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State Hospital Associations Experience High Executive Turnover

By Kurt Mosley, Associations Practice Leader

CEO TurnoverThe healthcare industry has been no stranger to turnover in the last several years. According to Becker’s Hospital Review citing a Jan. 18, 2024 report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, hospital and health system CEO changes increased 42% in 2023 from 103 changes in 2022. This figure includes a record-high number of 45 CEO resignations.

Executive level churn, especially at the CEO level, was due to several factors including the pandemic, retirement, the changing regulatory and reimbursement environment, and more. This trend was also felt on the clinical side of the house with record numbers of nurses and allied health professionals calling it quits.

In its newly released Healthcare Leadership Trends for 2024 survey, healthcare staffing firm AMN Healthcare reported 66% of healthcare CEOs, COOs, and various mid-level healthcare executives plan to leave their current positions. Of these, 12% plan to do so immediately and 62% plan to do so within the year.

“Change is a constant in healthcare. However, significant change in any C-suite can be unsettling to an organization. Board members, other executive leaders and frontline employees can start worrying about the organization. It’s natural for people to wonder what will happen to them if changes are made and how that will affect strategies, operations, financial health and staff,” says Ivan Bartolome, HSP President and CEO. “However, with change so many positive things can also happen as it opens the organization to perhaps needed change and evolution of ideas. It provides an opportunity to infuse the leadership ability of other seasoned executives or even younger, emerging leaders in healthcare.”

It appears that turnover also extends to state hospital association executives, as well.  In recent months, various executives with state hospital associations have announced their retirement and have been succeeded by new leaders.  These state associations include Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, and Mississippi.

Turnover among state hospital executives typically can be expected as a natural turn of events in which senior executives conclude their careers or seek advancement.  A spike in such turnover, however, likely can be tied to the increased pressure being felt by healthcare professionals throughout the clinical and leadership spectrum.   The fact is the stress of achieving more with fewer resources in short time frames takes its toll.

That’s why healthcare organizations of all kinds, including healthcare professional associations, are investing additional resources focused on retention and wellness efforts.  The challenges facing healthcare executives are not likely to abate soon, so now is the time to ensure they have the resources and support they need.

HealthSearch Partners is monitoring the pulse of healthcare organizations’ CEOs. Watch for our reporting of instant CEO survey results in the near future.

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