Matthew F. McElrath, the new chief human resources officer at the USC hospitals, faces a tough challenge.
One of his immediate priorities will be heading recruitment efforts to fill some 300 job openings at USC University Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital.
McElrath, formerly chief human resources officer at Arizona State University, will direct human resources operations at both USC hospitals that are working to increase staffing levels of nurses, physicians and other personnel such as administrators, therapists and environmental workers.
Additional duties will include workforce planning, recruitment, performance management and organizational development.
McElrath said he was drawn to the position because of the opportunity to be part of a new era for the hospitals, which were acquired by the university on April 1 in an historic purchase agreement with Tenet Healthcare Corp. The hospitals’ current workforce numbers 1,700, exclusive of more than 500 USC faculty physicians associated with the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
“This is a unique opportunity to join the university leadership in really building the USC culture at University Hospital and at Norris,” he said. “The transition from Tenet is remarkable. It’s a great opportunity not only to help grow the hospitals, but also to integrate them with the wider USC community.”
McElrath comes to USC from Arizona State University, where he served as associate vice president and chief human resources officer for a university system that encompasses more than 4,500 faculty and 16,000 classified staff, professional and student workers.
Prior to that position, he was chair of the division of human resources at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, and he served on the executive steering committee for the building and opening of the Mayo Clinic Hospital.
He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., and later earned a master’s degree in organization management from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
“Mr. McElrath brings a terrific mix of university and human resources experience to our USC hospitals, along with considerable energy and enthusiasm,” said Mitch Creem, CEO of the hospitals. “He will play a vital role in the growth and development of USC’s hospitals and our integrated academic medical center.”
McElrath noted that it is a great time for individuals to consider a career at USC hospitals.
“We have a number of exciting career opportunities available in a tough market,” he said. “We are actively working in the community to tell our story about what a wonderful place USC and the hospitals are.”
An acute care hospital, USC University Hospital currently tracks 7,700 inpatient visits and 56,000 outpatient visits each year. The USC Norris Cancer Hospital is devoted exclusively to the treatment of patients with cancer and is affiliated with the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the original eight comprehensive cancer centers in the United States.
More stories about: Medicine