March 26, 2018 – As the life sciences sector continues to expand and reconfigure itself, vanguard organizations in the field are looking to bolster their leadership ranks. In demand: multi-skilled executives, physician leaders and nurses who can effect change on many levels. Of the four major C-suite roles in the typical hospital, the chief nursing officer (CNO) has traditionally been the most difficult to secure, according to recruiters.
Executive search firm Quick Leonard Kieffer recently placed Robert Fortney as CNO at Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru, IL. Partner Jake Barto led the assignment.
Mr. Fortney served as a vice president at Northwest Community Healthcare, a system in northwest suburban Chicago that is anchored by a 489-bed hospital. There, he was responsible for the development, optimization, administration and leadership of six service lines into centers of excellence, in order to drive and support quality and growth initiatives such as better care coordination and successful population health management.
Previously, he served as VP of patient care and CNO at Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago, and in progressively responsible roles within Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, from clinical nurse manager in the neuro/spine ICU, to director of emergency services, to director of patient care services – as well as director of orthopedics and neuroscience for the four-hospital Northwestern Medicine Healthcare System.
Illinois Valley Community Hospital includes a 49-bed acute care medical center, as well a hospice, an adult day care center and a durable medical equipment company. Serving portions of three counties, it holds a unique place in the market as an independent community hospital.
In his role, Mr. Fortney is responsible for the planning, organization, coordination, financial management and direction of all nursing services within the hospital. He is a leader in the performance improvement, service excellence, quality and compliance functions, supervising women’s health, hospice, pharmacy, social services, education and perioperative services.
Quick Leonard Kieffer specializes in placing executive-level employees across the healthcare industry. The firm was established in 1999 by Roger Quick and Michael C. Kieffer. Although the healthcare sector is among the most rapidly growing employment fields, the firm said, the industry is in the midst of a turbulent transformation. This makes the need for proven and experienced boards and executive teams with vision and broadening skills more important than ever. The firm recently named Steven M. Derks as its president and CEO. Mr. Derks was previously president and CEO of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Mr. Barto has executed numerous senior-level search assignments, helping healthcare systems recruit chief executive officers as well as operational, financial and clinical leaders. Among his clients: Trinity Health, Sanford Health, McLaren Health Care and national and state associations, including ACHE and the Alabama Hospital Association. His career in executive search began with Miller Resource Group in the Chicago suburbs, where he specialized in medical device, pharmaceutical and healthcare assignments.
Finding CNO Talent
CNOs perform a variety of duties, depending on the facility where they work. But most importantly, the position calls for supervising nurses and nurse managers. CNOs also oversee design and implementation of patient-care delivery and serve as leaders in their facility’s efforts to maintain outcome levels. They are some of the most sought after and highly visible leaders in the hospital and healthcare environment.
An expanding number of search firms have been working with healthcare organizations to find chief nursing officers in recent months. Here’s a look at a sampling taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Kirby Bates Associates selected to find CNOs for North Shore Medical Center in Salem, MA and the Methodist University Hospital in Memphis. Leading the assignments are Judy Hayes, vice president of search services, along with search associate Livonne Engebrecht, and president and CEO Karen Kirby and Jane Fitzsimmons, EVP of search services.
Quick Leonard Kieffer recently placed Ann Marie Madden as CNO and vice president of patient care services for Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, NC. The firm’s managing partner Courtney Lada, partner Jake Barto and principal Mike Quick led the search. Ms. Madden was previously CNO for Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church, VA.
Executive search firm Witt/Kieffer has placed Tiffany Cabibbo as CNOs for Mount Nittany Health in Pennsylvania. Associate Randy Dietrich and senior partner Adriane Willig led the search. Most recently, Ms. Cabibbo was the vice president/CNO for Baptist Health Madisonville in Kentucky. Witt/Kieffer has been a talent advisor to healthcare enterprises for more than 45 years.
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