38 hospital and health system C-level roles, defined (2024)

The hospital C-suite is always evolving, with new roles constantly being added to oversee top strategy, financial, IT, population health and people initiatives.

Here are 38 hospital and health system c-suite executive positions — traditional and nontraditional — including descriptions of responsibilities and some of the key people who hold them.

1. Chief administrative officer. The chief administrative officer has similar responsibilities to the chief operating officer, and is sometimes considered the same position, according to Learn.org. The CAO is responsible for keeping the organization running smoothly and aligning the organization's goals. This individual may also oversee and prepare the organization's budget and assist in business deal negotiations. In some cases, the CAO serves as the middle-man between hospital department heads and the CEO.

2. Chief business development officer. The chief business development officer oversees business growth and development across all departments, according to Cleverism. This individual investigates new business opportunities and is responsible for building relationships that can help identify and execute new business deals in the future. The CBDO may also oversee key member recruiting and training, and play a mentorship role for business development personnel.

3. Chief clinical officer. Chief clinical officers are becoming more common for hospitals and health systems, and physicians often fill this role, according to Health IT News. These individuals are primarily tasked with overseeing patient engagement and clinical quality outcomes. The CCO is often a "systems thinker" that prioritizes lean system performance requirements to reduce waste and improve care quality. This individual should be familiar with EHR and data integration. Depending on the organization, a CCO may also assist in medical staff development, clinical integration and physician partnerships.

4. Chief compliance officer. Chief compliance officers typically oversee the organization's regulatory compliance initiatives and internal policies and procedures, according to the International Association of Risk and Compliance Professionals. The CCO may be asked to develop standards and implement procedures to ensure the organization is efficient and effective in identifying, preventing and correcting issues of noncompliance. CCOs often report to CEOs directly and inform senior leaders, including the board of directors, about violations. They also report on compliance updates, ongoing policy implementation and compliance education to the board. Finally, the CCO typically monitors any external audit reviews and responds to administrative inquiries on compliance issues and audits.

5. Chief development officer. Chief development officers are often responsible for developing and coordinating the hospital or health system's fundraising or philanthropy projects. This individual supports the organization's strategic direction and establishes goals for high level philanthropy. The CDO often has previous fundraising experience and is familiar with the hospital's research and community impact.

6. Chief executive officer. CEOs oversee the implementation of long and short term strategic plans, and serve as a key decision-maker among senior leadership. The CEO is charged with overseeing or approving the budget and managing risk. CEOs should know about all undertaking and activities at the hospital or health system and provide expertise to managers as well as the board of directors. This person stays abreast of important industry trends and empowers others in the organization to move forward strategically.

7. Chief financial officer. Chief financial officers lead the hospital or health system's financial team and are responsible for ensuring a positive financial future. This individual can create new policies for financial improvement in addition to balancing the books. CFOs advise on capital planning projects, mergers and acquisitions and large growth initiatives. Finally, CFOs take part in commercial payer negotiations and must have an understanding of how new risk-based payment models will affect their institution going forward.

8. Chief government relations officer. As government officials take an increasingly active role in developing healthcare policy, health systems like Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White are appointing individuals to cultivate relationships with local, state and federal government officials. BSW appointed Kristi Hoyl as chief government relations officer in March 2014 with the goal of educating representatives and leaders about the health system's care and issues related to access to care. Cleveland Clinic appointed Kristen Morris to this position in 2013 as well. Her overall responsibilities aim to influence legislative outcomes that affect the health system's mission and develop partnerships with government agencies.

9. Chief health information officer. Healthcare organizations are hiring chief health information officers to become more strategic about EHR implementation and health informatics, including Durham, N.C.-based Duke Medicine, Arlington-based Texas Health Resources and Irving, Texas-based Christus Health, according to Health Informatics. The CHIO may report to the CIO, COO or another C-suite executive and manages health informatics, telehealth, business and clinical intelligence and predictive analytics initiatives. Last year, Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare appointed Vivek Redd, MD, CHIO for the purpose of leading the system's health IT and informatics strategy.

