Four CEO finalists for the Petersburg Medical Center speak with board member, Tim Koeneman, after the public Q and A session, April 14, 2018. (Photo by Angela Denning, KFSK)

The Petersburg Medical Center hosted the four finalists vying for the CEO position. On Friday, they were interviewed by the medical center’s board and hiring committee. Saturday, they held a Q and A session with the public. KFSK’s Angela Denning attended the event and has this report:

The four CEO finalists are mingling with PMC board members and residents at the Holy Cross House at the Lutheran Church. It’s another layer to the hiring process. This meet and greet is supposed to give the public a better idea of who these four are.

Petersburg resident, Sunny Rice, is facilitating the event. She gathers people for the Question and Answer session. The finalists sit in a row of chairs at the front of the room and take turns answering questions.

Jeff Jones is the only candidate from out of state. He’s lived in many different places while working in the military. He has about 35 years of health care experience, starting off as a medic in the Navy. He later worked as a healthcare administrator in the Air Force. He spent 24 years traveling around working at different facilities in the country, including Anchorage. He’s been an administrator, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Finance Officer. He’s retired from the Airforce and has been helping take care of aging parents in Missouri. He and his wife have six children. Five are adults and the youngest is 13.

Petersburg Medical Center CEO finalist Jeff Jones comes from Missouri but has worked in healthcare at 16 different facilities. (Photo by Angela Denning, KFSK)

He says he’s worked his whole career through 16 different facilities to be a successful CEO.

“I think successful leaders go away with their folks thinking that the leader made a positive impact on the delivery of care and the employees learn something from the experience as well,” Jones said. “I provide mentorship opportunity for folks who want to grow within the community who want to have successful careers in the future no matter what that might be in the healthcare field. I think I’m uniquely qualified to tell them about the clinical side having been in nuclear medicine and tell them about the administrative side having been in varied positions as an administrator.”

Patrick Williams is the Clinic Manager at Sitka Community Hospital. He’s been there for five years after earning his Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration and a bachelor’s in Health Science. He’s originally from Alabama. He says as a leader he doesn’t really follow the chain of command philosophy.

Petersburg Medical Center CEO finalist, Patrick Williams, has been the Clinic Manager at Sitka Community Hospital since earning his Master’s in Health Care Administration. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)

“I don’t think it’s very successful in small hospitals and small communities,” Williams said. “I really like a flat organization because I don’t feel the need to say that I’m more important than any other staff member. An environmental service person, a lab tech, a provider we’re all in the same playing field because we all have a role to do and if we do it in a positive way, I think we have an impact on our facility and our community.”

Philip Hofstetter of Nome is Vice President at Norton Sound Health Corporation. He’s been in healthcare for 25 years, 20 of those in Nome. He has his Master’s and Doctorates in Audiology. He has two grade school aged kids and he says his family was looking for a change of location. He says he grew into healthcare leadership positions while the Nome hospital was being rebuilt.

Petersburg Medical Center CEO finalist, Phil Hofstetter, is Vice President at Norton Sound Health Corporation in Nome. He’s been in health care for 25 years. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)

“I like to lead by example, I work hard,” Hofstetter said. “I feel like to be successful you have to lay out your expectations. Managers have to know what to expect so they can do a good job. And usually that kind of leads to success. Having a very safe environment for managers and staff to talk with you, to have that exchange is really important.”

Jennifer Bryner is the only local candidate from Petersburg. She was raised in Petersburg and has raised her children here. She has been with the Petersburg Medical Center for 22 years. She’s the current Chief Nursing Officer. She leads nursing in Long Term Care, Emergency, Acute Care, and Surgery. She says although she doesn’t bring a lot of experience from other facilities to the job, she does bring an in depth knowledge of PMC and Petersburg.

Petersburg Medical Center CEO finalist, Jennifer Bryner, has been with PMC for 22 years. She’s currently the Chief Nursing Officer. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)

“I think that, again, allows me to really understand what the issues are on a kind of a very personal level for a lot of our staff and our patients as well as a higher level viewpoint from being an administrator for the last 10 years in nursing and being involved in the decisions and the issues in the hospital and talking to community members and learning their issues and concerns for the hospital,” Bryner said.

The Q and A session lasted for 90 minutes. The event was also broadcast live on Facebook.

The new CEO will replace Liz Woodyard who plans to retire at the end of June.