Kirby Bates Associates Expands with Two Senior Hires

February 4, 2019 – 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.

As a result, the need for recruiting firms to deliver top-drawer leaders throughout the sector has only grown.

Recently, Orlando, FL-headquartered healthcare-focused search firm Kirby Bates Associates (KBA) expanded with two key strategic hires to support increasing client demand and to enhance the organization’s service offerings.

Melissa Fitzpatrick joins the firm as chief operating officer, bringing more than 35 years of experience in innovative nursing and industry leadership roles. Previously, she led the clinical team at Hill-Rom as the organization’s first vice president and chief clinical officer. Prior to that, Ms. Fitzpatrick served as chief nurse executive and senior associate chief operating officer for the Duke University Health System. She was also president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and editor-in-chief of Nursing Management Journal. Kirby Bates Associates said that her “publications and keynote addresses have touched thousands of nursing and healthcare leaders, and her global industry experience will be a key driver of growth for the firm.”

“Nothing is more important to patient care delivery than assuring that the strongest leaders are in place to drive patient outcomes and organizational excellence,” said Ms. Fitzpatrick. “It is an honor to join the Kirby Bates Associates team as we place the current and future leaders of our industry.”

With 30 years of healthcare leadership experience, Colleen Chapp joins Kirby Bates as vice president of interim leadership services, working alongside Doris Sinkevich, executive vice president for interim leadership services. Ms. Chapp served for 10 years with B.E. Smith in leadership roles within its interim leadership and advisory services. Her interim and permanent leadership experiences include chief nurse executive and vice president of patient care services roles in Ohio, Nebraska and Oregon.

“We are so fortunate to have these outstanding leaders join us at Kirby Bates,” said Karen K. Kirby, the firm’s president and CEO. “Their leadership skills, professional networks and passion for excellence are a perfect match for our existing highly dedicated and talented KBA team. I couldn’t be happier for the entire KBA team and know that we are positioned for a very exciting 2019 and beyond.”


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Founded in 1988 as Bates & Associates by two leading nurse entrepreneurs, Kirby Bates Associates has been continuously owned and operated by nursing executives. It is part of the Jackson Healthcare family of companies. Ms. Kirby assumed the CEO role in 2003. She has over 30 years of diverse healthcare administration and consulting experience and has held top-level nursing and hospital administration positions in the U.S. and abroad.

“Because we are healthcare professionals who have held executive level nursing and hospital operations positions, our clients and candidates are also our colleagues,” Kirby Bates said. “Our ultimate goal is to support our colleagues in shaping exceptional healthcare leadership teams.”

Last year, the firm grew with the addition of veteran chief nursing officer Judy Hayes as vice president of executive search and interim leadership. Ms. Hayes previously served as vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, a Partners Healthcare member.  Ms. Kirby said that Ms. Hayes has “a background that corresponds well with the firm. “Like each of her Kirby Bates colleagues, Judy’s educational, clinical, leadership and philanthropic background is rooted in healthcare leadership.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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