Florida hospital faces blowback for executive search firm's opacity in finding CEO

NCH Healthcare System hired a search firm to help the Naples, Fla.-based system find a new CEO, but community leaders said the process lacks transparency, according to the Naples Daily News.

NCH Healthcare began a national search for a new CEO after its former president and CEO Allen Weiss, MD, resigned Jan. 23. His resignation came days after staff physicians issued a vote of no confidence against him. Phil Dutcher, NCH's COO, took over as interim CEO.

Concern over a new admissions policy at NCH Healthcare led to the vote. The policy stated that physicians outside of NCH could not write prescription orders.

In light of the controversy, several community watchdogs have raised concerns about the system's decision to hire Russell Reynolds Associates to conduct the search for its next CEO. Everett Alsbrook, MD, a retired critical care physician at NCH, told the Naples Daily News, "My chief concern is there continues to be a lack of not only clarity in terms of what they are doing but also plans and visions going forward."

Of the CEO search, Amanda Lucey, CEO of NCH's hired public relations firm The Partnership, told the Naples Daily News, "There were hundreds of candidates that were reviewed and vetted and narrowed to roughly 30."

She said the hospital plans to hire its next president and CEO by the end of the summer.

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