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Greenville Business Magazine

Prisma Health launches national search for new CEO

Prisma Health has launched a national search for its new chief executive officer (CEO) to lead the organization formed by the partnership of South Carolina’s largest health care systems, Greenville Health System (GHS) and Palmetto Health.

The in-depth recruitment process, led by nationally known executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, is expected to be completed by summer, with the new CEO in place by late summer 2019.

“We are committed to finding the right leader, just as we are committed to improving the health and well-being of people in the Midlands, the Upstate and, ultimately, the entire state,” said James E. “Rick” Wheeler, Vice President, M-D MetalSource, and chair of the Prisma Health Board of Directors.
“With each step, we are coming closer to delivering on our promise to create a better state of health in South Carolina by improving clinical quality, the patient experience and access to care, and containing rising health care costs,” Wheeler said.

The CEO search committee is chaired by Prisma Health Board of Directors member Jerry Odom, PhD, a distinguished professor emeritus and provost emeritus of the University of South Carolina. Five other board members complete the committee, including Calvin H. Elam, CLU, ChFC, CEO/Senior Financial Advisor, Elam Financial Group; Frances DeLoache Ellison, retired attorney with Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.; Board Vice Chair Michelle B. Seaver, President, United Community Bank for Greenville County; Rick Wheeler; and, Richard “Dick” Wilkerson, retired Chairman and President, Michelin North America.

The national CEO search is being supported by Michael C. Riordan, current Co-CEO of Prisma Health and former CEO of Greenville Health System. Riordan and Co-CEO Charles D. Beaman Jr., the former CEO of Palmetto Health, have been working together to set a strong foundation of governance and leadership for Prisma Health, and empower a new leader by January 1, 2020, to move the organization into the future. Following a smooth transition, they will step down from their Co-CEO roles; their contracts conclude at the end of 2019.

Prisma Health is the largest not-for-profit health organization in South Carolina, serving more than 1.2 million patients annually – or about one-quarter of the state’s population. The new company has more than 30,000 team members; affiliates include GHS in the Upstate and Palmetto Health in the Midlands. Because of Prisma Health’s broader scope, 42 percent of South Carolinians now live within 15 minutes of one of its outpatient facilities.

As part of its efforts to improve synergies and reduce inefficiencies, Prisma Health also will create an executive home office in Greenville.

An executive home office is the single physical location where a small group of senior corporate leaders is located. It is not a traditional large corporate headquarters where all senior leaders, corporate functions and their teams are housed. The office will be home for up to 60 senior corporate leaders and related support staff including the new CEO. The change is expected to take place over the summer. In most cases, a senior corporate leader will work in the executive home office, and their team or teams will continue to work in their existing offices in the Midlands and the Upstate.

“Bringing our senior corporate leaders together under one roof will help improve communication, collaboration and decision-making while supporting strategic growth and development,” said Wheeler. “From a practical standpoint, it will help reduce travel time and expenses for meetings.”

The Prisma Health Board of Directors engaged industry-leading consulting organization Deloitte to evaluate both markets and provide an independent data-driven analysis and recommendation. Having performed more than 9,000 similar executive home office location studies for other companies, Deloitte’s analysis for Prisma Health was thorough, and both Columbia and Greenville performed well on multiple criteria. Deloitte ultimately recommended Greenville, and the Prisma Health Board of Directors approved this recommendation.

Leaders and team members from both the Midlands and Upstate affiliates will continue to work and live in their communities, care for patients in their local hospitals, physician practices and clinics, and work in their local offices. This includes each affiliate’s President and senior leadership as well. Even with the creation of an executive home office, the organization will continue to support corporate and affiliate operations in both markets. In the Midlands, for example, finance and information technology team members from the Greystone and Parklane locations are moving to newly leased office space on Colonial Life Boulevard. About 800 team members will be working there by mid-summer.