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CEOs: What Are They Required to Do?

Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) steer community health organizations toward success. Beyond the conventional responsibilities, an effective CEO must embody a diverse set of qualities and skills, ensuring the alignment of organizational goals with broader societal needs. Let’s explore ten essential elements that define the role of CEO in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

Mission Centered

A CEO must be a visionary leader who communicates an inspired mission to the community, patients, and staff. They go beyond the present and envision possibilities for the future. By identifying and sharing best practices, both within and outside the organization, the CEO becomes a catalyst for continuous improvement.

Political Acumen

Navigating through complex political situations with finesse is a critical skill. CEOs must understand the intricacies of the service delivery community, comprehend the landscape of funders and healthcare partners, and anticipate challenges. A politically astute FQHC CEO can effectively solve problems by considering multiple perspectives and utilizing both formal channels and informal networks.

Relationship Orientation

Building constructive relationships is paramount. A CEO must relate well to people inside and outside the organization to establish rapport and trust. Effective diplomacy and tact, especially in high-tension situations, contribute to the CEO’s ability to collaborate with local and state-level stakeholders.

Patience/Sense of Timing

Balancing conflicting demands and coping with change requires a CEO to maintain composure. They should be comfortable with risk and uncertainty, adopt various perspectives, and collect relevant data before making decisions. Sensitivity to due process and pacing is crucial in creating a stable environment in critical situations.

Strategic Thinking

Thinking strategically involves considering the broadest view of issues, projecting future scenarios, and anticipating consequences accurately. A community healthcare CEO should be able to discuss multiple challenges while keeping an eye on local and national landscapes. Future-oriented and possessing broad knowledge, a strategic CEO formulates competitive and breakthrough strategies.

Team Development and Leadership

Fostering a positive team environment is the CEO’s responsibility. They create morale, share wins, and facilitate an open dialogue. Team development includes empowering staff, defining success as a collective achievement, and encouraging personal and professional growth through training, mentoring, and constructive feedback.

Results Oriented

CEOs must be action-oriented and driven for organizational success. They seize opportunities, persevere despite setbacks, and remain bottom-line-oriented. A CEO’s vigor and drive propel the organization toward tangible results.


Unwavering integrity is a cornerstone of effective leadership. CEOs must uphold truthfulness and honesty in all dealings, representing the organization with the utmost transparency.


A successful FQHC CEO has a passion for serving the under-served. Non-judgmental and devoid of ego-centric tendencies, they exhibit an unbridled appetite for addressing the needs of the targeted patient population.

Business Acumen

Understanding sound business fiscal practices is imperative. CEOs should quickly grasp organizational needs and processes, stay abreast of healthcare policies, and anticipate future trends. Business acumen enables CEOs to navigate the ever-evolving healthcare marketplace effectively.

Considering a CEO Position?

The role of a community health CEO extends beyond traditional managerial functions. It is a blend of vision, political acumen, and relationship-building that culminates into a passionate commitment to serving the community and fostering organizational success.

UHC Solutions works to prepare individuals for that commitment to new opportunities within the FQHC community. Talk with our team today about how we help CEOs find rewarding leadership careers that really make a positive impact on the communities they serve.


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Unlock the Latest Salary Trends in Community Healthcare

Download UHC Solutions’ Salary Guide eBook for 2024 salary ranges, key data, insights, and more.