Southerland Partners Finds New CEO for Baptist Healthcare

Southerland Partners CEO Gerard Coleman Baptist Healthcare

November 28, 2017 – As the healthcare industry continues its transformation, talent management remains a high priority. The shortage of physicians and other clinicians is one matter. But healthcare organizations must also fill new and expanding leadership roles to carry out strategic initiatives in response to reform efforts, and whatever changes Congress may deliver. This has produced a high demand for top-notch leaders in the sector.

Recently, Dallas-based executive search firm Southerland Partners placed Gerard J. Colman as CEO of Baptist Healthcare System Inc. in Louisville, KY. He replaces Steve Hanson, who stepped down from the role in March. Keith Southerland, the search firm’s managing partner, led the assignment.

“Baptist Healthcare is one of the preeminent healthcare delivery systems in the world and we are honored to have had the opportunity to assist in the recruitment of Dr. Colman,” said Mr. Southerland. “Gerard will play a critical and vital role in helping to shape the workforce that will build upon the outstanding legacy of innovation and quality for which Baptist is known.”

Experienced Leader

Dr. Colman is an experienced healthcare leader with over 25 years of healthcare operations, finance, and IT related experience. He most recently served as the system COO for Aurora Health Care System, Wisconsin’s largest health system. He also spent 10 years with the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as the SVP and chief of clinical operations. He previously spent seven years with Newark Beth Israel Medical Center as the administrative director of patient care operations and financial services. Dr. Colman earned a doctorate in health care management from the University of Texas School of Public Health. He also spent four years with the United States Navy in a clinical and administrative role for the Naval Branch Medical Clinic.

“I look forward to working with our Baptist Health presidents, their respective boards, employees and physicians,” said Dr. Colman. “For nearly 100 years, Baptist Health has served its communities well, supported by its faith-based heritage. Baptist Health, as a market leader in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, is well positioned for continued success in adapting to the changing healthcare environment.”

Founded in 1924, Baptist Health has seen significant growth in recent years. It has nine hospitals under its auspices and more than 2,700 licensed beds. In all, it offers upwards of 300 points of care including outpatient facilities that provide urgent care, express care, occupational medicine, physical therapy and diagnostics. Home care is also available in 39 Kentucky counties, six counties in Illinois and six counties in Southern Indiana. It has a growing physician network of more than 3,000 employed and affiliated physicians.

Healthcare Specialists

Southerland Partners specializes in recruitment for complex integrated delivery systems, academic medical centers, children’s hospitals and payer organizations. The firm has placed CEOs at Ardmore Institute of Health, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System and El Paso Children’s Hospital, among other healthcare organizations. It also filled the president post at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.


Tapping Outside Talent for Life Science and Healthcare
For these top 50 executive recruiters working in the life science and healthcare sectors, the last decade has been one of transformation. Pressure on pricing, regulatory changes, emerging innovations, growth, and an uncertain political environment have all helped shape a new field of play.

Top 50 Ranking

Mr. Southerland has over three decades experience conducting executive searches for healthcare provider organizations. He has been involved in more than 900 searches for prominent nonprofit multi-hospital health systems, professional associations, pediatric health systems, public hospitals, academic medical centers and managed care organizations.

Active Healthcare Sector

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.

According to the newly released U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, healthcare added 22,000 jobs, in line with its average monthly gain over the previous 12 months. Employment in ambulatory healthcare services continued to trend up over the month (by 16,000). Healthcare has added an average of 24,000 jobs per month thus far in 2017, compared with an average gain of 32,000 per month in 2016.

“The hot positions within the healthcare sector are in supply chain, revenue cycle, finance and fundraising,” said Mr. Southerland. “The rise in physician employment has created a need for clinical and administrative leaders as well.”

The U.S. healthcare system has undergone its most dramatic reform in over three decades, shifting towards a team-based care model driven by value-based reimbursements and capitated contracts for population health management. “As a result, healthcare organization are undergoing major clinical, operational and technological transformations, causing organizations to re-evaluate the kind of business and clinical leaders they need to successfully deliver care in this new environment,” said John Gramer, president of Cejka Executive Search. “At the same time, the U.S. is facing increasing demand for healthcare services, thanks to the aging population and surge in the newly insured, and not enough physicians to meet that demand.”

“So, healthcare organizations are looking for expanded skill-sets in one of the most resource-constrained employment markets in decades,” he said. “The result is fierce competition for top healthcare talent, and growing demand for organizational design, succession planning and search services to help define and build the healthcare leadership teams of the future.”

Mr. Gramer characterized today’s healthcare employment market as among the most competitive and complex in decades. “Both healthcare leaders and practicing clinicians have greater career choices than in the past,” he said. “Healthcare reform has created additional opportunities for healthcare leaders to oversee care coordination, utilization management, employee health, and population health.”

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

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