Erlanger Board To Push On With Interviews With 3 CEO Finalists

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Hospital Authority Board, in a statement issued Wednesday, indicated it will push on with interviews of three finalists for president and CEO of the Erlanger Health System and will make a decision "in the first quarter."

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick recently asked the Erlanger board to put the CEO search process on hold to give the legislative delegation time to craft a new structure for the Erlanger board.

A group at the hospital, including some physicians, favors keeping Interim CEO Charlsetta Woodard-Thompson in charge instead of hiring one of the three finalists.

This is the board statement:

Over the past few weeks, Erlanger’s Board has received questions and comments regarding the Erlanger CEO search. In order to give Erlanger employees and the general public more clarity regarding the CEO search process, the Board of Trustees has issued the following statement:

In April of 2012 the Erlanger Health System Board passed a resolution authorizing creation of a search committee and the retention of an executive search firm to identify CEO candidates. The eight-member Search Committee, chaired by Dr. Phyllis Miller, consisted of five trustees and three additional members. Five of the eight members are physicians, including Erlanger’s current and future Medical Chief of Staff, and the Dean of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga (UTCOMC).

To assist with the CEO recruitment process, the search committee selected the nationally recognized executive search firm, Witt / Kieffer. Witt / Kieffer developed a leadership profile following extensive interviews with community leaders, public officials, physicians, employees, executives and members of the Board. Using the leadership profile, and comparing credentials and experience from hundreds of resumes, the search firm presented a dozen candidates to the committee. The committee narrowed the field to six internal and external candidates who participated in local interviews. This process is consistent with CEO searches conducted by Witt / Kieffer over its 43 year history in the healthcare executive search business.

On December 6 the search committee completed its responsibility to Erlanger’s board by providing resumes of the three final candidates. Board Chair Ron Loving expressed appreciation to the committee, commending them for taking their responsibility seriously, and ensuring the integrity of the process. He noted that “The significant commitment of time and effort given by committee members is evident and I thank them for their diligence and hard work.” The board voted to affirm the work of the committee and is continuing the process with the three remaining candidates visiting and meeting with board members, executives, physicians and employees. The interviews with these candidates will be completed this month, with the final decision being made during the first quarter of 2013 in a public meeting by a vote of the full board.

The goal throughout this transition has been and always will be to deliver exceptional care and service to our patients. Our intent is to position Erlanger for the future with strong leadership that can build on the current momentum, resulting in a financially stable and healthy system.

We know that through the input and support of our dedicated employees, physicians, patients, and community leaders, Erlanger will continue as Chattanooga’s number one hospital.

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