8 hospital, health system CXOs to know

The chief experience officer is a critical leadership role in healthcare as hospitals and health systems strive to improve the patient experience while lowering costs.

Paul Bohne, senior partner and vice chairman of the healthcare practice with executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, sees this role gaining traction, particularly at the system level.

"I think that it seems like a legitimization of this role in the executive suite. Because of how critical it is for organizations to be moving the needle on HCAHPS and differentiating themselves by their patient experience, I'm clearly seeing a trend in organizations that are putting more resources around this function than they used to," he says.

Mr. Bohne says he's also seeing organizations be much more intentional about how they're engaging clinical leadership around the patient experience, as well as a bit of a rise in these roles having clinically trained leaders.

Still, these chief experience officers also come from other disciplines and backgrounds.

Here are eight CXOs to know who serve hospitals and health systems throughout the United States, presented alphabetically.

Note: Chief experience officers were selected based on editorial judgment and discretion. Individuals did not pay for inclusion on this list.

Adrienne Boissy, MD. CXO of Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Boissy serves as CXO of Cleveland Clinic. In addition to that role, she is a staff physician at the Cleveland Clinic Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis and has a secondary appointment in bioethics. Cleveland Clinic has seen various accomplishments during her tenure, such as recently making patient satisfaction ratings for individual physicians available to the public. Prior to becoming Cleveland Clinic's CXO, Dr. Boissy was medical director of Cleveland Clinic's Center of Excellence in Healthcare Communication. Dr. Boissy attended Boston University and worked in neurobiological research at Brigham and Women's Hospital, also in Boston. She completed her medical school training at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey and finished her neurology residency and neuroimmunology fellowship at Cleveland Clinic. She earned a master's degree in bioethics from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. 

Connie Bonebrake. Senior Vice President and Chief Patient Experience Officer of Carolinas HealthCare System (Charlotte, N.C.). Appointed to the role in 2012, Ms. Bonebrake serves as Carolinas HealthCare System's first chief patient experience officer. Prior to her current role, she was senior vice president of Carolinas HealthCare System's post-acute care services with responsibility for home health, hospice and skilled nursing facility operations. Under her leadership, the system was an early adopter of person-centered care and opened a Huntersville (N.C.) Oaks, a facility that provides short-term nursing and therapy for those recovering from surgery, illness or an accident. Ms. Bonebrake is a licensed nursing home administrator. She earned a master's degree in social work from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Rick Evans. Senior Vice President and CXO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (New York City). Mr. Evans serves as CXO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He returned to the organization after serving as CXO of Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts General Physicians Organization. Previously, he had served as vice president of support services and patient-centered care for NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and as vice president of mission services for the Bon Secours and Canterbury Partnership for Care in Hudson County, N.J., and also as director of the St. Francis Hospital Foundation in Wilmington, Del. Mr. Evans earned a master's degree in theology from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, N.Y.

Sven Gierlinger. Vice President and CXO of Northwell Health (Great Neck, N.Y.). Mr. Gierlinger has served as CXO of Northwell Health, formerly North Shore-LIJ Health System, since 2014. He is the first to hold the position. Prior to joining Northwell Health, Mr. Gierlinger was vice president of hospitality and service culture at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. He also played a key role in the start-up and success of Henry Ford West Bloomfield (Mich.) Hospital. Before entering the healthcare industry, Mr. Gierlinger was in the luxury hotel business, holding several positions with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Mr. Gierlinger earned a bachelor's degree in hospitality management from the Bavaria Hotel Management School in Altoetting, Germany.

Pam Guler. Vice President and Chief Patient Experience Officer of Adventist Health System (Altamonte Springs, Fla.).Ms. Guler serves as chief patient experience officer of Adventist, a faith-based healthcare organization with nearly 77,000 employees. Last year, during her tenure, 18 Adventist campuses received top honors in patient experience during the system's Patient Experience Summit in Orlando, Fla., and many more received recognition for performing in the top quartile of the nation across four major services areas: inpatient, emergency department, ambulatory surgery and outpatient services.Ms. Guler earned a master's degree in healthcare administration from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Sandra Myerson, BSN, RN. Chief Patient Experience Officer of Mount Sinai Health System (New York). Ms. Myerson serves as Mount Sinai Health System's first chief patient experience officer, as well as chief patient experience officer of The Joseph F. Cullman Jr. Institute for Patient Care at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Prior to joining Mount Sinai Health System in 2014, Ms. Myerson was managing consultant and director of clinical and operational consulting at Press Ganey. She also previously served as vice president of patient care services and CNO of Aria Health in Philadelphia. Her clinical background is in the areas of emergency, trauma, critical care and flight nursing; home health; and vascular/transplant/general surgery. Ms. Myerson earned an MBA in healthcare administration and a master's degree in healthcare finance from the Fox School of Business Management at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Terri Nuss. CXO of WellSpan Health (York, Pa.). Ms. Nuss has served as CXO of WellSpan Health, a five-hospital system based in central Pennsylvania, since 2015. Prior to joining WellSpan Health, she was vice president of patient centeredness with Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health's North Division. She also has served in cardiology at Houston-based St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Ms. Nuss earned a master's degree in exercise and sport science from Pennsylvania State University, based in State College, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Tony Padilla. Chief Patient Experience Officer of UCLA Health (Los Angeles). As chief patient experience officer of UCLA Health, Mr. Padilla played a key in the implementation of CICARE, a set of six communication behaviors to guide the best possible interactions with patients, families and colleagues. He has also played a key role in raising UCLA Health's HCAHPS scores. In a 2015 interview with Becker's Hospital Review, Mr. Padilla said, "The best organizations are differentiating themselves by engaging patients, physicians and staff to improve clinical processes; and, as a result, improving quality, experience and cost outcomes."Mr. Padilla earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and an MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.


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