Quick Leonard Kieffer Tapped by St. Luke’s Health System for Inaugural Chief Nursing Executive Search

November 16, 2020 – As the healthcare sector continues to expand and reshape 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 top nursing executive has traditionally been the most difficult to secure, according to recruiters.

Quick Leonard Kieffer was recently selected by St. Luke’s Health System in Boise, ID, to assist in its search for an inaugural chief nursing executive/vice president of professional practice integration. Consultants Derek Castaneda and Joe Johnston are leading the assignment.

The chief nursing executive/vice president will be the most senior nursing executive of the organization, serving on the president’s cabinet and system-level executive committees. The individual will be responsible for developing and leading efforts to innovate, integrate, and standardize care delivery across St. Luke’s Health System by guiding strategic direction and providing leadership in aligning multiple disciplines, sites of care and team processes. Partnering with the chief medical officer and chief operating officer, the chief nursing executive will be responsible for driving horizontal professional practice standards and guidelines across all sites, services and professional practice centers of excellence to support the delivery of exceptional patient care at the lowest cost.

The ideal candidate will have 12 years of relevant experience, with a proven track record of success leading in a similar role at a large healthcare system, along with a strategic, visionary mindset; experience with clinical informatics and technology; an understanding of value-based care; experience with clinical model innovation and transformation; and a collaborative, team-focused style.

St. Luke’s Health System is Idaho’s largest employer with eight hospitals based in central and southern Idaho, more than 15,000 employees, and a medical staff of more than 1,800 physicians and advanced practice providers.   

Healthcare Recruiters

Founded in 1999, Quick Leonard Kieffer is a retained executive search firm with experience finding leaders for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, healthcare associations, life sciences companies, insurance companies and non-profits, among other clients. The firm is based in Chicago and has a track record of placing C-suite and other senior executives with leading, well-recognized healthcare organizations around the country.

Mr. Castaneda is a managing partner based in Omaha, NE. He primarily serves healthcare organizations located in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions. Mr. Castaneda is specialized in leading executive level searches, facilitates placing interim leaders, and provides organizational assessments. He brings 14 years of healthcare executive search experience to his role, recruiting permanent and interim leadership for his clients. Mr. Castaneda has led executive-level searches for non-profit health systems (both faith based and non-denominational), non-profit community hospitals, academic medical centers, mid-size to large physician owned practices, critical access hospitals and healthcare consulting firms. His functional areas of expertise include administration, clinical leadership, finance, revenue cycle, legal, technology, medical group administration and service line leadership.

Mr. Johnston joined Quick Leonard Kieffer as a principal in 2016. He works alongside the firm’s partners, principals and associates in conducting a variety of senior-level healthcare searches for community hospitals, medical groups and large health systems. Mr. Johnston is a seasoned search professional with 20 years of experience in executive search consulting.

Finding Nursing Talent

Top nursing executives have a variety of duties, depending on the facility where they work. Most importantly, the position calls for supervising nurses and nurse managers. They 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 top nursing executives in recent months. Here’s a look at a sampling taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

University Hospitals (UH) has retained Summit Talent Group to conduct a national search for the position of system chief nursing executive. This executive will be responsible and accountable for the overall delivery and management of nursing operations, professional practice, education, professional development, research, administration and clinical services, said the search firm. The incoming leader will have staff accountability for enhancing a clinical practice environment that is patient centered, with unsurpassed patient experience, clinical quality and patient safety while also providing significant contributions to education and research.

Executive search firm Westmont Search placed Rhonda Kazik as the chief nursing officer for Essentia Health’s East market based in Duluth, MN. Managing partner Peter Blau and search director Carolyn Lecocq led the assignment for the health system. Most recently, Ms. Kazik was the system chief nursing officer at Community Health Systems in Fresno, CA.

Orlando, FL-headquartered healthcare-focused search firm Kirby Bates Associates (KBA) was called in by Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts to lead in its search for a new chief nursing officer. The assignment is being led by Chris Corwin. “This is an exciting time to be joining Cambridge Health Alliance, an innovative community-based healthcare provider serving a highly diverse population,” the search firm said.

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

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