General Health in final stages of hiring CEO

General Health System, the parent company of Baton Rouge General Medical Center, may have found its new chief executive officer, although the person’s name has not been made public.

“We’re in the final stages now,” Nicole Kleinpeter, a spokeswoman for the General, said Friday.

The health system’s 15-person search committee, with help from headhunters Korn/Ferry International, put together a list of around 150 candidates from both local and national pools of executives. The committee picked 10 finalists.

Kleinpeter declined to comment on whether General Health’s board had selected a new CEO or whether the board was in negotiations with its selection.

However, Dr. Albert Alexander Jr., of Baton Rouge Radiology Group, said he heard the board picked a final candidate this week and was negotiating a contract.

“But I don’t know who the candidate is,” Alexander said.

Alexander was among three dozen doctors who signed a July 24 letter to the board of directors with their recommendations for the health system’s new CEO. The physicians recommended the board name Chief Operating Officer Edgardo Tenreiro or Chief Medical Officer Dr. Floyd Roberts as CEO.

The doctors praised the men’s leadership and service. Changes in health care, including Earl K. Long Medical Center’s closing, make it critical to select a CEO with firsthand knowledge of the local Baton Rouge health care landscape, the doctors said in their letter.

General Health has been without a CEO for six months, since Bill Holman’s abrupt retirement in February. Dr. Evelyn Hayes has served as interim CEO while the health system searched for Holman’s replacement. In April, Hayes was named chairman of the Baton Rouge General/General Health board of directors.

Holman had been president and CEO since 2001. He had overseen two Rochester, N.Y., hospitals for the ViaHealth health-care system.