Korn Ferry Finds CEO for American College of Cardiology

September 19, 2018 – Following a six-month nationwide search, Korn Ferry placed Timothy W. Attebery as the new CEO of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). Shalom Jacobovitz, who led the organization for five years, left the college in January to head a new biopharmaceutical company. Thomas Giella, chairman of Korn Ferry’s healthcare services practice, and Lorraine Lavet, sector leader for associations, led the assignment.

ACC was seeking a CEO who shared in the goals of the college and was passionate about working side by side with its staff and members to realize and move forward with the college’s vision and new strategic plan. Mr. Attebery proved to be the winning candidate.

“We are excited to have Tim take the helm of the college at the same time that we begin the process of implementing our next strategic plan,” said C. Michael Valentine, ACC president. “As a CV administration member of the ACC, he brings with him a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the cardiovascular service line at a time when health care continues to undergo massive change.”

“His commitment to patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration, professionalism and excellence is also aligned with the college’s core values and will help to ensure we achieve our mission of transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health,” said Dr. Valentine.

Medical Sector Veteran

ACC immediate past president Mary Norine Walsh, who chaired the CEO search committee, said Mr. Attebery comes to the ACC with 30 years of experience in nearly every aspect of the cardiovascular service line. “This experience will translate well as we move toward implementing the college’s strategic priorities, including increasing the college’s relevance as the cardiovascular professional home, advancing quality, equity and value of cardiovascular care, and ensuring continued organizational growth and sustainability,” she said.

Mr. Attebery comes to the ACC from Ballad Health in Kingsport, TN, where he has served as president and CEO of Holston Valley Medical Center since 2013. At Ballad Health, he led the large, tertiary referral center and teaching hospital under a model focused on patient safety, quality, service, collaboration with the medical staff, employee engagement, efficiency and equity. Before that, Mr. Attebery held the position of system VP of cardiovascular services from 2010 to 2013. He also served as CEO of Cardiovascular Associates, CEO of South Carolina Heart Center and CEO of the Heart Group. In addition, he has served in leadership positions on the boards of the Cardiology Advocacy Alliance and the Cardiology Leadership Alliance, as well as played a key role in the development of MedAxiom.

Founded in 1949, the ACC’s mission is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. With more than 52,000 members, the group leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The non-profit is currently led by interim chief executive officer and executive vice president Cathy Gates.

Healthcare Recruiting

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.


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The historic challenges confronting the healthcare industry are decidedly collective in nature. According to Korn Ferry, an unprecedented shift from payment models based on volume to those centered on outcomes deeply affects consumers, governments, industry experts and other stakeholders as well as leaders and practitioners within every sector of the healthcare industry across every region of the world.

Korn Ferry’s healthcare services are developed by bundling select capabilities and expertise within its complete set of offerings. From an organizational perspective, the search firm’s offerings encompass strategy execution and organizational design, talent strategy and work design, and rewards and benefits. From a people perspective, the firm’s services include assessment and succession, executive search and recruitment, and leadership development.

Based in Chicago, Mr. Giella has been with Korn Ferry for 28 years and previously managed its healthcare services practice for 15 years. He has conducted over 800 senior-level assignments in the healthcare services industry, working primarily for not-for-profit healthcare companies in the areas of integrated delivery systems, community teaching hospitals, health insurance companies, health/medical associations, academic health centers and other health services delivery companies. Mr. Giella specializes in C-suite placements (specifically CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, CHRO and CIO assignments). Over his career at Korn Ferry, he has completed 60 CEO assignments working closely with boards of directors and search committees.

Ms. Lavet specializes in the recruitment of senior-level executives for trade associations, professional societies and other non-profit organizations. She has spent more than two decades in association leadership positions representing high-tech companies and government contractors before federal and state government bodies in both branches of the government.

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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