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From pool of 33 applicants, LBJ board finds new hospital CEO

Joseph J. Davis-Fleming has been announced as LBJ Hospital’s new Chief Executive Officer. He holds a Master of Science (MS) degree, is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (FHFMA).


This was revealed in a letter sent to Governor Lolo M. Moliga on Wednesday, April 24, from Hospital Board Chair, Sandra King Young. Young noted in her letter the board was faced with an extremely difficult decision in hiring a new CEO.


Davis-Fleming was chosen from among 33 applicants, which included seven local candidates. The board interviewed all the local applicants and selected the top 10 resumes from off-island for original screening, and with the selection of the final top three “most impressive candidates” from off-island, interviews were conducted.


She said when they narrowed it down, all the remaining candidates underwent second interviews and the board made their final decision. Upon their decision, a full background check was conducted on the candidate and when the board received clearance, an offer was made. The hospital's new CEO (who arrived last night) is set to start work today, April 26, 2013.


“We believe we hired the most qualified candidate to help the board and the hospital navigate this most vulnerable time of financial hardship in light of the new board’s limited experience with hospital oversight and the outgoing top management of the hospital.”


She further stated there were numerous criteria used by the board in its selection process, including extensive management experience with in-depth knowledge of Medicaid and Medicare cost reporting, aptitude for anticipating changing federal regulations that affect compliance issues, strategic vision for healthcare sustainability, experience in working within indigenous populations and an awareness of cultural sensitivity issues.


Young noted that the most critical factors that the board relied on for its final decision was a candidate that had strong analytical skills, comprehensive knowledge of CMS (Center for Medicaid &Medicare Services) compliance and reimbursement regulations, strong skill sets in data analysis, healthcare analytics and metrics, synthesizing and communicating meaningful financial data and the ability to assess and anticipate financial risks.


“Also of importance was the candidate’s background in turning around financially troubled health care organizations,” said Young.


She said they found these qualifications and skills in Davis-Fleming, who also holds a masters in Health Care Administration and a Post Graduate Certificate in Public Health working towards his Doctorate in Public Health degree. He has published such articles as "How Benchmarking Can Help Your Facility Achieve Financial Wellness" (Sept, 2009) and "Boost Your Critical Access Hospital’s Bottom Line with Swing Bed Designation" (March 2009).


He has conducted numerous presentations on health care systems management and finance oversight, also has a strong belief and training experience in the capacity building of local people to manage their own healthcare facilities.


Young pointed out, that Davis-Fleming served as Executive Director for CURE International in Kabul, Afghanistan and CEO for Square Hospitals Ltd, in Dhaka Bangladesh. He spent many years working in Austin Texas for the Texas State Auditor’s Office having audited government programs including the state’s $12 billion Medicaid Program.


Davis-Fleming as a consultant, served as an advisor to governments on development of  healthcare infrastructure, provided focus on regulatory compliance, fraud/recovery audits, Medicaid/Medicare funding strategies, operational improvement and strategic planning.


Young concluded that Davis-Fleming has a high comfort level working with indigenous populations as indicated in his resume and interviews and also has a unique background of being a descendant of the indigenous Mayans from Central America and is familiar with the traditional hierarchies of native cultures. She wrote, "We feel confident that Mr. Davis-Fleming is highly qualified to be our new hospital hospital CEO."


Also in the letter, Young commended the governor for his commitment to improving health care delivery at the hospital in the best interests of the people of American Samoa and thanked the governor for giving the board the privilege to hire the new CEO.