow Eaton Hospital assignment, Ms. Johnson starts her new role on Jan. 1. She joins Sparrow from Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital, where she has spent the past 15 years as a key member of the regional hospital’s executive team, serving as chief nursing officer, chief operating officer and twice as interim president.
Ms. Johnson has 30 years of progressive leadership experience, bringing a broad range of skills in operations, team-building, strategic planning, leadership development, governance, and more. She most recently led her hospital and community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Health System role, Mr. Wilson is assisting CEO Chris Karam with day-to-day operations of the hospital as Mr. Karam focuses on his expanded role as CEO of multiple CHRISTUS Hospitals throughout Louisiana and Southwest Texas. “Working with our administrative team, Monte will be a great asset to our associates and medical staff, providing high quality, compassionate care to our patients, ensuring our facilities are equipped for the future of medicine, and so much more,” said the health system.
Serving Healthcare Organizations
HealthSearch Partners was formed in 2018 by the joining together of Dallas-based firms FaithSearch Partners and Southerland Partners and Chicago-based CES Partners. Together, the three firms have combined experience of over 3,100 managed searches including more than 500 CEO searches and represent more than 130 years of search experience. The firm specializes in identifying and placing transformational, mission-minded CEOs and senior leaders in healthcare systems.
Mr. Fry has successfully assisted healthcare systems, hospital board and executive teams in securing visionary leaders for 30 years. Prior to founding FaithSearch Partners in 2007, he held senior/partner positions with two large, national healthcare and international executive search firms.
Mr. Cesafsky serves on the firm’s board of directors. He has previously been a partner in two major executive search firms. Now engaged in over 30 years of executive search, Mr. Cesafsky’s executive search assignments have included CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, CNOs, CIOs, human resource executives and senior-level positions for hospitals, healthcare systems and a host of other organizations.
Mr. Bartolome is one of six original managers of the HealthSearch Partners board of directors. Throughout his 30 plus years of leadership, management and executive search, he has devoted much of his service to progressive healthcare organizations who want to transform their C-suites by recruiting high quality, mission-minded senior executives.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media