Rural Health

Identifying Exceptional Rural Health Leaders

WittKieffer understands the vital importance of leadership in rural hospitals, health centers and regional health systems. Committed, innovative leaders can have a tremendous impact on the health of their local populations and on the strength of their communities. For this reason, we have worked with rural healthcare organizations for over 50 years—our mission to support organizations that improve the quality of life aligns with the missions and values of our clients providing high-quality, accessible care in rural communities.

We work with our clients in rural areas to be creative and strategic in thinking about their leadership needs. Our Rural Health Practice consultants partner with organizations to identify CEOs and other leaders who:

  • Enjoy maintaining an active leadership role within their community, and are able to communicate the value of their organization to local residents
  • Commit to the organization’s mission and independence while being flexible to see the advantages of strategic collaborations
  • Understand creative business and financing models that can help their organizations deal with dramatic industry changes
  • Connect with providers, clinical staff and employees and enlist them as fellow ambassadors to patients, the public and prospective staff

We encourage candidates for rural executive roles to see the opportunities available to them, to make a difference and to find tremendous reward in their careers. These executives know that, even with finite resources, they can spur innovative solutions to industry-wide challenges. Our goal is to match these dynamic candidates with our clients to ensure organizational sustainability and long-term success.

Success Story

Michael E. Johnston - President and CEO, McLaren Thumb Region
Johnston leads turnaround at McClaren Thumb Region

In March 2018, Michael E. Johnston was named President and CEO of McLaren Thumb Region (formerly Huron Medical Center) in Bad Axe, MI, and immediately began overseeing an impressive turnaround. After six consecutive years of fiscal year losses, in 2019 the facility reported end-of-year profits exceeding $2 million and nearly $5 million in revenue increases over the previous year. He led implementation of a “Lean Management System,” initiated establishment of a Diversity and Inclusion Team, added additional providers and service lines – including the opening of a new clinic in Harbor Beach, MI, and ordered a number of vital Capital Improvement projects to the building.

Rural Healthcare Leadership Resources

Connect with a Practice Leader

Practice Leader Beth Nelson brings deep expertise in recruiting dynamic rural health leaders, leveraging our firm’s vast network of executive talent.

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Healthcare Candidates

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