October 18 2011
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) has hired longtime health care executive Susan B. Labus as its new chief operating officer (COO). Labus replaces Frank Sutton, who retired in August after 40 years with SEARHC. She will start work in early November and her office will be based in Sitka.
“We are excited to have Susan join us with her strong background in health system management,” SEARHC President/CEO Roald Helgesen said. “She brings to SEARHC significant experience at the hospital, regional and system level, while remaining committed to our mission as a tribal health organization in Southeast Alaska.”
Labus recently worked as a hospital executive consultant with Kurron and Company, Inc., and through Kurron served as COO at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Paget, Bermuda (operated by the Bermuda Hospital Board, which has more than 1,750 employees). She also served as a senior vice president and COO at Pocono Medical Center in Pennsylvania, a 231-bed acute medical center with 1,200 employees, and she was COO with Medical Assisted Recovery, a start-up behavioral health facility in Warwick, R.I. Labus also held several senior leadership roles with Caritas Christi Health Care based in Boston. During her tenure she served as COO with regional responsibility for both Saint Anne’s Hospital and Good Samaritan Medical Center in Southeast Massachusetts. Labus also served as executive vice president/COO of Landmark Medical Center in Rhode Island and Vice President at the Catholic Health System in Buffalo, N.Y. Labus held a variety of administrative leadership roles, with progressive promotion, during her 13 years at The Buffalo General Hospital, a large academic facility in Buffalo, N.Y.
She holds a Master of Science degree in health care administration and Advanced Graduate Certification in integrated health care delivery systems, both from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Labus earned a Bachelor of Science degree in medical record administration from Daeman College in Buffalo, N.Y. She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Labus was recognized in 1990 as one of the Business Women of the Year in Buffalo, N.Y., and was nominated for a 2008 Pinnacle Award from the Boston Chamber of Commerce for outstanding leadership.
“I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to join SEARHC as the chief operating officer,” Labus said. “I am truly inspired by the mission, vision, values and committed partnership with the Native people in Southeast Alaska. I view this position as a privilege, affording me the chance to serve and contribute while working side by side with dedicated, talented people for a profoundly important cause. I look forward to the days ahead in assuming my new role and becoming an active and thriving member of the community.”
SEARHC is a non-profit tribal health consortium of 18 Native communities that provides medical, dental, behavioral health, substance abuse treatment and wellness services to Tlingít, Haida, Tsimshian and other Native people in Southeast Alaska. Established in 1975 under the provisions of the Indian Self-Determination Act, SEARHC is one of the oldest and largest Native-run health organizations in the country. SEARHC is the largest private employer in Southeast Alaska with nearly 1,000 employees.