Recent Placements

FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Berni Szczepanski was placed as chief people officer for FirstHealth of the Carolinas in Pinehurst, North Carolina, a private, not-for-profit healthcare network comprised of four hospitals and 5,300 employees serving 15 counties. In this role, Berni will be charged with developing a transformative system-wide strategy for human resources, rendering it a highly disciplined, effective, and efficient function in support of FirstHealth's vision for the future.

Berni comes to FirstHealth from Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, where she served for four years as vice president of human resources. Within this 11-hospital, 33,000-employee system, Berni established critical HR metrics to drive strategic workforce trends, implemented initiatives and community partnerships to increase the diversity of the workforce, fostered high employee engagement to support continuous improvement efforts, partnered with IT to infuse analytics into HR strategy, and built a national recruitment strategy for nursing.

Previously, Berni served as senior vice president of human resources for Centegra Health System (which merged into Northwestern in 2017); as a senior business analyst and HR consultant for Lawson Software; and in increasingly responsible HR roles with MacNeal Health Network in Berwyn, Illinois, beginning her career there as a recruiter after earning her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Dayton. Berni also holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

Originally from the Northwest Side of Chicago, Berni enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors.

QLK's Jamie Cassedy led the search to recruit Berni to FirstHealth, where her duties will begin on March 7, 2022.


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