New Porter Medical Center president to be named soon

MIDDLEBURY — The search for a new Porter Medical Center president has been whittled from 450 hopefuls to just three finalists, one of whom could be named the organization’s next leader as soon as next month.
It was last October that an 11-member Porter Medical Center committee launched the search to replace current Porter President Dr. Fred Kniffin, who will be stepping down on June 1 to devote more time as an Emergency Department physician. The committee, led by past PMC board Chairperson Maureen McLaughlin and current Chairperson Sivan Cotel, has spent much time sifting through resumés and gleaning feedback from Porter stakeholders on the qualities they’d like to see in a new top administrator.
Porter Medical Center includes the hospital, Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing, and a dozen affiliated provider practices throughout the county and in Brandon.
Consultants from the firm Witt Kieffer have been coordinating the nationwide search, which produced many quality applicants, according to Porter spokesman Ron Hallman. Search leaders narrowed the initial candidate pool down to 60, then down to 25 who were further screened and interviewed by consultants. The top nine of the those 25 hopefuls were invited to the search committee’s Jan. 24 meeting.
“We reviewed these nine candidates, reminding ourselves of the priorities that our community, members, employees, providers and other stakeholders identified for PMC’s next leader,” McLaughlin said through a recent memo updating the search.
Five semi-finalists emerged from the “January nine.” Those five visited the Porter campus for two days of vetting in mid-February.
Three finalists are now left standing. Porter officials aren’t releasing their names.
“(The names) are being confined to the Porter community at this point, as some of the candidates have current positions and they are trying to maintain some level of confidentiality,” Hallman said.
They will however become well known to their prospective colleagues.
“Once again, we plan to ‘road show’ these candidates via face-to-face meetings with Porter employees, providers and managers (as well as two town hall meetings for each candidate) — and afterwards will provide an online opportunity for all interested to weigh in with feedback on each of the finalists,” McLaughlin added through her memo. “With this feedback, along with our own notes and additional information from Witt Kieffer, our goal is to decide on one finalist in March who we believe best meets the criteria we heard from many as to what Porter needs, and to recommend this finalist to the board.”
The PMC board next meets on Wednesday, April 3. Hallman said there’s a “chance” the board could vote on the top candidate at that gathering.
Hallman believes the six-month search will end with a hire.
“My sense is the committee is pleased with all three finalists,” Hallman said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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