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Prisma Health selects Upstate as headquarters

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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared in the Jan. 21 issue of GSA Business Report.

Prisma Health has launched a national search for a new CEO to replace the co-CEOs appointed to lead the organization that was once Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health.

Co-CEO Michael C. Riordan had been CEO of Greenville Health System and Co-CEO Charles D. Beaman Jr. had been head of Palmetto Health in Columbia before the organizations united and became Prisma Health. Both men are under contract until the end of the year.

The announcement from Prisma Health revealed more of what the corporate structure might look like after the co-leaders step down, and it places much of the leadership in Greenville.

“As part of its efforts to improve synergies and reduce inefficiencies, Prisma Health also will create an executive home office in Greenville,” said a Prisma Health announcement on Jan. 11.

Tammie Epps, media relations manager for Prisma Health, confirmed that the next CEO will work from that Greenville office. She said much of the senior leadership will be in Greenville.

“An executive home office is the single physical location where a small group of senior corporate leaders is located,” the news release said. “It is not a traditional large corporate headquarters where all senior leaders, corporate functions and their teams are housed.”

The office will be home for up to 60 senior corporate leaders and related support staff in addition to the new CEO.

“The change is expected to take place over the summer,” the release said. “In most cases, a senior corporate leader will work in the executive home office, and their team or teams will continue to work in their existing offices in the Midlands and the Upstate.”

James E. “Rick” Wheeler, chairman of the Prisma Health board of directors, said a single office anywhere makes sense for the usual reasons, but through Epps he declined to say why they chose Greenville.

The news release said the Prisma Health board of directors turned to consultants with Deloitte to evaluate both markets and provide data-driven analysis and a recommendation. The release said both Columbia and Greenville performed well in the analysis, but Deloitte ultimately recommended Greenville and the board agreed.

“Bringing our senior corporate leaders together under one roof will help improve communication, collaboration and decision-making while supporting strategic growth and development,” Wheeler said in the news release. “From a practical standpoint, it will help reduce travel time and expenses for meetings.”

“Leaders and team members from both the Midlands and Upstate affiliates will continue to work and live in their communities, care for patients in their local hospitals, physician practices and clinics, and work in their local offices. This includes each affiliate’s president and senior leadership as well,” the news release said. “Even with the creation of an executive home office, the organization will continue to support corporate and affiliate operations in both markets.”

The search for the next CEO will be led by executive search firm Witt/Kieffer and is expected to be completed by summer, with the new CEO in place by the end of summer, the news release said.

“We are committed to finding the right leader, just as we are committed to improving the health and well-being of people in the Midlands, the Upstate and, ultimately, the entire state,” Wheeler said in the news release. “With each step, we are coming closer to delivering on our promise to create a better state of health in South Carolina by improving clinical quality, the patient experience and access to care, and containing rising health care costs.”

Combining GHS and Palmetto Health created the largest not-for-profit health organization in South Carolina, serving more than 1.2 million patients annually. According to Prisma Health, 42% of the state’s population lives within 15 minutes of one of its outpatient facilities.

GHS and Palmetto Health merged in November 2017 under the name S.C. Health Co., but each continued using its name. The organization announced last September that it would unite the brands under the new name of Prisma Health.

Reach Ross Norton at 864-720-1222.

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