Bartlett to test CEO candidates

Hospital invites public to watch assessments

Candidates to be the next chief executive officer at Bartlett Regional Hospital are coming to town for a showdown Thursday, Friday and Saturday. By Monday, Bartlett will offer one the job.


Bartlett’s board of directors, medical and hospital staff narrowed nine candidates down to three: Christine Harff, William Comer and Elizabeth Woodyard.

The candidates were described in a Bartlett press release.

William Comer is the senior vice president of operations for Nueterra Healthcare's Hospital Division. Nueterra owns and manages 30 acute care and surgical hospitals and more than 70 ambulatory surgery centers. Comer has a master’s degree in health care administration from Washington University in St. Louis.

Christine Harff currently serves as CEO of Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls, Minn. The Center is a 25-bed critical access hospital. It also has a 10-bed inpatient behavioral health unit and two outpatient clinics. Harff has an MBA from the University of Minnesota and holds a law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn.

Elizabeth Woodyard is the CEO of Petersburg Medical Center in Petersburg. The Center is a critical access hospital, licensed for a total of 27 beds. She has a Master of Education from William Woods University in Fulton, Mo. and a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Phoenix.

Bartlett Regional Hospital’s board of directors tasked its Management Transition Committee to conduct the search for CEO. The committee consists of Kristen Bomengen, Linda Thomas, Reed Reynolds, Bob Storer and Dr. Anne Standerwick.

Quick Leonard Kieffer International, an executive search firm, began the search process in March. The firm narrowed to nine an initial list of more than 500 CEOs and chief operating officers of organizations similar to Bartlett. The remaining nine were referred to the transition committee and Bartlett board members in May for the final cull.

The final three candidates will participate in the final assessment center process.

An assessment center tests each candidate’s skill and ability to face scenarios they would face as Bartlett’s CEO.

Bartlett Regional Hospital spokesman Jim Strader said the hospital will not release details of the scenarios prior to the assessment.

“It’s highly secret because they can’t know what scenarios they might face,” Strader said.

The public is invited to come watch the candidates perform. Assessments are scheduled for Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Bartlett boardroom.

Bartlett’s board of directors, medical staff leadership, Bartlett senior leaders, certain Bartlett staff, government representatives and community leaders are scheduled to conduct candidate interviews.

Jim Strader said Bartlett hopes to make a decision by Monday.

Candidates are scheduled to make public presentations from 3:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the hospital’s first floor training room.

The public is also invited to meet the CEO candidates from 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday in Bartlett’s Bob Valliant Administration Building.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at


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