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Search underway for new hospital president
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A national search for a new Northeast Georgia Medical Center president is well underway, with hospital officials expecting that prospective candidates will be identified and interviewed over the next 3-4 months.

An “extensive array of key leaders and stakeholders” within the Northeast Georgia Health System, which operates the Gainesville-based hospital, will participate in the interview process, spokeswoman Melissa Tymchuk said.

That group could include executives, board members and physicians, she added.

The health system began the search after Brad Nurkin resigned in January, citing personal reasons. He had held the post since August 2012.

Hospital officials hired Wheless Partners, a national executive search firm with an Atlanta office, to help in the search.

“The firm will conduct the initial qualification screening with interested candidates based on the job specifications,” Tymchuk said. “Then, we will conduct on-site interviews with selected candidates and involve different groups of stakeholders in the interviews.”

Brian Aston, senior partner and leader of the National Healthcare Practice for Wheless Partners, based in the Atlanta office, will be leading the search, Tymchuk said.

Wheless Partners “specializes in health care and has deep experience in hospital and health system (executive) searches,” she added.

The health system is looking for someone who will lead “the strategic direction and daily operations” of the hospital.

Particularly, officials want someone with “a demonstrated track record of accomplishments in leading complex health systems,” as well as someone who will “quickly integrate into and become a valuable and respected member of the Gainesville community,” Tymchuk said.

In addition to the hospital, NGHS operates Urgent Care centers and other medical facilities throughout the area.

It is planning to open the 100-bed Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton in spring 2015. The hospital will be in the health system’s 110-acre River Place campus off Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway near Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway in South Hall County.

Technically speaking, candidates for the president’s job must have a master’s degree in health care administration, business administration or a related field, Tymchuk said.

Nurkin oversaw daily operations of the hospital and development of its Heart & Vascular and Oncology Services.

No one is serving as interim president.

Health System President and CEO Carol Burrell and other senior leaders are overseeing daily operations during the search, Tymchuk said.