10. Chief human resources officer. The chief human resources officer develops and executes the hospital or health system's human resource strategy to support the overall organization's strategic direction, according to the Society for Human Resources Management. This person oversees succession planning, talent management, performance management, training, development and compensation. Last year, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare appointed Robert W.K. Webb senior vice president and chief human resources officer responsible for the company's people strategy. He leads human resources functions including labor relations, HR services, talent, culture, performance, compensation and overall benefits.

11. Chief information officer. A healthcare organization's chief information officer oversees the IT department and makes technology-related purchasing decisions, according to TargetTech. This individual works with other C-suiters to plan for the growing amount of digital data collected at hospitals and health systems and to support other health IT initiatives, including telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. The CIO determines where to invest the hospital's resources, how to train staff and the most efficient workflow for implementing new technology. At the system-level, the CIO plays a role in interoperability.

12. Chief information security officer. The chief information security officer is responsible for developing the hospital or health system's policy on IT security, handling remediation and breach notification and interacting with compliance authorities on information security, according to Health IT News. The CISO has strategic and advisory responsibilities and must communicate across departments about technological issues to medical providers and staff. This person manages data security and promotes security risk awareness around the organization.

13. Chief innovation officer. Chief innovation officers are tasked with creating an innovation-friendly organization. This individual supports best practice, creative thinking, and initiatives to train managers, according to the Harvard Business Review. The chief innovation officer is responsible for staying abreast of industry trends, market disruptions and new opportunities. This person also helps generate new ideas and allocate resources for potentially disruptive innovation. Last year, Mercy Health appointed Jeffrey Carr its first chief innovation officer with responsibilities for fostering a culture of innovation and investment systemwide.

14. Chief integration officer. The chief integration officer, which may also be known as the vice president of population health or chief accountable care officer, is responsible for organizational design in population health initiatives, according to Healthcare Informatics. As hospitals and health systems seek to align with other healthcare organizations and acquire physician practices, the chief integration officer oversees the alignments and facilitates ACO creation. This person may also have responsibilities negotiating payer contracts and developing clinical strategies. In January, RWJBarnabas Health in West Orange, N.J., named John Gantner executive vice president and chief integration officer responsible for overseeing managed care, information technology and systems, supply chain functions and the integration management office.

15. Chief integrity officer. Both Cleveland Clinic and Maywood, Ill.-based Loyola Medicine, have chief integrity officers. Cleveland Clinic's chief integrity officer Don Sinko oversees audit and compliance programs focused on risk management, regulatory compliance and business ethics for the health system. Loyola named John Heart vice president and chief integrity officer in December 2016 with responsibility for overseeing auditing and compliance functions for Loyola University Health System. He has a background in internal audits, compliance and privacy and security functions, previously serving with Portland-based Oregon Health & Science University and UNC Health Care System in Chapel Hill, N.C.

16. Chief investment officer. A chief investment officer manages the hospital or health system's investment portfolio, developing short- and long-term investment plans and overseeing staff members responsible for managing assets and pensions. This person often reports to the organization's board and makes investment recommendations. Mercy's chief investment officer Tony Waskiewicz is responsible for generating strong risk-adjusted returns for the health system and developing its investment structure around current economic conditions.

17. Chief learning officer. As a relatively new position for hospitals and health systems, chief learning officers are joining the C-suite to oversee professional development and educational programs for hospital administrators and managers. New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health's Kathleen Gallo heads the hospital's Learning and Innovation and Patient Safety Institute, focusing on transforming the health system through workforce development. This person may also have responsibilities in succession planning, performance and talent review and support for managers moving between leadership roles.

18. Chief legal officer. Chief legal officers often oversee the business aspects of the hospital or health system. This person is the "head layer" and advises on any legal updates or matters regarding employees, according to Legal Career Path. The CLO is responsible for investigating noncompliance issues and suggesting measures to take with offenders. In some instances, this person may also act as a chief litigator. In March, Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care hired Michael Grebe, JD, as chief legal officer where he is responsible for helping the health system navigate the changing healthcare regulatory environment.

19. Chief marketing officer. The chief marketing officer oversees the hospital's branding and communications efforts. The CMO's role has been evolving from traditional marketing efforts, including billboards and community outreach, to include social media and other digital platforms. This person advises on marketing strategy and targeting the right audience to optimize resources. For example, Cleveland Clinic's CMO Paul Matsen oversees the global brand and service line-specific marketing and digital marketing.

