Fairview Health Services announced today that its board of directors has appointed James Hereford as president and CEO. Hereford currently serves as chief operations officer at Stanford Health Care in California. His Fairview appointment is effective Dec. 12, 2016.
“James is passionate about patient care, driving outcomes and advancing health care for our country,” said David Murphy, Fairview board chair and interim CEO. “He has strong experience strategically guiding organizations, strengthening core operations and bringing teams together to drive cultural change. James connects well with others and achieves impressive results. He will help Fairview continue its longstanding reputation of high-quality care for patients, families and communities.”
As chief operations officer at Stanford, Hereford had responsibility for all inpatient and ambulatory operations, as well as various administrative functions. He was instrumental in driving its Accountable Care Organization and provider network strategies with a focus on improving care while reducing costs.
“We are excited to have attracted a candidate with James’ reputation and track record to Fairview,” said Karen Grabow, Fairview board member and search committee chair. “He brings a great range of integrated health care experience. He is highly regarded for his leadership, strategic vision, operational excellence and relationships with physicians, teams and communities.”
Prior to his role at Stanford, Hereford was chief operations officer at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation where he was responsible for operations serving more than 800,000 people in the San Francisco Bay area. While there, he successfully implemented a lean management system to improve all outcomes of care. He also was the lean champion charged with implementing the Group Health Management System while serving as executive vice president of the Group Health Care Delivery System in Seattle.
“James is very forward thinking and I believe will position Fairview well in a rapidly changing health care environment,” said Stephen Battista, MD, one of several physicians who were on the search committee. “He is a great listener and, as we got to know him, James conveyed a keen understanding of the needs of Fairview’s multiple physician groups —employed, independent and academic. We’re fortunate to have him as our next CEO.”
A Montana native, Hereford holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Montana State University. He has taught courses with Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, University of Washington’s Master of Health Administration program and The Ohio State University’s Masters of Business Operations Excellence program. He is a frequent writer and presenter on the topic of lean management systems and transformation.
“I look forward to joining Fairview and helping advance its mission to heal, discover and educate for longer, healthier lives,” said Hereford. “As one of the most comprehensive, integrated health systems in the country with strong academic and community partners, Fairview is well positioned for the future and I look for to being part of such a passionate and dedicated team in driving a healthier future for all those we serve.”