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December 01, 2011 8:59 am

Three CEO candidates on tap for interviews at Powell Valley Healthcare

Written by Ilene Olson

Three candidates will interview this week for the position of chief executive officer at Powell Valley Healthcare.

A selection committee will interview two of the candidates today (Thursday), and the third on Friday, said Mike Lieb, interim CEO at Powell Valley Healthcare.

The selection committee consists of representatives of the Powell Hospital District board, the PVHC board, administrators and medical staff, and the community.

Later, the committee will “sit down ... to decide who, if any, they would like to invite back to the full interview (with the PVHC board) and bring their spouse and family out to look at the community,” Lieb said Wednesday. “Our hope is that at least one of the three will be invited back by the search committee.”

All three are strong candidates, he said.

“We’ll chase more if need be, but hopefully we’ve got a winner out of this batch,” he said. “We had a great number of applicants for the position.”

Even if the Powell Valley Healthcare board chooses one of the three candidates after a full interview, it likely would be at least 60-90 days before a new chief executive officer would be on board, Lieb said.

In the meantime, “I’m committed to stay here through the ultimate transition,” Lieb said. “It’s been an awkward period for the past year and a half or so. I’ll make sure the transition to a new CEO is a smooth one.”

The new chief executive officer, when chosen, will replace Paul Cardwell, who resigned under unusual circumstances in September after serving only about six months in the position. The reasons for his resignation, and for HealthTech’s refusal to rescind that resignation at his request, have not been made public.

This is the fourth time Lieb has served as interim CEO for a hospital as it searched for a permanent replacement. Three of those have been through HealthTech, the firm that provides management services for Powell Valley Healthcare.

“I like working with HealthTech,” he said. “The support from the company for client hospitals and for the CEOs it puts in place is very good. It has a deep reserve of resources. It’s good to come in and say, I know what resources are available and the tools we can work with.”

Being an interim CEO offers unique opportunities to assess a hospital’s strengths and areas of need and to begin making needed changes, Lieb said.

“The work itself is very interesting,” he said. “It’s almost a surgical approach. You come in quickly and identify issues that need to be addressed. There is a certain degree of freedom, as the interim, to address things in a pragmatic way.”

Qualities to look for a permanent chief executive officer are a “combination of personality, an analytical ability and the ability to keep things moving forward and keeping all of the parties engaged,” he said. “I sometimes describe being a CEO as being a professional dog walker; you have interested parties, but you have to get folks to walk in a unified direction.

“Really, the job of being CEO is managing the multiple interests of the institution and the community it serves. Typically, it’s the largest employer in the community, or one of them.”

Lieb said administrators and medical staff on Wednesday were “in the throes of doing strategic planning interviews.”

Julie Lewis, a planning specialist for HealthTech, was interviewing staff and physicians about their views on hospital facility needs. Those needs then will be shared with the firm hired to work on the master facility plan for the Powell Valley Healthcare campus.

“Immediately thereafter, we will create a facility master plan and a budget, in that order, so we have a good logical progression and a very structured approach to it.”

A strategic planning retreat is scheduled for the first part of the year, he said.

1 Comment

  • Comment Link December 05, 2011 12:17 pm posted by Salty Dawg

    The only ones who make money in Powell are the so called "baby docs" who have their own little niche,anyone who needs something realistic done,they ship you off to Billings.So avoid the hassle and go to Billings to begin with,as even the phony Wyoming Blue Cross Blue Shield has a monopoly on medicare advantage plans in this area.And these Doctors and Hospitals are not in their network.

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