Recruiting Board Members: Should You Add Outsiders to the Mix?

Given today’s seismic changes in healthcare, hospitals and health systems are looking more strategically at the composition of their boards and the qualities each member brings to the boardroom table. A good board can be a clear competitive advantage.

Most organizations see board diversity as a cornerstone of board health and success. But achieving diversity—of race and ethnicity, of gender, of age, and of skills—often requires boards…



In Healthcare, Is There a Link between Good Talent Management and ROI?

Although today’s healthcare organizations have well-developed talent management practices, few have an in-depth understanding of the return on investment these practices provide. To better gauge this ROI, Witt/Kieffer has supported the work of Pepperdine University professor Kevin Groves, Ph.D., who recently conducted a comprehensive survey of senior HR officers and other industry executives in charge of talent management within their organizations.

Dr. Groves’ work explores and draws conclusions regarding several critical issues:

  • There is a strong connection between good talent management…


Success Strategies for Women Leaders in Healthcare

Many women leaders in healthcare who are great at what they do still have difficulty moving up into the C-suite, observes Jena Abernathy, Witt/Kieffer vice president and senior partner. There are many reasons for this, she says, but regardless of what obstacles exist, women in healthcare who aspire to top executive positions must pursue them aggressively, strategically, and without compromise. “You can’t be a little bit CEO,” she says.

Abernathy, a former executive with Premier, Inc., knows about moving up the healthcare…



Who Will Fill Your Shoes? Best Practices for Hiring a Successor

Any conscientious executive knows the value in naming and developing a successor. Given enough time and mentoring, your understudy can learn the ropes, gain critical experience and, when the time is right, take over your responsibilities in what is hopefully a seamless transition. Such leadership succession planning is good for the organization, not to mention the fact that it reflects well upon your own legacy.

David Boggs, practice leader of

Healthcare Leadership: The Evolving Role of the VP CTO

Guest post by Nicholas Giannas, Senior Associate, IT Practice

In the information technology world, we have seen most executive positions evolve and grow over time, and many new titles and positions develop. This happens even more frequently in a rapidly changing industry like healthcare. With healthcare reform and the federal electronic medical record (EMR) stimulus program, IT roles are increasing in scope, importance, and number.

There has been a lot written about the evolution of…



Who Will Lead Health Conversion Foundations?

Guest post by Marvene M. Eastham, Witt/Kieffer Senior Vice President

As nonprofit hospitals and health systems struggle to maintain access to capital to reinvest in their organizations, they may turn to acquisition by for-profit healthcare organizations. In theory it is a win-win: the for-profit expands its reach and gains access to a larger market share, which is attractive to shareholders, while the former nonprofit pays debts and has ready access to capital in…



Can Today’s Healthcare CFO Be a Fully Engaged Leader?

Guest post by Anne Siders-Robinson, Senior Associate

Today’s environment of reform, cost reduction, and creative strategies for long-term growth and viability is spawning the need for an entirely new type of healthcare CFO—one with multifaceted expertise who is much higher in the organizational pecking order than in the past.

For example, under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, reimbursement structures and revenue streams are shifting, requiring hospital CFOs to

Healthcare Legal Executives: Stepping Up

Times are good for healthcare legal executives—at least as far as the job market is concerned. As senior associate Werner Boel recently told Andrea Santiago of About.com’s Health Careers, hospitals and health systems are beefing up their legal teams to deal with healthcare reform as well as ongoing issues such as physician integration, mergers and acquisitions, and complex legislation.

Boel also spoke recently with Molly Gamble of Becker’s Hospital Review about the



Success Story: In Arizona, Revamping a Hospital Board in 5 Months

In 2010, three large healthcare organizations merged to become the University of Arizona Health Network. Among the immense governance challenges created was that the UAHN board of directors became an “amalgamation” of 27 members from the three organizations—dysfunctional from the start, according the Steve Lynn, the board’s current chairman.

One factor playing into this was that the way in which the organizations were brought together was not accepted by all board members, many of whom took their gripes to parties…



The Growth and Challenges of Today’s Healthcare Chief Quality Officer

Guest post by Michael R. Raddatz, Jr., Associate

The American Medical Group Association recently formalized its definition of a high-performing health system, and one of the six benchmark elements that AMGA cites is “quality measurement and improvement activities.” These activities include preventive care and chronic disease management, ongoing patient outreach programs, continuous learning, applied data analytics, transparent reporting, and more. Successfully done, they allow…