Leading a faith-based healthcare organization is a demanding and complicated endeavor. One must not only be an effective healthcare administrator and people manager, but must also work from a perspective that is aligned with the organization’s mission and values. Finding that pairing is crucial to helping the organization grow and meet its goals. But what exactly does it take to be an outstanding leader in faith-based healthcare today? More importantly, what should you be looking for as you seek potential leaders?

“Finding leaders who intertwine faith, financial savvy and clinical quality without compromising any of the three is a top priority for our healthcare clients,” said Jim Boyle, Senior Vice President of FaithSearch Partners in Orlando.

Boyle has served as senior vice president for Centura Health, the largest healthcare system in Colorado, as well as EVP and COO for St. Luke’s-Shawnee Mission Health System in Kansas City. He has worked with FaithSearch Partners vetting potential executives for faith-based healthcare organizations for five years.

“The leaders FaithSearch looks for must have the ability to manifest the organization’s mission, and turn it into tangible steps,” said Boyle.

“Our healthcare clients want leaders who can stay focused on the mission and find new expressions of it as the industry transforms,” says Ed Reifsnyder, Senior Vice President in Denver and ACO Practice Leader at FaithSearch Partners, who has more than 35 years of experience in healthcare, 17 of which were serving as CFO for one of the largest regional and national faith-based organizations in the country.

“One of the most overlooked qualities great leaders need to possess is the ability to consistently communicate the mission to the rest of the organization. Not simply echoing the mission statement, but continuously reinforcing the unique driving forces behind the decisions the organization makes,” says Ivan Bartolome, Senior Vice President at FaithSearch in Dallas.

“The individual must be able to infiltrate that message to all the employees of the organization in actionable ways,” explains Bartolome, who previously led the second largest cardiac services program in Kansas City for eight years.

To find this unique candidate, the partners at FaithSearch believe all candidates should be asked questions like these that get to the heart of faith-based healthcare organizations are looking for today:

What have you done in the last year to enhance your organization’s mission of ministry? What have you done in the last year to mentor a colleague around your faith-based mission? (Bartolome)

Fully describe why you want this role and how it fits with your professional or personal spiritual goals. (Boyle)

How will you balance strategy around mission with the need for good operational performance? (Reifsnyder)

Faith-based healthcare organizations need both strategic, innovative leadership as well as the vision to integrate the organization’s mission into its decisions. The search for the leaders that can perform at this level may be challenging, but the result is a healthcare organization positively impacting its community in ways unique to leadership teams with a faith-based perspective.

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