Readers’ Choice: Witt & Wisdom’s Ten Best of 2012

2012 was a memorable year in healthcare, higher education, and the other industries we serve, and there was plenty to blog about. While we covered a multitude of topics throughout the year, the following posts were, according to our click data, your top ten favorites:

The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Healthcare Hiring
Witt/Kieffer’s Andrew Chastain assesses what impact, if any, the ACA will have on the…



10 Habits of Highly Effective Healthcare CEOs

There’s no such thing as a typical hospital or health system CEO. Shrewd observers, however, note that there are habits that successful healthcare CEOs share no matter the size or shape of their organizations. These habits, they say, can serve as core traits for up-and-coming leaders to emulate.

Witt/Kieffer Vice Chairman Andrew Chastain recently spoke with Molly Gamble of Becker’s Hospital Review about key attributes that…



Mackey-Ross on the Healthcare Job Outlook: Stability is Good, but Creativity is Better

Last Friday the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its November jobs report, showing continued overall job growth and a modest decline in the unemployment rate. Leading the way was the healthcare sector, which created 20,000 new jobs in November—steady though slightly below its monthly average gains for this year.

Jobs will continue to flow into healthcare, especially after the new year when quarterly and annual budgets kick into gear, Christine Mackey-Ross, Witt/Kieffer senior…



Kim Smith: Obama’s Re-election Signals the End of Fence-Sitting on ACOs

U.S. healthcare reform is bigger than any one presidential election, and the rise of Accountable Care Organizations is a trend whose momentum would have continued regardless of which political party occupies the White House. Nevertheless, says Witt/Kieffer’s Kimberly Smith, senior vice president and managing co-director of the company’s Eastern Region healthcare practice, last night’s re-election of President Obama brings a more certain path for healthcare executives striding towards the future.



Where Will Your CEO Be in Three Years?

Last month, Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson announced that he would be retiring—effective December 2013. The fact that he has announced his retirement more than a year in advance of the actual date of departure is significant. How many healthcare organizations have the luxury of 14 months to find and transition in a new CEO? For all major strategic planning—a category CEO succession planning certainly falls under—Halvorson advises fellow CEOs to look…



Becoming a Physician Executive: Suggestions for Taking the Natural Next Step

Guest post by Jason Petros, Associate, Witt/Kieffer

Within healthcare, the demand for physician leaders continues to trend upward. Physician executive jobs are plentiful, and yet despite this high demand there is a small pool of physician leaders with the experience and skills required to succeed in various executive positions. A vacuum waits to be filled by doctors who can develop the appropriate characteristics and resume to thrive in this environment.

The good news is that the leap that physicians must take…



Healthcare’s New Breed: Embracing the Unconventional

This week, Modern Healthcare unveiled the winners of its annual Up & Comers recognition program. The program, in its 26th year, highlights the rising stars in healthcare and provides snapshots of leaders who will transform the industry in the future. Some 265 professionals were nominated, yet as always only 12 made the cut. “This year’s honorees are extremely gifted with traits and skills distinctive to this new breed,”

For Hospital Board Succession Planning, Creativity Counts

Even the best hospital and health system boards are challenged to find new members. While traditional skills such as accounting and finance are still highly valued, boards increasingly need individuals who understand, for example, population health, evidence-based medicine, and even information technology and social media.

“Board members with proven clinical experience in quality measurement and performance improvement are especially prized,” Jim Gauss writes on Boardmember.com. “As the healthcare landscape and its financial incentives are transformed,…



Building Diversity in Healthcare Administration: Women’s Perspectives from the C-Suite

Guest post by Wendy L. Brower McLeod

Like the patients they serve, a hospital’s executive staff should come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures: women, men, old, young. Multiple countries of origin. Building diversity in healthcare organizations is critical to ensure that the needs of all patients are being met, and that these organizations are employing the best within their communities.

Sharon O’Keefe, President of the University of Chicago Medical…



CEO Succession Planning: Helping Boards Prepare for a Smooth Transition

Guest Post by Jena E. Abernathy and Andrew P. Chastain

It is the dread of every hospital board of directors across the country: an esteemed, longtime CEO announces the intention to resign. A replacement must be found, and the transition—as perceived by patients and the community—must be seamless. With foresight, however, executive transitions need not shock the system, and effective CEO succession planning can give your hospital or healthcare system an opportunity to explore alternative philosophies, practices, and even new…