The South Broward Hospital District Board of Commissioners has chosen K. Scott Wester, FACHE, as Memorial Healthcare System’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Wester recently served as Executive Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy for Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System in Baton Rouge, La. He succeeds Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, FACHE, who retired in May 2022. Wester is scheduled to start on July 5, 2022.
The Board of Commissioners, who oversee all actions of Memorial Healthcare System, worked with the executive search firm WittKieffer to recruit nationally for a new president and CEO for Memorial. Wester’s impressive 30-year healthcare career and expertise in healthcare management and operations, finance, academia, philanthropy, and ability to build successful partnerships, among other attributes, made him the best choice to lead Memorial.
“We are excited about the future and the impact Scott will have at Memorial and in this community. His expertise, approachable leadership style, and overall knowledge and understanding of our industry and community will help him lead this organization to greater heights,” said Douglas A. Harrison, Chair, South Broward Hospital District Board of Commissioners. “We welcome Scott and look forward to working with him.”
In his previous position, Wester led a historic $250 million partnership with Louisiana State University and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center that involved graduate medical education, research, interdisciplinary sciences and created greater alignment and workforce development. This included building a career pathway within the East Baton Rouge School System to prepare students for healthcare careers upon high school graduation and a partnership with Baton Rouge Community College to double its healthcare career enrollment.
Wester also served as president and Chief Executive Officer for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge for 14 years (2008-2022). During his tenure, he grew the Center’s revenue from $500 million to $1.6 billion; raised more than $55 million in capital campaign dollars that were used to build a free-standing children’s hospital; recruited over 400 physicians; received Magnet designation three times, and led the transition from a community-based hospital to a nationally recognized major academic teaching hospital under a complex agreement with Louisiana State University School of Medicine and the State of Louisiana. He also had oversight of business development, advocacy, and strategic partnerships, which resulted in multiple acquisitions of acute and surgical facilities, affiliations to increase cancer care, pediatric and women services within the health system. Additionally, Wester facilitated Medicaid supplemental payments for hospitals and employed physician groups with the State of Louisiana.
A magna cum laude graduate of Saint Louis University with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and classical humanities, Wester went on to earn his master’s of hospital and health administration (MHA) from Xavier University in Cincinnati. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare, which awarded him its Regent’s Award in 2020, and he has served in numerous civic organizations.
Wester was attracted to Memorial because of its culture and employees. “I felt a consistency of culture and community dedication from every person I met at Memorial during my interviews,” said Wester. “I look forward to applying the tools I have gathered in my 30-year career to help propel this organization and work closely with Memorial’s workforce and other stakeholders to achieve the best for all.”