So, Why Are We Talking Today? Interview Tips for Executives

By Jason Petros

In my career as an executive search consultant in the healthcare industry, I’ve spent thousands of hours in interviews with chief executive officers, chief operating officers, chief medical officers and a myriad of other demonstrably successful healthcare leaders. These opportunities have allowed me to identify a few key components that successful candidates always seem to provide during the course of high-level interviews.

Expression of Interest

The first is a clearly…

The 4 Qualities of ‘Next-Level’ Healthcare CFOs

“Hospitals and health systems have no shortage of excellent CFOs who, from a technical and operational standpoint, do their jobs well,” writes Witt/Kieffer’s John McFarland. “However, those CFOs who exhibit ‘next-level’ leadership qualities are the most successful in leading their organizations through the changing healthcare landscape.”

What defines “next-level” can be subjective, McFarland says. He outlines four capabilities a successful healthcare CFO must be able to accomplish in a recent article for HFMA’s CFO Forum:

Matthew Might, PhD: A Story of Opportunity-Driven Leadership

As the inaugural director of the Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Matthew Might has the opportunity to truly make a difference in a dynamic new field. Seizing opportunities is nothing new to Dr. Might, who is also a senior lecturer of biomedical informatics with Harvard Medical School and was formerly a strategist with President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. Dr. Might is a pioneer in addressing rare genetic disorders, inspired by his son,…

Leaving the Ladder: Rethinking the Healthcare Executive Career Path

By Rachel Polhemus and Jason Petros

Mergers and acquisitions have influenced nearly every aspect of the healthcare industry in recent years, including the career opportunities available to rising executives. Hospital and health system consolidation has resulted in fewer CEO positions, more centralized decision-making, and often frustration among top leaders about their roles and responsibilities. For many executives, the rapid increase of matrixed mega-systems has upended the traditional path of advancement. Moving slowly but steadily up the ladder has gone…

Women’s History Month 2019: #BalanceforBetter


Since 1987, the month of March has been designated Women’s History Month in the U.S., with International Women’s Day on March 8th as the focal point of the observance. Throughout the month, Witt/Kieffer will be celebrating women’s leadership in the workplace by highlighting our commitment to female leadership as well as sharing related thought leadership.

Throughout Witt/Kieffer’s 50-year history, female…

Doreen Samelson: Becoming the Leader You Were Meant to Be

With more than two decades of experience in healthcare, Doreen Samelson, EdD, MSCP, is skilled in leading change, championing patient access to care and developing high-quality clinical programs. Much of her career was spent at Kaiser Permanente, where she managed a team of more than 100 psychologists, therapists and support staff as the Director of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Services. Since 2017, she has served as Senior Vice President for Clinical Excellence for Easterseals Bay Area, based in…

Serving, Learning and Leading: Lessons from Three Health Plan Foundation Presidents

By Julie Rosen, Witt/Kieffer

The three major not-for-profit health plan foundations in the state of Massachusetts are led by dynamic women. In addition to being mission-driven executives, the three – Nora Moreno Cargie, Karen Voci, and Audrey Shelto – are friends who champion each other’s careers. They are servant leaders who listen, learn and truly engage with constituents – who see leadership as a privilege. To achieve their goals as leaders of their foundations, they engage with stakeholders across the…

In Healthcare, Interim Executives Fill a Strategic Leadership Need

The following is a conversation between Witt/Kieffer president and CEO Andrew Chastain and Brian Krehbiel, leader of the new Witt/Kieffer Interim Leadership practice.

Chastain: Over the past 25 years, I’ve noticed the use of interim executive leadership in healthcare has changed. What’s different?

Krehbiel: It was about 25…

The Fading Line: Insights from Non-Profit and For-Profit Healthcare Leaders


By Nelson Mann and Margaret Base

As executive search consultants with extensive experience in both the for-profit and non-profit healthcare sectors, we have witnessed an interesting trend in recent years. The “line in the sand” that previously deterred healthcare executives from moving between the two sectors has significantly blurred. Healthcare organizations are discovering the benefits of hiring leaders from outside their traditional sphere, and executives are enjoying the career growth they experience by “switching sides.”

Given significant and constant disruptions in…

2018 AHA Leadership Summit: Up Close and Personal with Real Issues

By Dilpreet Lidhar

This year’s annual American Hospital Association (AHA) Leadership Summit, which was held in sunny San Diego, focused on advancing affordable care and promoting value. Senior executives, physician leaders and trustees from the nation’s leading hospitals and health systems were able to discuss the critical challenges facing their organizations. It was…