Bartlett Regional Hospital board to begin CEO deliberations

Bartlett Regional Hospital
Bartlett Regional Hospital is owned by the City and Borough of Juneau. It’s board of directors is appointed by the Juneau Assembly. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Bartlett Regional Hospital’s board of directors meets tonight to begin deliberations about who should be the next chief executive officer of Juneau’s city-owned hospital.

Five candidates interviewed for the position last week:

  • Dr. Paul Franke, interim administrator of the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.
  • David Abercrombie, CEO of Madison County Memorial Hospital in Madison, Fla.
  • Charles Bill, assistant administrator of Physician Development with Centura Health Physician Group in Durango, Colo.
  • Joe Cladouhos, CEO of Syringa Hospital and Clinics in Grangeville, Idaho.
  • Craig Dahl, CEO of Alaska Pacific Bank in Juneau.

During the interviews, the candidates met with the hospital board, medical staff and other employees. They also met with city officials, including Mayor Merrill Sanford and City Manager Kim Kiefer. City Human Resources Director Mila Cosgrove says a public meet and greet last Wednesday was attended by nearly 90 people.

Cosgrove says all five candidates are still under consideration.

“They all have a combination of strategic management experience, they all have experience working with boards and they all have experience heading up complex organizations,” Cosgrove said.

Bartlett’s last permanent CEO, Chris Harff, was the first chief executive hired after the board terminated its contract with longtime hospital management company, Quorum Health Resources. She lasted just over a year, and was one of three top administrators to resign following a personnel investigation into allegations of a hostile work environment at the hospital. When she announced her resignation, Harff said her professional expertise was not a good fit for the Juneau community.

Cosgrove says the board changed the recruitment process this time in an effort to hire someone who would be a good fit for Juneau. The biggest difference, she says, is the board did not use an executive recruitment firm.

“Internal staff was more heavily involved, which meant we had from the very beginning a lot more touch with candidates to talk with them about the realities of living in Juneau,” Cosgrove said.

She notes that all of the finalists except Abercrombie already have ties to Juneau or Alaska. Dahl is a longtime Juneau resident; Franke currently lives in Anchorage; Bill’s mother grew up in Juneau; and Cladouhos used to work for SEARHC, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.

Cosgrove says the hospital board will begin deliberations on the candidates tonight, but she does not expect a decision for another two to three weeks. The discussions will mostly take place in executive session. She says the board hopes to make a hire by mid-April and have the new CEO on the job in May. Interim CEO Jeff Egbert is expected to stay on for a transition period.

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