CEO turnover reaches healthcare associations

CEO turnover has continued in healthcare as leaders leave their posts for various reasons, such as early retirement or deciding to take on a different role. This turnover is occurring at hospitals and health systems. But it has also occurred over the last year at hospital associations.

Take the Delaware Healthcare Association, for example. The association named Brian Frazee, who previously served as vice president of government affairs with the Maryland Hospital Association, as the new president and CEO in August after former DHA President and CEO Wayne Smith stepped down in December 2022. Megan McNamara Williams, DNP, MSN, served as DHA's interim CEO until a permanent CEO was identified. 

"My next chapter probably still involves a computer, phone and a suit. Sometimes, you just want a change of challenge or mission. My good friend Bob Laskowski has frequently told me that everyone ought to move on after 10 years. By his counsel, I've overstayed by five," Mr. Smith said in a news release last year.  

In North Carolina, Steve Lawler will retire as president and CEO of the state's healthcare association. His retirement is effective Dec. 31, 2024, when his current contract expires, according to a Sept. 25 news release. He has led the association since July 2017 and is the fourth professional chief executive in its 105-year history.

"Steve has spent a distinguished career serving the healthcare field in North Carolina and beyond with experiences ranging from military healthcare to shaping the North Carolina healthcare landscape," Chuck Mantooth, chair of the NCHA board of trustees and president and CEO of UNC Health Appalachian, said in the release. "His character is exemplified by integrity and commitment to fairness and fair play. He has been able to reach beyond the competitive moment to build collaborative relationships that advance all."

In Maryland, the state hospital association named state Sen. Melony Griffith as its new president and CEO. She succeeds Bob Atlas, who left his role in February.

A spokesperson for the association declined to provide any further information about the circumstances surrounding the departure. 

Ms. Griffith is chair the Maryland Senate Finance Committee. She also has held roles within the Maryland legislature including president pro tempore, chair of the Budget and Taxation Committee's Health & Human Services Subcommittee, and leader of the Senate president's eight-member bipartisan Work Group on Equity and Inclusion.

"This position is an extension of Melony's life work as a problem-solver, organizer, and community health advocate," Thomas Kleinhanzl, MHA board of trustees chair, said in an Oct. 6 news release. "As a state lawmaker for over 24 years, Sen. Griffith has built a stellar reputation, relationships and policy knowledge that will advance our association and our hospitals through the coming years."

And at the Mississippi Hospital Association, turnover stemmed from Tim Moore, president of the MHA for 10 years, being fired from his role in September. The news followed Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves' announcement of reforms to Medicaid programs in the state. It also followed hospitals withdrawing from the MHA shortly after its political action committee donated $250,000 to Mr. Reeves' opponent in the governor's race, Democrat Brandon Presley. 

"My concern is not for me — I'm fine," Mr. Moore said, according to Mississippi Today. "But I'm afraid we've got a lot of hospitals that are not going to get the representation that they need because people will not stand up for them, and that's going to be a problem. That's going to affect healthcare in the state of Mississippi."

Kim Hoover, PhD, RN, is serving as interim president and CEO of the association.


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