The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 24, 2014

Powers: Hospital chief decision expected soon

New CEO could begin June 1

By Kim West

— Hospital officials said a widespread search for the next Athens-Limestone Hospital chief executive officer is down to three frontrunners.

“We had 26 people apply for the position — we had four come for interviews and have narrowed it to three,” said outgoing CEO Kelli Powers.

She declined to name the three finalists, citing the need to keep their candidacy private because of their current employment with other medical facilities.

“We should have a decision by the end of April,” Powers said. “We will announce the (person) and all their credentials at that time. We would like for them to start work by the first of June.”

The next ALH board of directors meeting will be noon Tuesday, May 27. A search committee reviewed the applications and conducted the first round of interviews but the nine-member board must approve the new CEO.

The board and hospital staff members interviewed two of the three finalists before and after Tuesday’s regular board meeting. All three will receive second interviews.

Qualifications for the position are a master’s of science in health care administration, business administration or a related field. The job posting also required a “minimum 10 years of increasing responsibility and successful operational and management experience gained with (a similarly-sized) hospital and within integrated delivery systems.”

The available job description does not specify a salary range for the incoming chief, who will supervise about 770 employees and an approximately $61 million operating budget.

Per legal counsel, Powers said on Thursday she was advised not to release salary information.

ALH, among the top five employers in Limestone County, is a nonprofit, public hospital and a formal affiliate of Huntsville Hospital since October 2007. The city of Athens and Limestone County appoint some of the board members, according to city and county officials.

Powers, who became CEO in March 2010, will replace Huntsville Hospital finance chief Lonnie Younger on July 1. Prior to her arrival, Athens had two CEOs the previous 23 years — Phil Dotson from 1986 to 2006 and Cary Payne from 2007 to 2009.