SEATTLE—The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) announced today that Cassie Sauer, the association’s current executive vice president, will in January become the organization’s new chief executive officer.
Sauer replaces outgoing CEO Scott Bond, who will retire at the end of the year after more than three decades in the health care field. Sauer will serve as the organization’s fourth CEO since the organization formed in 1933. She has worked for the hospital association for 16 years, leading policy, advocacy, and communications. She has particularly focused on expanding access to health care through the children’s health and Medicaid expansions, creating policy to support innovative methods of care delivery, and improving care for people living with mental illnesses.
“Cassie has a strong vision for WSHA’s future; she also has the skills and experience to guide members and staff into that future,” said WSHA board chair Gregg Davidson, of Skagit Regional Health. “For the last 20 years, she has worked to improve Washington residents’ ability to get good health care, whether they are in rural or urban areas. She keeps the patient at the moral center of the work. We are lucky to have her.”
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as the hospital association’s leader into the future. The association’s work to help our hospitals and health systems achieve their missions of serving their communities with high quality care for all is very important to me. I take seriously the responsibility to represent Washington State’s hospitals in the face of extraordinary changes in the health care environment,” said Sauer.
Bond announced his retirement in April, and the WSHA board convened a six-member search committee to work with the firm Korn Ferry to conduct a national search. The committee was chaired by Elaine Couture, regional chief executive, Providence Health Care for eastern Washington and incoming WSHA board chair. Members of the WSHA board, representing some of the state’s premier health systems, independent medical centers, and highly regarded rural hospitals also participated in final interviews.
“We had a pool of exceptional candidates, all of whom are highly regarded health care leaders,” said Couture, who will become WSHA board chair in October. “Cassie is the unique internal candidate. She has years of knowledge and relationships in this state, but she also has the ability to reexamine assumptions and set a new direction for the organization. Health care is changing and so is WSHA, but at the center of them both is the need for access to quality health care services in all communities of the state.”
Sauer will report to WSHA’s 24-member Board of Trustees, overseeing staff and all operations at WSHA, which has 107 hospital and health system members across the state. She will be responsible for leading WSHA’s core work of public policy, advocacy, patient safety, and data.
The Washington State Hospital Association works to improve the health of all Washington state residents by being active on key issues of policy and quality. WSHA represents 107 hospitals and health systems in the state, including those that are non-profit, investor-owned, and county, state and military hospitals. For more about our membership, see our membership brochure on www.wsha.org/about/.
The Triple Aim guides our members and our work, as we strive to improve the patient experience, improve the health of populations and reduce the cost of health care. To see more about our strategic plan, visit https://www.wsha.org/about/strategic-plan/.