As the search continues for a new CEO, the leadership team at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital is being restructured “to align with … future strategic plans,” MemorialCare, the operator of the two-hospital campus, announced Monday.
The restructuring will create new positions across the campus, including a chief nursing executive, a chief strategy officer and a chief executive specifically for Miller Children’s. Memorial will not have a similar dedicated chief executive; officials noted the position is needed for Miller Children’s because of the unique role it plays in regional pediatric care.
All of the new positions will report to the yet-to-be-named campus CEO.
The changes come in the wake of current CEO John Bishop’s unexpected announcement in July that he would resign, along with chief operating officer Ike Mmeje.
MemorialCare expects to announce a new CEO early next year. Bishop will continue in his position until a replacement is installed.
Helen Macfie, who was named acting chief operating officer for both hospitals after Mmeje’s resignation, will continue in the role for the “foreseeable future,” hospital spokesperson Wendy Dow told the Business Journal.
In the meantime, several of the new leadership changes have already taken effect at the campus. Yair Katz, who has served as chief financial officer for both hospitals for the past seven years, was promoted to the new chief executive position at Miller Children’s. Katz will be “number two” at Miller Children’s under the campus CEO, Dow said.
Miller Children’s is one of only eight freestanding children’s hospitals in the state, so Katz’s goal is to regionalize the facility and expand access to its pediatric and specialty care services, he told the Business Journal last week.
“Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach is one of MemorialCare’s most unique assets,” MemorialCare President and CEO Barry Arbuckle said in a statement. “To enable the highest possible level of strategic focus, it became very clear that we would be well-served to have an additional senior executive whose primary focus is Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital, and our team recognized that Yair was an exceptional choice for this role.”
Until a replacement has been selected, Katz will continue his duties as CFO despite having already assumed his new role. Katz also has been named senior vice president of pediatrics for MemorialCare, spanning Long Beach and Orange County.
Registered nurse Susan Herman has been appointed as the new campus-wide chief nursing executive and will offer senior oversight of all patient care areas on the campus. Herman previously served as chief nursing officer for Miller Children’s.
In her new role, Herman will “ensure a shared vision for nursing excellence, continuity in professional practice across both [hospitals], focusing on both strategy and operational excellence for patient care,” the hospital stated.
Herman has 25 years of nursing leadership experience, including stints at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Kaiser and several acute care community hospitals, in addition to her seven years at Miller Children’s. Herman will be supported by two assistant nurse executives, according to the announcement.
Steve Cesca, meanwhile, has been promoted from vice president of strategy and business development for both hospitals, a position he has held since 2018, to chief strategy officer for the campus, also among the newly created positions.
Cesca, who previously led strategic strategies at UCI Health, will work with Katz and Herman, according to the announcement, to ensure capital plans and delivery of care models align with the company’s overall strategy and program growth.
“My core task is how do I help grow and ensure this organization is connected with its community,” Cesca told the Business Journal last week, noting that the recently announced partnership with Cal State Long Beach to open a clinic on campus is a prime example of that connection. “Bringing partnerships, bringing new locations and addressing the needs of the community.”