Kirby Bates Associates Seeking COO for South Denver Gastroenterology

June 3, 2024 – Orlando, FL-headquartered healthcare-focused search firm Kirby Bates Associates was recently retained by South Denver Gastroenterology, P.C. to conduct a search for their inaugural chief operating officer. Leading the assignment are Livonne Engebrecht, senior executive recruiter, and Troy Keach, vice president search services. The chief operating officer, reporting to the chief executive officer, and a dyad relationship with the President, will bring strong physician practice operations and P & L experience to the role, as well as successful interpersonal skills. The incumbent will lead the daily operations of this highly successful, profitable, and independent physician practice.

The COO is responsible for five FTEs, including three site managers, a human resources manager, and a practice RN manager. The salary range of $175,000 to $190,000 is negotiable based on education and years of physician practice experience.

For this position, a bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree specializing in health, business, public administration, or related field preferred. Kirby Bates is looking for candidates with a minimum of two years experience in physician practice leadership required, with multiple site locations preferred.

South Denver Gastroenterology is a full-service practice and the region’s leader in delivering comprehensive, compassionate gastroenterology care. The organization’s gastroenterologists are highly trained experts who provide innovation and the latest technologies to their patients.

Founded in 1988 as Bates & Associates by two leading nurse entrepreneurs, Kirby Bates Associates has been continuously owned and operated by nursing executives. The firm offers portfolio of leadership services including interim leadership, executive search, leadership coaching and operations consulting. Melissa Fitzpatrick was named president of Kirby Bates in 2020. In 2017, the company became part of the Jackson Healthcare family of companies.

Experienced Recruiters

Ms. Engebrecht brings more than 20 years of healthcare executive recruitment experience, having worked in two other specialty search firms before joining the firm. As a talent acquisition specialist, she partners with healthcare leaders to learn about their career trajectory and future professional goals, as they explore the next step in their career. She also strives to fully comprehend the unique needs of our clients in order to meet the recruitment needs of the organizations Kirby Bates Associates serves.


Evolving Life Sciences/Healthcare Sector Busier Than Ever for Recruiters

Search consultants continue to say that there is an unprecedented opportunity for visionary healthcare/life sciences leaders to redefine the future of the industry. A shifting economic climate and the rapid pace of innovation have fueled many changes in the healthcare industry through acquisitions, divestitures, and new company formations. The pandemic accelerated the adoption of technologies such as telehealth and remote patient monitoring. At the same time, developments in the life sciences, medicine, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare industries continue to put pressure on businesses to improve their products and services to serve more patients with higher-quality care at a lower cost, according to SPMB.

“These changes have forced companies to look for healthcare leaders who can inject a fresh perspective on how to better manage the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that inevitably come from disruptions, reforms, and technology innovations,” the firm says. “With such a steep imbalance of demand and supply for top talent, it’s more critical than ever that health-related businesses and organizations understand exactly what they are looking for, adhere to an efficient and streamlined interview process, and have executive alignment when it comes time to negotiate a competitive offer. The best candidates are being pursued by several organizations with multiple offers at one time.”


Mr. Keach brings more than 20 years experience to his role. His healthcare career started at Mayo Clinic where he supported a for-profit division of Mayo Clinic with a focus on the East Coast. Since then, Mr. Keach’s diverse executive experience includes hospital and clinic operations, mergers and acquisitions, and academic healthcare systems. A seasoned healthcare executive, with several years in the private equity industry, he has served as president of Minnesota Eye Consultants, CEO for Surgical Care Affiliates in Minnesota, chief operating officer for FirstLight Health System, and president and CEO of a medical supply and equipment company.

Kirby Bates Associates was also exclusively retained by Pontiac General Hospital (PGH) to conduct their search for a COO. This executive will assume a pivotal role within a rapidly expanding private equity-backed organization as a member of the executive leadership team. They will be part of a mission driven organization that focuses on inpatient psychiatric services for the underserved. The COO is responsible for operations and administration for radiology, laboratory, food services, IT, purchasing, HR, communications, facilities, security, EVS, risk/quality/compliance.

Related: How Healthcare Recruiters Help Find Top Senior Talent

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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