Curative Executive & Academic Search Revamps Mind Spring Health’s C-Suite, Fills 4 Leadership Roles

By: curativetalent


Mind Springs Health is a comprehensive, not-for-profit community mental health care provider serving multiple counties across Colorado. As the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient mental health and addiction counseling and therapy in Western Colorado, with 12 offices across 10 counties, the behavioral health safety net plays a critical role in delivering mental health services within the region. It also operates West Spring Hospital, the only psychiatric hospital between Denver and Salt Lake City.

After facing a variety of issues around patient care, operational inefficiencies, and remediations from the State of Colorado and CMS, the healthcare organization was in danger of shuttering its doors, potentially creating a massive behavioral health vacuum that would impact patients all across the Western Slope spanning to Utah and Arizona.

Needing to take swift action, Mind Spring Health’s President and CEO John Sheehan enlisted Curative Executive & Academic Search to rehaul its entire C-Suite and revamp its organizational structure.

The Curative Executive & Academic Search was retained for four critical searches:

  • System Medical Director of Inpatient Psychiatry - West Springs Hospital
  • Chief Compliance Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Hospital Administrator - West Springs Hospital


There were numerous challenges in recruiting for Mind Springs C-Suite, including:

  1. A limited talent pool. Categorically, behavioral and mental health leaders are difficult roles to recruit for. Given the vast reduction in psychiatric beds in state hospitals from 550,000 beds in the 1950s to less than 40,000 beds today – and the increasing privatization of mental hospital facilities, the talent pool for behavioral health leaders has shrunk considerably.
  2. Required niche domain expertise. Finance, Compliance, and Administration executives for behavioral health hospitals require a specific knowledge base, as these organizations provide care in a “safety net” capacity and must deal with a complex set of considerations. These varied responsibilities can include understanding how to sustain operations while treating underinsured patient populations, navigating the regulatory landscape, and addressing social determinants of health and gaps health equity
  3. A challenging patient population. Because Mind Springs Health operates in a variety of payor markets, understanding how to serve and treat a diverse patient population with a divergent set of health conditions and customer expectations was equally critical. 


To kick off the engagement, the Curative team went onsite to meet with the Mind Springs hiring committee and conduct a week-long assessment to develop a granular understanding of the needs of the organization and the responsibilities of the four roles.

After the deep dive, a plan of attack was developed. This included:

  • Strategically prioritizing the order of open jobs to fill. Curative’s partners identified that filling the Hospital Administrator role was the most critical and needed to be filled first, as the Mind Springs Health System could not be licensed in all of its 12 locations without the West Springs Hospital’s licensure being reinstated. The new Hospital Administrator would be instrumental in addressing inefficiencies and coaching new talent. This role would be followed by the Compliance Officer, who would collaborate with the Hospital Administrator to ensure the health system would remain in compliance with state and federal guidelines.
  • Flexibility and consultation to drive optimal outcomes. When the partnership started, the Mind Springs Health committee didn’t have a strong understanding of the type of talent they needed and relied on the Curative Executive Search team for their expertise. For example, initially, they wanted a Compliance Officer with a JD degree, because they felt it would level-set ongoing compliance opportunities. However, Curative recommended a candidate with state-based regulatory experience, a subject-matter expert who could close certain gaps, and interface with outside consultants to drive system compliance and efficiency. Ultimately, the team placed a candidate who had intimate compliance experience with the State of Colorado’s Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), who was much more equipped to drive strong BHA, CMS, and payor compliance for Mind Springs Health.
  • Implementing a robust digital sourcing strategy. Employing a laser-focused approach utilizing the latest technology, Curative brought speed and scale to the search. Utilizing the Doximity network, home to 80% of U.S. physicians, the team leveraged SMART job posts that surfaced to candidates that fit the candidate personas developed in collaboration with the client. Curative also leveraged the Candidate Intelligent Network Driven Index (CINDI), a proprietary technology sourcing tool, to analyze a potential candidate’s research, training, and 50+ additional data points within their Doximity profile to identify high potential matches.


After the four successful placements and a slew of policy changes, Mind Springs Health has won the community over again and has restored trust in its healthcare delivery model by way of integrated care.

Happy with their outcome, Mind Springs Health expanded the partnership with Curative Executive & Academic Search to not only fill more administration roles but also open jobs with our locum tenens and clinical search (permanent placement) departments. Currently, Curative’s three divisions have placed five executives, three full-time physicians, and two locums providers onsite.

Through the partnership with Curative Executive Search and Mind Springs Health and West Springs Hospital, the vast majority of the critical deficiencies have been resolved.

Both facilities have gone from an inpatient census of six (8/7/22) to an average census of 40 in their acute psychiatric facility. This restores unprecedented access for those in need on the Western Slope of Colorado and solidifies Mind Springs Health as the “go-to” for patients and families with behavioral health considerations throughout the region.

Recruit Behavioral and Mental Health Leaders with Curative

To learn more about how Curative Executive & Academic Search can help your organization hospital fill your most challenging with your behavioral and mental health leadership roles, please contact