St. John’s Health announces new CEO

JACKSON, Wyo. — St. John’s Health announced today that its Board of Trustees has appointed William Wagnon as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective February 1, 2021. Wagnon will succeed Paul Beaupre, MD, who will retire from the position in January.

“It’s not lost on me what a unique and special opportunity it is to live and work in Teton County, where there is such a strong commitment to high-quality healthcare for residents and visitors,” said Wagnon. “I’m especially looking forward to getting to know the teams responsible for St. John’s many achievements.”

Wagnon has more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in hospitals and health systems in Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, and Florida. Most recently, Wagnon was CEO of Henrico, Parham, and Retreat Doctors’ Hospitals, in Richmond, VA, a system recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals.

“Will Wagnon has the capabilities and directly relevant experience to build upon St. John’s accomplishments and lead us through upcoming challenges and opportunities,” said Board of Trustees Chair Cynthia Hogan. “He understands our mission, shares our values, and impressed the search committee and other interview participants with his energy and strategic thinking.”

Under Wagnon’s leadership, Parham Doctors’ Hospital ranked in the top 10% nationally for orthopedic services and received Five-Star awards from Healthgrades in total knee replacement, total hip replacement, and hip fracture treatment. The Heart Center at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital is recognized for being in the top 10% in the nation for overall cardiac services. At Retreat Doctors’ Hospital, Wagnon developed significant community partnerships to expand access to mental health care.

“I can’t underscore how impressed I am with the talent that’s in the organization and the amount of commitment and energy they put into making sure we have a good long-range focus in pulling ourselves out of this pandemic,” Wagnon said. “I think their approach is very thorough and comprehensive. It’s rarely about an individual, it’s about the team, and I think the culture at St. John’s is really one that puts the team and community first.”

Previously, Wagnon served as CEO for MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas, NV; Chief Operating Officer at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, CO; and in various leadership roles with HCA West Florida System. He earned a master’s degree in health administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon — of whose football and basketball teams he continues to be an avid fan.

“My wife and I are excited to relocate in February and we couldn’t think of a better organization to be invited to be a part of. I look forward to meeting everyone inside the walls of St. John’s as well as meeting people in the community,” Wagnon added. “I really view this as an opportunity to being as active inside the hospital as I am outside of the hospital.”

About the CEO Search Process:

Upon the announcement of Dr. Beaupre’s retirement, the St. John’s Health Board of Trustees formed a search committee in July to recruit and recommend a Chief Executive Officer. Search committee members include Trustee Sue Critzer, Chair; Trustee Scott Gibson; Trustee Cynthia Hogan; community member Bob Pisano; and hospitalist Marcia Lux, MD. Many individuals from St. John’s and the community contributed to the development of a leadership profile. More than 60 expressions of interest were received and additional prospects were curated by the executive search firm. Interviews with six selected candidates took place in August, involving participation by members of the search committee and selected members of the St. John’s executive team.

The preliminary list of six candidates represented diverse backgrounds, demographics, community-size, experience, and geography. Two candidates advanced to the final interview stage in November, which included meetings with all Board of Trustee members and advisors, all direct reports of the CEO, all physicians of the elected medical executive committee, and additional affiliated physicians. This phase included a simulation presentation to assess the candidates’ strategic thinking capabilities and ability to present and advocate their ideas to an executive board level group. The committee also included a review of all feedback from the first- and second-round interviews in their final evaluation, as well as reference checks and a third-party external leadership development assessment.

The search committee met in executive session with the Board of Trustees in late November to present and discuss the two finalists. During the session, The Search Committee and BOT reached consensus on a final candidate with whom to proceed. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously in its regular monthly board meeting on December 1 to authorize Cynthia Hogan to execute an employment contract with Will Wagnon as per terms prescribed in executive session.

Note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the recruitment process utilized Zoom rather than live meetings. As the situation improves, the community will have an opportunity to meet Mr. Wagnon after February.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Jacob

Jacob Gore was born and raised in Cheyenne, the capital city of Wyoming. As a proud Wyomingite, he loves to share his home with visitors from around the world. Spending years in Jackson and Alaska as an interpretive nature guide, he remains a photographer, traveler, storyteller, and avid hobbyist of all-things outdoors. Jacob enjoys bridging the connection between Jackson and the rest of the state.

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