Juneau residents on Monday night got their chance to meet with one of three finalists for Bartlett Regional Hospital’s top job.
The event spotlighted CEO candidate Jeffery Hudson-Covolo, at the Andrew P. Kashevaroff Alaska State Library, Archives & Museum, as he paid a visit to Juneau from California where he currently resides with his husband, who also joined him for the event. Meet and greets for candidates David Keith and Dennis Welsh are happening this week, too. The group of around a dozen community members and a few members of the BRH Board of Directors such as Board President Kenny Solomon-Gross, Hal Geiger and Iola Young laughed and chatted with each other and Hudson-Covolo during his chance to meet and speak to the public.
The public meet-and-greet serves as a sign of a step forward in the hospital’s efforts to fill the position after turmoil where the hospital endured cycling through multiple CEOs in just a short year and a half span that finally ended last October with Jerel Humphrey serving as interim CEO while the hiring process for a permanent CEO was conducted by BRH Board of Directors. The search also took a step back when two finalists dropped out in early June, one day before the first in-person interview in Juneau was scheduled. Hudson-Covolo was the lone candidate that remained in the running after the dropouts, but in an extended search, the board added two candidates pulled from the larger candidate pool interviewed earlier in the year to fill the two vacant finalist positions.
Hudson-Covolo made his rounds sharing personable small talk about their visit to Juneau and the potential of being chosen for the position. Though not originally from the state, Hudson-Covolo said he enjoyed the time he has spent in Alaska and specifically Juneau having frequented the capital city eight times over the years.
He currently holds the position of vice president for patient care services and chief nurse executive of Sierra View Medical Center in Porterville, California, and also comes from a background of having previously held leadership positions like chief operating officer or chief nursing officer for hospitals in Illinois, Florida and California. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing, along with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in Health Systems Leadership.
With the potential to move here permanently if chosen for the CEO position, Hudson-Covolo and his husband said they are excited to experience more of Juneau, and its infamous rainy weather, which would be a nice change from the heat of California. But more importantly, he said if chosen for the position, his mission would be to lead the hospital with energy and bring a form of stability to the community.
“I would want people to know that I’m committed to making health care available to all,” he said. “This is an opportunity to lead and role model to set a standard and energize people for where we are going in the future.”
He said he also hopes to focus on the longevity of the health care community in Juneau and hopes to stay for “a long time.”
Kim McDowell, the chief clinical officer at BRH, said she was happy with the night’s conversations and is excited for people to meet the other potential CEOs later this week. She said she enjoys Hudson-Covolo’s high energy and personable attitude and hopes through talking with the three candidates the hospital can “really identify a strong leader and meet us where we are,” she said. “It’s no secret we’ve had some hard hits, and we’re still trying to heal from those.”
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at email@example.com or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.