Search progressing for new CEO

Alexis Barker, News Edtior

NLJ File Photo

The search for Weston County Health Services’ new CEO continues, as the board of trustees has completed a stage in which they interviewed eight potential candidates for the position. The hospital board now hopes to shrink that pool to three by May 16, according to the board’s chair, LeAnn Kenagy. 


The search for a new CEO began in February after longtime CEO Maureen Cadwell announced her retirement. Cadwell had served as CEO for 10 years, and her retirement was announced during a special board meeting on Feb. 6. The board notified the public of the special meeting a day earlier and indicated it was for the purpose of discussing personnel and the Monument Health contract with the facility’s attorney.


Piper Allard, the former chief operating officer at WCHS, is serving as interim CEO while the search is being conducted. 


Since Cadwell’s retirement, Kenagy reported that Weston County Health Services and Monument Health have agreed to negate the “management” contract that had been in use by the two entities. 


Under that contract, Monument Health — a larger healthcare company based in Rapid City, SD —  actually employed the CEO for Weston County Health Services. 


Kenagy said that Thomas Worsley, the Weston County Hospital District’s Monument Health representative, has assured the board that nothing would change in the mutually beneficial relationship between the two entities other than WCHS taking over hiring and management of their own CEO position moving forward. 


“Not having the management contract means the hiring of our CEO is the board’s responsibility. So, needless to say, it’s been a learning process, challenging but rewarding,” Kenagy said. 


In preparation for the hiring, the board first approved a job description, which had never been done, to Kenagy’s knowledge. 


“This will help the board to properly evaluate the CEO annually and bring more accountability,” she said. 


The board then developed an ad hoc CEO search committee to review 40 applications that were received through an advertisement on (According to the Indeed website, it is the “number one job site worldwide” with over 250 unique visitors per month. Indeed is available in more than 60 countries and 28 languages, covering 94% of global gross domestic product.)


The committee narrowed the original applicant pool to eight individuals, who were then interviewed by the board. According to Kenagy, the last of these interviews was held on May 4. 


Final discussions with the three final candidates will include more detailed questioning and work reference research, said Kenagy, who noted that the board would use those interviews to dive further into what they expect out of a CEO and what the potential CEO would expect out of the board and employment. 


The board tentatively plans to interview the final three candidates on May 16, Kenagy said, so the board can further discuss a final selection at its regular May 18 meeting. 


“Our goal is to select the three candidates, with the final choice being offered the position by June 1,” Kenagy said. 


When asked if the candidates will be present on-site to visit with the community and board in person, she said that is something the board would have to decide. Kenagy noted, however, that the board would have to spend money flying the candidates in to make this possible, adding that the interviews to this point have taken place over Zoom.

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