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After much discussion and consideration, the ACHE Board of Governors and leadership team have decided to cancel the 2020 Congress on Healthcare Leadership due to the need for leaders and healthcare organizations to manage their responses to coronavirus (COVID-19) within their communities. Learn more at

67A – Executive Vacancies: Impact and Recovery

Tuesday, March 24th

About the Session

Executive turnover in healthcare is unavoidable. Most often there is not a permanent incumbent ready to assume the role. The transition period between executives creates unique stressors that can result in reduced performance and a deterioration of organizational health, including culture. During this seminar, faculty will review the history of a high-performing hospital that experienced an unexpected 11-month vacancy in its director position. Through analyses of contemporaneous survey data and performance data, faculty identified the performance and cultural factors at risk of decline when the executive position is vacant. Through interviews with current and former hospital leaders, the faculty also identified specific triggers and mechanisms of decline. They will share this data, and you will also hear about best practices to increase organizational resiliency during a transition period. You will also discover how to rebuild the damage that can be caused by long periods of executive vacancy.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review the performance and organizational health impacts of a vacant executive position and best practices for promoting organizational resiliency during a period of vacancy.
  • Discover steps an incumbent executive can take to remediate the deterioration due to a long executive vacancy.


Presented By

Stephen Black, FACHE

Medical Center Director/CEO
Robley Rex VA Medical Center

Elizabeth Scheu

Director, VISN 09 Behavioral Health Lab Call Center
Robley Rex VA Medical Center

Ryan Derickson

Data Scientist
National Center for Organizational Development