Health systems revamp C-suite roles

Hospitals and health systems are shaking up their C-suite and leadership structures as they focus on key areas to ensure long-term success.

Becker's has reported at least 20 health systems that have announced changes to leadership ranks and administration teams in 2023. The changes come as hospitals continue to grapple with financial challenges, leading some organizations to cut jobs and implement other operational adjustments. 

At the same time, some health systems are bulking up their C-suites amid organizational transformation. Some are also combining roles. 

One such example is Cary Medical Center in Caribou, Maine, which is combining the CFO and COO roles into one position.

Chelsea Reynolds Desrosiers will assume the new role Aug. 21. The promotion comes with the departure of COO Leslie Anderson. Ms. Desrosiers has served as CFO since 2018. 

Ms. Desrosiers told Becker's she's excited about the opportunity.

"I think it's a great decision for the organization as well as next steps in the ever-changing healthcare industry," she said. "I think it provides a bridge between financial and operations."

Kris Doody, RN, CEO of Cary Medical Center and Pines Health Services, said the hospital conducted a search for a new COO, but combining the roles felt like the right path.

"We have discussed this idea for a few weeks, and when we brought our chief medical officer and chief financial officer together, a clear vision developed that this was the way to move forward," Ms. Doody said in a news release. "We are so fortunate to have such strengths on both the fiscal and clinical side of operations, that we believe this unique model will serve us very well into the future."

Ms. Desrosiers has served as CFO since 2018. Before that, she worked at Baker Newman Noyes, a public accounting firm with offices in New England. 

"She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience," Ms. Doody, who has been the hospital's CEO for 25 years, told Becker's. "She's young, she's vibrant, and … her experience and her financial knowledge is going to be a huge benefit for this consolidated position."

The change comes as Cary Medical Center is focused on the hospital's strategic plan. Ms. Desrosiers and Ms. Doody said that the combined role will be instrumental in decision-making for the organization going forward.

Health systems are not only combining roles on the finance and operations side. Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Health has combined its chief analytics officer position with the vice president of data services position.

The change comes as Albert Marinez, the health system's current chief analytics officer, leaves the role for Cleveland Clinic. Nick Iannoni, vice president of data and analytics services, will take on the responsibilities of the chief analytics officer.

Mr. Iannoni has served as vice president of data and analytics services at Intermountain since October 2022. 

He told Becker's he feels good about the transition to the combined role.

"There's a tremendous amount of work ahead of us, especially as we talk about consolidation [on the data and analytics side] and rationalization. There's a lot of work that the team is going to be focused on. But in terms of the day to day where we are, as we start this journey, I feel good with what we have in place, what we will put in place and the team that we have to make that happen," Mr. Inannoni said.

He noted that the change goes beyond consolidation on the data and analytics side. He said it's also the next step down in terms of Intermountain rationalizing application stacks that provide analytic insights. 

"The places where the data is actually generated, we're working on streamlining, we're working on picking best of breed, we're working on rationalizing and simplifying that environment," Mr. Iannoni explained. 

"We're going to do that simplification in terms of the places that are actually generating this data as well as where our customers are interacting with it. This is our opportunity to make sure that we have the hierarchy structure, the leadership structure in place to make sure that that consolidation is successful. It's our opportunity to confirm or select that best of breed. And because of us moving some of those applications that we may have used historically to new places, we're going to be changing where the data is generated. So we're going to have the opportunity then to redefine or make sure that the backend side of our environment is optimally configured."

As the organization transitions to the cloud, this new combined role is another opportunity to ensure data and processes are simplified and that people, processes and data governance structures are aligned, he added.

"We had a tremendous amount of data processes. We had a number of different places that customers were going for our data assets," Mr. Iannoni said. "So simplifying that is one of the goals of this alignment."

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