Chief Executives and Presidents

Exceptional Process Leading to an Exceptional Fit

At the crossroads of society, policy and economics, today’s CEOs and presidents are shaping the organizations of the future in the Quality of Life Ecosystem – at the nexus of science, health care delivery and education. More than ever before, this ecosystem is in constant flux, with changing demographics and consumer needs, growing imperatives for innovation and leadership that consistently and authentically demonstrates meaningful ways of engaging constituents. Strong leadership requires a revitalized commitment to align interests and advance business models that deliver the highest value of service. CEOs and presidents face new challenges and opportunities that were largely unforeseen by their predecessors, compounding the demand for visionary, collaborative, transformational leadership. 

A trusted CEO search and leadership development partner, WittKieffer has spent 50 years identifying and supporting exceptional leaders for health systems, hospitals, academic medical centers, physician groups, managed care plans, life sciences companies and colleges and universities. In partnering with boards and search committees, we bring unparalleled expertise to ensure a thorough, objective search process, including best practices in due diligence, and a deep, well-orchestrated discovery phase to focus on the competencies that truly matter most in a leader. Once leaders are in place, we partner with our client organizations to build their individual and collective capabilities, creating and sustaining aligned executive teams that successfully navigate an ever-changing world. 

Success Story

Eric Conley – Chief Executive Officer, Froedtert Hospital
Eric Conley promoted to President of Froedtert Hospital

In July of 2020, Eric Conley was named the new President of Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, WI, following a succession plan that was put into place one year ago. Having served as Chief Operating Officer there since 2018, Conley now leads the largest hospital in the state of Wisconsin, which also serves as the academic medical center for the Medical College of Wisconsin. He will also serve as an executive vice president for Froedtert Health. Conley’s tenure with Froedtert began as a result of a nationwide search conducted by WittKieffer in 2018.

Steven Fontaine – CEO, Penn Highlands Healthcare
A Cultural Transformation in Rural Pennsylvania

As CEO of Penn Highlands Healthcare, a health system in northwestern/central Pennsylvania, Steven Fontaine has successfully helped to unite four community hospitals (a fifth hospital has just joined the organization) and numerous other facilities into a thriving regional system, with better, more comprehensive care for area citizens. “In the rural communities in which we serve, these hospitals used to be arch rivals, kind of like the local high school football rivalries. It takes a while to show people the benefit of one system,” he says. Integration was encouraged by clear communication to local residents, learning from employee engagement and physician engagement surveys, the hiring of a Chief Quality and Transformation Officer, a change to a single patient record system, the celebration of successes, and more. Local residents have come to appreciate the value of a strong regional network of facilities.

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