The Healthcare Chief Strategy Officer: A Future-Focused Executive

In healthcare, high-level strategy has traditionally been the domain of the CEO, with support from the board and outside consultants. That’s no longer true in many organizations, which are introducing the Chief Strategy Officer role to the C-suite as a means of best positioning for the future.

“Sound strategy begets survival” in healthcare today, say Rachel Polhemus Witt/Kieffer and Jim Gauss. Thus, “the…



The Chief Patient Officer in the Life Sciences: Engaging Patients, Payers, and Providers

Life sciences companies are rethinking and revising R&D. To avoid wasting years on drugs and other innovations with poor or no return on investment, they are placing greater emphasis on understanding a product—and its potential for sustained market success—earlier in its lifecycle.

The key to this strategy is incorporating the “voice of the patient” during the early stages of development, says Lisa Flavin, consultant in Witt/Kieffer’s Life Sciences practice. This shift is partly…



For Healthcare CEOs, Times of Turmoil and Turnover

Healthcare CEO turnover is at an all-time high—20 percent in 2013, as compared to a historical average around 15 percent, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, says Witt/Kieffer senior partner Donna Padilla, speaking recently to Deanna Pogorelc of MedCity News, but does suggest a general turmoil and transformation taking place across the industry.



Helping Confront Hunger: Witt/Kieffer Day of Service

One in six Americans faces the challenge of hunger, according to the hunger-relief charity Feeding America. It is a surprising and disappointing statistic. In most cases, Chicago_no one should go hungrythese individuals are “food insecure,” unsure of where future meals will come from. Hunger has a particularly devastating impact on children and seniors, and on urban as well as rural communities.

Witt/Kieffer’s mission is to…



Higher Education: The Role of Advancement in Presidential Search and Transition

Presidential transitions in higher education are times of tension and uncertainty, but also opportunity as the new leader brings fresh ideas and energy. Among the overriding issues that the campus community will be concerned or curious about include how a new president will interact with key donors, reach out to alumni, and support fundraising and marketing efforts.

Therefore, it is critical the advancement office have a voice during a presidential search, and play an integral role in ensuring a smooth…



Physicians in Healthcare IT Leadership: Trends and Career Suggestions

Physicians are curious by nature, driven to accumulate new and different knowledge even after they are established in their practices. For this reason many physicians are fascinated with information technology and find themselves gravitating towards careers that combine their passions for medicine and IT.

There is an increasing need within healthcare IT leadership for M.D.’s, notes

Higher Education Executive Search: The Risk of Revealing One’s Candidacy Too Soon

The final stages of a job search for an executive are nothing short of nerve-wracking, on most every occasion. There is enough for the candidate to think about in terms of whether or not the new opportunity is the right one as a next career step. But there are perplexing issues for consideration regarding one’s current employer, too. Namely, when is the right time to reveal that you may be moving on?

In many industries the answer is simple—mum’s the…



Search Committee Best Practices: Novel Ideas from North Dakota

By Paul Thomas, Senior Writer

The work of a search committee is by definition ad hoc, and ephemeral: a position needs filling, a committee is assembled, deliberation ensues, a candidate is selected and—fingers crossed it made the right hire—the committee disbands. There’s more to it than that, of course, but it’s a few-month process after which members return to their “real” jobs, perhaps never to work together so closely and intensely again.

This was my experience many years ago while serving…



The Chief Population Health Officer Joins the “C” Change in Healthcare

In healthcare it’s getting pretty crowded at the top, as more and more executive positions lay claim to full-fledged C-suite membership. In the past several years, the industry has seen roles such as the CFO, CIO, and chief legal officer achieve significantly elevated status amidst a climate of economic stress, focus…



For Long-term Care Leaders, Is There Life After Consolidation?

Like healthcare in general, the long-term care world is undergoing a wave of consolidation as organizations seek to share resources, cut costs, and generally manage the effects of sweeping reform. When consolidation happens, it often creates a dilemma of who will lead. The expanded system or network must turn to a seasoned CEO and other top executives who can oversee the integration of diverse organizations and set a strategic course in an ever-shifting marketplace.

“A more perplexing issue,” says Witt/Kieffer senior associate