20. Chief of managed care. The chief of managed care oversees the hospital or health system's managed care strategy, planning and implementation. This individual also participates in establishing quality and financial performance standards for the managed care products and tracks the benchmarks. The chief of managed care may also negotiate the hospital's contracts. Howard Gold is the chief of managed care and business development officer at Northwell Health, overseeing the hospital's contractual relationships and all business matters associated with managed care.

21. Chief medical information officer. The chief medical information officer historically oversaw the selection and implementation of EHR as the IT department's liaison with the clinical staff, according to Top Master's in Healthcare Administration. However, that role is shifting to focus on using IT in transformative and innovative ways to create value for the healthcare organization with its current IT systems.

22. Chief medical officer. The chief medical officer is a senior level executive acting as a liaison between the physicians and hospital executives. This individual oversees quality of care at the hospital and manages the hiring, training and performance evaluation of physicians on staff. The CMO's role is evolving to include supporting new cost-effective strategies for the clinical staff and ensure medical interventions are efficient and medically necessary.

23. Chief nursing officer. The chief nursing officer supervises nurses and nurse managers across hospital departments and service lines, according to American Nurses Association. This individual oversees patient care delivery design and implementation and serves as a liaison between the nursing staff and hospital executives. In November 2016, St. Louis-based Ascension named Amy Wilson the CNO of Nashville, Tenn.-based Saint Thomas Health responsible for working with the hospital's chief clinical officer and COO to ensure nursing, medical and operational strategies aligned and are performed efficiently and effectively.

24. Chief nursing informatics officer. As a relatively new role for most hospitals and health systems, the chief nursing informatics officer's responsibilities vary between organizations. Broadly, this individual is the strategic liaison for health IT efforts with the nursing staff and will develop nursing and clinical informatics strategies related to health IT. The CNIO is a "change agent" in identifying, planning, implementing and measuring the value of informatics strategies. CNIOs collaborate with other nursing and IT leaders to implement systems that will improve patient care and services.

25. Chief operating officer. Chief operating officers provide leadership, management and vision for the hospital to ensure all procedures and systems are in place for effective growth, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. This individual also ensures the hospital or health system has the financial strength and operational efficiency to carry through its vision. The COO is a motivator and leads the high performance management team to attract, recruit and retain the best leaders. As the senior vice president and COO for Concord (N.H.) Hospital, Timothy Jones is responsible for keeping the hospital running efficiently, integrating the organization's strategic plan and providing management oversight for high quality, cost-effective and integrated clinical programs.

26. Chief patient experience officer. The chief patient experience officer is typically responsible for driving a culture of patient- and family-centered care as well as service excellence for hospitals and health systems. This individual works with executive teams to communicate performance initiatives and create change at all levels of the organization. HCA's chief patient experience officer, Lyn Ketelsen, RN, is responsible for leveraging best practices across the system's hospitals to ensure patients have the best experience possible.

27. Chief patient safety officer. The chief patient safety officer oversees the hospital or health system's patient safety initiatives. Ken Bachenberg, MD, chief medical officer and patient safety officer at Vancouver, Wash.-based PeaceHealth, leads the team that includes the medical staff, medical staff services office and patient safety consultants, and oversees clinical quality enhancement at PeaceHealth St. Joseph. In March, Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare named Shannon Connor Philips, MD, chief patient safety and experience officer. She is responsible for working with system leaders to improve care outcomes and the patient experience.

28. Chief people officer. Chief people officers head the human resources department, managing the hospital or health system's culture in addition to staffing function. This individual is responsible for creating a working environment where staff members and physicians can thrive. Springfield, Ill.-based Hospital Sisters Health System's CPO David Beach provides leadership and guidance in developing and implementing policies, plans and programs related to people services. Seattle Children's Hospital named Myra Gregorian senior vice president and chief people officer in May, effective July 24, and she'll oversee the hospital's human resources, workforce diversity and inclusion efforts as well as talent acquisition and development.

