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Search is underway for the subsequent CEO of Maui Wellness | News, Sports, Jobs


Jun 3, 2023
Search is underway for the next CEO of Maui Health | News, Sports, Jobs

Maui Memorial Health-related Center is observed in February. Search committee members hope to obtain new CEO to lead Maui Wellness, which operates Maui Memorial, Kula Hospital and Lanai Cmmunity Hospital, by starting of subsequent year. — The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER

Maui Wellness has hired a leading executive search firm to assist obtain its new CEO, whom hospital officials hope could be in location by the starting of subsequent year.

Even though it is a “high priority” to obtain a leader from Hawaii or with Hawaii ties, the chairwoman of Maui Health’s search committee stated “our primary concentrate is on locating an individual who meets or exceeds the qualifications and essential attributes we really feel are essential for a very prosperous Maui Wellness CEO.” 

“This contains an individual committed to becoming an genuine member of the Maui County neighborhood, to really listening and understanding, and who would dedicate themselves to addressing the overall health wants of our islands and individuals,” Chairwoman Tamar Goodfellow stated in an e mail.

She is a board member at Maui Wellness and also the president of Maui Wellness Foundation, an independent, tax-exempt organization that is separate from Maui Wellness Program, according to its web site. 

Maui Wellness, which operates Maui Memorial Health-related Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Neighborhood Hospital, is in search of a new CEO because the retirement of Michael Rembis this spring. 

Liz Linares (left), chairwoman of the United Nurses and Wellness Care Workers of Hawaii, talks to Charmaine Morales, president of the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Wellness Care Experts, primarily based out of California, for the duration of a stop by to Maui Memorial Health-related Center this week. — JACKIE PONCE photo

In the meantime, Kerry Watson, a overall health care executive from North Carolina, has been serving as interim CEO of Maui Wellness, a Kaiser Permanente affiliate, because Rembis’ departure. 

His retirement announcement came shortly soon after rumblings about Rembis becoming ousted as CEO, but a spokesperson at the time stated Rembis’ retirement was unrelated to these claims.

Rembis joined Maui Wellness in 2017, shortly soon after the 3 hospitals transitioned from the state’s public hospital technique to the newly produced Maui Wellness Program. He dealt with the fallout from the transition and was also at the helm as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Outbreaks amongst sufferers and employees at the hospital spawned criticism from workers and the neighborhood who have been frustrated more than the hospitals’ policies and how they have been enforced. Some neighborhood members also referred to as for Rembis’ ouster.

Even though Rembis’ tenure was observed as rocky by some, Maui Wellness officials credited him at the finish of his profession for expanding overall health solutions, applications and access and getting “improved high quality metrics that met or exceeded national standards” at Maui Wellness.

Criticism of Maui Wellness administration and leadership has continued on, nevertheless, and is aspect of why the search for a new CEO is becoming watched closely by neighborhood members, healthcare workers and state legislators, as millions of dollars of state funds nonetheless get appropriated to Maui Memorial Health-related Center. Some Maui state lawmakers have expressed their preference for a new leader also with island ties. 

Liz Linares, chairwoman of the United Nurses and Wellness Care Workers of Hawaii, stated a concern with locating a new CEO is getting an individual familiar with the culture right here on Maui. 

On Thursday, she stated she felt she was capable to translate that to Watson and to Greg Adams, the chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Foundation Wellness Strategy Inc. and Hospitals. A Maui Wellness spokesperson stated on Friday that Adams was at the hospital for a routine stop by and it was unrelated to the CEO search. 

“I believe they understood that,” Linares stated of the request for a new leader sensitive to the island’s variations. She is a case manager at Maui Wellness.

Linares’ union represents about 850 members at Maui Wellness, which includes registered nurses, case managers, radiologists, pharmacists, therapists, admitting employees and receptionists. 

“I believe they are seeing the culture right here is distinct and I believe that we created it clear these days we are worth it and we are precious and we are worth spending time and income on,” Linares stated on Thursday afternoon. 

Even though Linares and Charmaine Morales, president of the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Wellness Care Experts primarily based out of California, stated the primary goal of Thursday was to meet with the leaders as they created their rounds in the hospital, Morales stated she will be inquiring extra about the CEO search and will seek to make confident the union has input. 

“Ideally if you can get an individual from Hawaii, from the islands, that would be excellent. Is it realistic? Almost certainly not. But as lengthy as you get that correct match, it will make the globe of distinction for this little tight neighborhood,” Morales stated. 

In a letter this week to Maui County Council members, a group describing themselves as “Citizens for Maui Wellness,” asked council members to adopt a resolution demanding that the CEO search approach be transparent and that the new CEO be “for the individuals of Maui” and not “a puppet for Kaiser Permanente.” 

The group stated it was created up of overall health care providers at Maui Memorial.

The letter also asked that council members demand Maui Wellness board members “be aligned to represent Maui.” 

A resolution at the council does not have the force or impact of law, but can express the sentiment of the council. Earlier this year, the council passed a resolution supporting striking United Public Workers union hospital personnel and urging Maui Wellness to resolve contract negotiations.

In April, the union ended a practically two-month strike soon after members ratified a new 3-year contract with Maui Wellness. Some of employees’ issues integrated new hires producing extra income than these currently functioning at the hospital, as nicely as quick-staffing and wages. 

The UPW, which represents practically 500 workers at Maui Health’s 3 hospitals, stated this week it did not have an official position on the CEO search.

The search approach started in February with the formation of a six-individual search committee from Maui Health’s Board of Directors. 

Goodfellow stated the committee contains “four island board members” and two Kaiser Permanente members. Maui Wellness declined to determine them. 

Maui Health’s Board of Directors contains Goodfellow, Mary Hew, Kathy Lancaster, Kim Horn, Dr. Steve Miller, Dr. Bryan Smith, Clay Sutherland, Tony Takitani and John Yamamoto, according to Maui Health’s web site. 

Goodfellow stated that in the national search, they have partnered with WittKieffer, a firm that has offices globally and has consultants in quite a few U.S. states. The firm was selected in aspect due to its practical experience functioning in Hawaii, she stated. 

Maui Wellness declined to say how a lot they are paying the search firm. 

The search firm has spent the final handful of months interviewing board members, senior leadership, doctor leadership and “other essential stakeholders at Maui Wellness and in the neighborhood to create clear objectives, objectives, and priorities for recruiting the excellent candidate.” 

“They have created a position profile that contains a complete list of qualifications, information and operate practical experience, expectations, and essential attributes needed for a prosperous Maui Wellness CEO,” Goodfellow stated. 

The search firm continues to accept nominations, expressions of interest and resumes. 

Following candidates are screened, these certified will be presented to the search committee for assessment. Major candidates will be identified and interviewed in the following handful of months, she added. 

“As a regular practice in executive searches, candidate information and facts will stay protected to make certain and respect the confidentiality of the candidate’s interest and other information and facts,” Goodfellow stated. 

Maui Wellness also did not answer a query on who will in the end make a decision on the new CEO. They also declined to answer a query about whether or not union leadership and/or representatives of different positions at the hospital would be privy to the names of finalists for the position. 

Even though the aim is to have a new leader in location by early subsequent year, Goodfellow stated “finding the correct candidate is most vital and we will operate diligently till that is achieved.”

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.

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