After months of searching and preliminary interviews, the Bartlett Regional Hospital board of directors has identified five finalists for the hospital’s CEO position, two of which are from Alaska. All but one have family or professional connections to Alaska, hospital human resources director Mila Cosgrove said.
The finalists are Paul Franke of Anchorage, Craig Dahl of Juneau, David Abercrombie of Madison, Fla., Charles Bill of Durango, Colo. and Joe Cladouhos of Grangeville, Idaho. All five will undergo a final round of interviews in person March 26, according to a hospital news release.
All have administrative experience, and all except Dahl have health care backgrounds. More information on each candidate can be found online at www.bartletthospital.org/news/docs/2014CEOPressRelease.pdf.
Candidates will meet with the BRH board of directors, medical staff representatives, the BRH management team, as well as Mayor Merrill Sanford, City Manager Kim Kiefer, city attorney Amy Mead and assembly liaison to the BRH board Karen Crane, among others, the release stated.
A community meet-and-greet will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. March 26 in the hospital cafeteria. Cosgrove said the public is encouraged to attend and “meet up close and personal” the five finalists. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served.
According to the release, 78 people applied for the CEO position; 20 were interviewed. The job opening was posted around Christmas to attract candidates “reevaluating their career opportunities over the holidays,” Cosgrove said. She started going over resumes and talking with candidates in mid-January, she said.
“I interviewed everybody initially to get a sense of their background and experience,” Cosgrove said.
The Bartlett board formed a CEO selection committee, which interviewed nine candidates and recommended the final slate of candidates to the board, the release stated.
The group narrowed it down to five after “three long days of interviews,” Cosgrove said. “They want to make sure we get the right person in the door.”
“They did a great job and it was really great to have those different perspectives” during the hiring process, she said. In the past, the Bartlett board has involved stakeholders, but not until later in the process, she said.
The final five are “a good pool of candidates,” Cosgrove said. She said all but one have lived, worked or have family in Juneau or Alaska.
Bill “has traveled within our community and his mother grew up here,” Cladouhos has lived in Juneau, and Franke and Dahl live in Alaska currently. Abercrombie is the only finalist without a connection to the state, but he is excited to visit this month, Cosgrove said.
The hospital looked nationwide for its next leader, but “there’s always value in looking closely at people who have connections in Juneau or know what it’s like living in Alaska,” Cosgrove said.
At a Feb. 5 meeting, the Assembly and Bartlett board discussed the public nature of the job. Cosgrove said in a past Empire report that the “fish bowl” aspect of the position can be a surprise to people coming in from the Lower 48.
She said the five candidates have been well informed of the nature of the hospital.
“Certainly each of the candidates that are on the ground understands the relationship the hospital has with the city,” she said.
The hospital has been led by interim CEO Jeff Egbert since Chris Harff resigned as CEO in September 2013, right before chief financial officer Ken Brough and human resources director Norma Adams also stepped down.
Cosgrove, also the HR director for the city, took over HR at the hospital via a shared services agreement approved in January. The hospital also adopted a shared legal services agreement with the city this year.
The hospital entered the shared services agreements to make sure “this never happens again,” Storer said in a past Empire report, referring to the three top-tier resignations.
According to the release, a new CEO should be named in April and begin work in May.
• Contact reporter Katie Moritz at 523-2294 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @katecmoritz.