April 6, 2021 – As health systems recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, they face an ever-worsening provider shortage. According to executive recruiters who ply their trade in the healthcare sector, executive leadership talent across the space is in higher demand than ever. The pandemic likely accelerated the trend, but as we head toward a post-COVID-19 era demand is likely to only increase more. To that end, HealthSearch Partners (HSP) recently assisted Williamson Medical Center (WMC) in Franklin, TN in the recruitment of Phil Mazzuca as its new chief executive officer. Mr. Mazzuca replaces long-time CEO Donald Webb, who announced his retirement in March. “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, board of trustees chairman. “With Phil, there will be no learning curve when it comes to our hospital or the community we serve. He can step right in and lead as we navigate through these challenging times.”
WMC’s new leader has more than 38 years of experience in hospital management. During his career, Mr. Mazzuca has served as CEO and in other senior management positions for hospitals and healthcare services companies across the country. Most recently he served as senior vice president for Franklin-based Community Health Systems (CHS). In Middle Tennessee, he has also been CEO of Parkway Medical Center, COO of IASIS Healthcare and CEO at Brim Healthcare.
Building on a Legacy
“I’ve been able to witness first-hand the evolution of Williamson Medical Center from a community hospital to a true regional healthcare leader,” said Mr. Mazzuca. “I appreciate the confidence of the board and look forward to building on the incredible legacy of Don Webb and those who came before him. This is a unique period in the healthcare sector and I’ll work every day to ensure that Williamson Medical Center continues to provide the best possible care to our patients.”
Mr. Mazzuca holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration and a doctorate in health services administration from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, a leading program in health services administration in the country.
Mr. Webb joined WMC in 1985 as controller. He served as chief financial officer for 16 years prior to his appointment as CEO in 2012. His extensive background in healthcare management, coupled with his strategic leadership and vision, has guided WMC through a new era of healthcare, expanding services and advancing technologies. He led the opening of the first dedicated children’s pediatric emergency room and inpatient unit and comprehensive state-of-the-art orthopaedics facility in Williamson County.
Williamson Medical Center offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services, 24-hour emergency care, preventive health screenings and wellness activities. More than 750 providers represent over 70 medical specialties and sub-specialties. The campus also houses Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt at Williamson Medical Center, which provides pediatric emergent and inpatient care, and the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee. In addition, WMC’s Williamson Medical Group includes over 35 providers offering everything from primary care to surgery to pulmonary and sleep medicine.
Serving Healthcare Organizations
Based in Dallas, TX, 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.
How COVID-19 is Transforming Healthcare Recruitment
Last year, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicted the U.S. would see a shortfall of up to 122,000 physicians by 2032. Now, lost revenue due to the pandemic has caused many hospitals to furlough employees and slowed, or completely delayed, recruitment efforts, according to new report by Jordan Search Consultants (JSC). The end result will be unprecedented demand for providers unlike what hospitals have ever dealt with before, the firm says.
At the end of 2020, HealthSearch Partners placed leaders of three important healthcare provider organizations: Phillip Mazzuca was recruited as chief executive officer of Williamson Medical Center; Helen Johnson joined Sparrow Eaton Hospital, part of Central Michigan’s Sparrow Health System, as president; and Monte Wilson became 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.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media