29. Chief population health officer. The chief population health officer leads the development and implementation of the hospital's population health management strategy and fosters payer relationships and community partnerships. As the senior vice president and CPHO of Madison, Wis.-based UW Health and the president of UW Health ACO, Jonathan Jaffery is responsible for development, coordination and implementation of UW Health's population health strategy. He oversees community improvement efforts and promotes the triple aim throughout the health system.

30. Chief quality officer. The chief quality officer is responsible for quality data collection and supports patient safety efforts. The CQO advises on quality initiatives and holds clinicians accountable for meeting specific quality indicators. This individual may also help develop a culture of continuous improvement, identify areas to enhance efficiency and strengthen information capabilities while championing a data-driven environment. In November 2016, Clearwater, Fla.-based BayCare Health System named Teri Sholder senior vice president and chief quality officer responsible for overseeing the hospital's patient safety, clinical quality and patient satisfaction programs.

31. Chief research officer. A hospital or health system's chief research officer oversees research activities including clinical trials, internal investigator-initiated research programs and sponsored studies. Akron (Ohio) Children's Hospital in May hired Michael E. Kelly, MD, PhD, as chief research officer to oversee the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute. He is tasked with defining the vision, clinical trial strategy and research management for studies systemwide.

32. Chief revenue officer. The chief revenue officer oversees the hospital or health system's revenue cycle and revenue-related processes. This individual may also oversee all of the managed care operations, payer relationships, government reimbursem*nt, chargemaster operations, charging practices and regulatory analysis for the health system. In April, Loyola University named Frank Massi CRO, who is tasked with identifying opportunities to improve patient collections, driving operating efficiencies, building patient relationships and leading the patient financial engagement consultants team.

33. Chief strategy officer. The chief strategy officer clarifies the hospital or health system CEO's vision and imparts it to the clinical team and staff members. This individual communicates with each department and unit to implement the corporate strategy. Cleveland-based MetroHealth's Vice President and CSO Karim Botros oversees the health system's business and corporate development, provider recruiting, integration and market research. He will be overseeing the two new community hospitals that MetroHealth is building, slated to open by the end of the year.

34. Chief technology officer. The chief technology officer oversees the hospital's technology capabilities. This individual is responsible for leading the IT team and contributes to the hospital or health system's strategic plan. Navicent Health System in Macon, Ga., hired Rick Allen as CTO in 2015 to stabilize and modernize the health system's technology infrastructure.

35. Chief transformation officer. Chief transformation officers take on responsibility for driving organization forward and holding team members accountable. CTOs inspire others and exhibit model behavior to encourage and embed change within the organization. These individuals set the tone for transformation and are enthusiastic about change. As the senior vice president and chief transformation officer of Pensacola, Fla.-based Baptist Health Care, Dan Sontheimer, MD, is responsible for increasing care standardization, developing physician leadership and governance and advancing population health management. He is also president of Baptist Medical Group.

36. Chief experience officer. Hospital chief experience officers, or CXOs, are responsible for overseeing a team that solves gaps in the "human experience of care." This individual is responsible for patient experience strategy and managing complaints, compliments and performance improvement. The CXO also builds a relationship-based culture at the hospital or health system. As chief experience officer of Cleveland Clinic, Adrienne Boissy, MD, leads the patient experience office and initiatives to improve the patient experience across the health system.

37. Executive vice president. The executive vice president typically assists with creating and achieving financial goals and objectives. This individual also oversees the hospital or health system's operating performance, prepares budgets and creates business plans. The executive vice president is responsible for communicating the company's strategy to the board of directors and overseeing revenue generation. As executive vice president of St. Louis-based Ascension and president and CEO of Ascension Holdings and Ascension Holdings International, John Doyle is responsible for innovation services as well as overseeing solutions and relationships to accelerate the health system's strategic direction. He provides alternative revenue sources domestically and internationally.

38. Physician-in-chief. As the hospital's top physician, the physician-in-chief is responsible for working with the senior leadership team to maintain standards of care and customer service. This person may also oversee operational efficiency and support organizational transformation. As executive vice president and physician-in-chief of New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health, Lawrence Smith, MD, serves as the senior physician on all clinical issues.

38 hospital and health system C-level roles, defined (2024)
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