Interim health leader firm provides quality candidates quickly

The way Cheryl Zwingman-Bagley sees it, she gets a two-for-one deal every time an interim health leader from Nielsen Healthcare Group (NHG) helps her hospital while it’s turning over one of its top positions.
Not only do interim health leaders bring a consultant-like perspective based on years of experience in a number of organizations, they present their findings, make recommendations, and then actually implement agreed-upon changes.
“I try to keep them long enough to really keep things going,” says Zwingman-Bagley, who is chief nursing officer at Calais Regional Hospital in northern Maine, near the border with Canada. “The person who makes the changes needs to shepherd them along.”
Zwingman-Bagley says that in one department an interim leader helped resolve standing issues between doctors and nurses and implemented best practices. In another, the temporary leader corrected process issues that hampered productivity and also rectified several attitude problems, too.
NHG makes hiring an interim leader at Zwingman-Bagley’s 25-bed, critical access hospital a snap, she says.
“The thing I like is that Nielsen asks you what you’re looking for and then almost immediately, within 24 hours, you’ll start receiving resumes to look at and have half a dozen qualified people to consider within 48-72 hours.
“It’s pretty fabulous.”
Fabulous service, including attention from NHG President Bruce Nielsen himself, appeals to Zwingman-Bagley.
“I think it’s pretty incredible that the president of the company calls you up,” she says.
She’s used NHG’s services six times since 1998; four times in the last three years alone, including department directors in outpatient and inpatient clinical settings. NHG also provides candidates for non-clinical settings.
Calais often needs interim employees because of the challenge of finding permanent leaders who are attracted to living in a place where winters are long and the nearest airport and mall are 100 miles away.
“Our standard is to provide a range of high-quality possibilities for clients from our unmatched database of 18,000 candidates who have submitted resumes,” says Bruce Nielsen. “Because we set the bar high, NHG candidates start contributing to an organization’s success their first day on the job.”
St. Louis-based NHG has placed interim leaders with hospitals, home health agencies, nursing care facilities, medical groups, and other health care clients nationwide since 1991.
All of NHG’s candidates and clients have the advantage of negotiating directly with each other; the placement firm steps out at that part of the hiring process. NHG also assumes some of the due diligence normally done by human resources personnel in vetting candidates: It verifies a candidate’s education; licenses, registrations, and certifications; and checks for any sanctions from the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General.
Nielsen and his staff also ensure that all candidates presented for a client’s consideration have recently served elsewhere in the requested position and possess a minimum of three relevant, written managerial or professional references.
Zwingman-Bagley’s confidence in NHG may be bolstered by the knowledge that the Maine Hospital Association’s Associated Health Resources, Inc. endorses the firm. The endorsement brings association members an 8-percent discount off NHG’s fee.