The handful of openings for chief executives at high-profile associations has dwindled in recent weeks, as two trade groups picked leaders to steer evolving organizations.
Last week, the Institute for Diversity in Health Management named Fred Hobby, a South Carolina health system executive, to replace Rupert Evans as its president and chief executive officer. Evans stepped down last September to teach and finish a doctorate after five years as the institute's CEO.
Hobby, 57, will leave his post as administrator and chief diversity officer at Greenville (S.C.) Hospital System and start at the institute on March 28.
Hobby's experience as a hospital executive and his work championing diversity within Greenville Hospital System make him a valuable resource to other chief executives who want to promote culturally sensitive care, said Barbara Stern, who was recently appointed chairwoman of the institute's board of directors.
Before arriving in Greenville, Hobby worked as an executive at two Virginia hospitals. "We felt he could capably converse with CEOs," as well as represent their interests within the diversity institute, she said.
Stern, director of worldwide diversity for McKinsey & Co., said the institute's mission-promoting greater diversity among hospital and healthcare managers-is expanding to emphasize cultural sensitivity among all employees.
Hospitals must adapt rapidly to the nation's increasingly diverse population, Hobby said. "The nation's neighborhoods are changing," he said, and hospitals that don't keep up will risk alienating patients who struggle with language barriers or cultural differences. Hobby said he'll listen to hospital executives and the institute's board when designating the trade association's priorities.
The American Hospital Association, the American College of Healthcare Executives and the National Association of Health Services Executives founded the diversity institute in 1994, and, along with the Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives and the Catholic Health Association, sponsor it.
One priority will likely be boosting membership, which the institute's sponsors singled out as a challenge when Evans announced his departure (Sept. 27, 2004, p. 7).
The diversity institute isn't the only healthcare association to recently fill a vacancy. The National Patient Safety Foundation named its interim executive director, Diane Pinakiewicz, president early last month. Pinakiewicz, who joined the foundation's board of directors in 1997, served as interim chief executive for 18 months before being named to the job full time. Her appointment coincides with the quality not-for-profit's expansion and its move from Washington to North Adams, Mass., Pinakiewicz said.
A third healthcare trade group, the National Committee for Quality Health Care, may soon hire a successor for retiring President and CEO Catherine McDermott. "We are in the process of interviewing candidate finalists and expect to have an announcement within the next 30 to 60 days," Daniel Bourque, an NCQHC trustee who is spearheading the hunt, said in an e-mail.
Executive searches are just getting under way at two other large not-for-profits. The Catholic Health Association is looking for a search consultant and cemented its pick for an interim head in mid-February as the Rev. Michael Place stepped down. Michael Rodgers, who previously stated he held no interest in succeeding Place, will temporarily oversee the CHA's operations and will continue as the St. Louis-based trade group's vice president of advocacy and public policy.
The American Association of Medical Colleges selected Boston search firm Isaacson, Miller to find the Washington-based organization's fourth president, said Retha Sherrod, an AAMC spokeswoman.
Jordan Cohen, who led the AAMC for 10 years, announced in January he would step down at the end of June, though he'll remain longer if needed to train his replacement, Sherrod said.