Capital Planning & Construction Executives
for a New York City healthcare system

Helbling was selected to represent a world-renowned single-mission, not-for-profit research and academic healthcare system in New York City that was restructuring its approach to its significant long-term capital program and real estate development initiative by organizing an internal design and construction department. Working in collaboration with the System's Vice President of Facilities Management, Helbling secured a Vice President of Major Capital Construction and other significant executives.
Helbling was selected to perform multiple searches for a world-renowned single-mission not-for-profit research and academic healthcare system in New York City that is committed to excellence in planning, designing, and constructing facilities that support its mission. With a significant long-term capital program, the executive leadership team made the decision to restructure their approach and organize an internal design and construction department, bringing all project management capabilities in house so that projects could be more strategically managed. The department’s objective is the highest standard of excellence in its delivery of capital projects.

The environment of a medical institution is equally as important as the care that is provided within it, and high-quality facilities are essential for attracting and retaining medical professionals, researchers, and patients. In frequently partnering with healthcare institutions, Helbling understands this fact and the tremendous impact that talented facilities executives can have upon the bottom lines of organizations.

Aligning ourselves with the institution’s objectives to most effectively address its needs, Helbling initiated search efforts by identifying, attracting, and securing the key placement within our client’s strategy, a Vice President of Major Capital Construction who would lead all design and construction initiatives. Upon securing this professional with whom we developed a relationship, we worked closely with him in conducting executive searches for subsequent talent needs. 

The limited talent pool dictated that we approach individuals within similar healthcare and higher education institutions, as well as those who would be considered non-traditional candidates who were with general contractors, project management firms, and corporate entities. This proved to be beneficial as we were able to secure professionals from diverse market sectors. All brought different traits and skills, and those who were not previously within medical environments, transitioned seamlessly.

Vice President, Major Capital Construction. Helbling was successful in securing a professional who was with a major healthcare consulting firm focused on providing strategic planning, facility development, and real estate advisory. He is highly regarded for his expertise in operational process transformation, and the development and management of comprehensive market-driven facility master plans that reflect organizational business objectives.

Early in his tenure, the successful candidate completely reorganized and restructured our client’s design and capital department in response to challenges, such as the Accountable Care Act and Affordable Care Act. He also responded to the system’s shift in its funding strategy for capital projects, requiring 100% of individual project positive variance returned to capital program and zero tolerance for individual projects with negative variance.

His initiatives supported the Institution’s goals to maintain and grow its market share, and accelerate project "time to market," which expedites revenue generation and reduces escalation cost in New York City’s boom construction market.

He is now leading the implementation of business intelligence initiatives to support the strategic management of the organization’s dynamic capital program, including the development of:  

  • Capital project intake process for vetting feasibility and prioritizing new projects;
  • Strategic project management focusing on identifying, tracking, and resolving key issues; and
  • Expedited project delivery methods.


Director of Engineering. The healthcare environment is large and multifaceted with complex engineering systems. Therefore, it is essential that these systems are methodically and systematically planned and designed within prescribed standards and code parameters. Additionally, large and complex infrastructure projects must be integrated seamlessly into existing systems, which require careful design, review, and cost analysis.

Helbling secured a professional whose experience entails increasing levels of responsibility within engineering and construction firms, working on numerous healthcare projects. His skill set includes vast knowledge of MEP systems; developing a team approach with open lines of communication; and building strong relationships with clients, end-users, and senior management. Thus far in his tenure with the institution, this individual has leveraged his extensive knowledge of healthcare MEP systems to spearhead the engineering design initiatives for project specifics and long-term master planning for the institution. His engineering initiatives include:

  • Non-Ambulatory Facilities – Refined MEP engineering standards for the modernization of aged infrastructure at a hospital campus as required for energy efficiency and to support improved patient outcomes, which has enhanced patient/staff experience for the next generation of healthcare.
  • Ambulatory Facilities - Developed specific cost-effective MEP engineering standards to support the institution’s dynamic Regional Ambulatory Care Center growth strategy, which differed substantially from the non-ambulatory MEP engineering standards.

Senior Project Manager. While Helbling was initially retained to secure an individual to help enhance the institution’s internal project management capabilities, it became evident that they were looking for an individual who could help streamline and manage a project management system. To attract the best candidate for this role, we worked closely with the Vice President to identify the desired qualities for this position in particular. As a benchmark, he identified a specific candidate, of whom he had a prior knowledge of being an individual who would be capable of performing this function.

At the time, the professional was employed with a commercial real estate services firm as part of its healthcare team. She was deeply entrenched in the organization, playing an instrumental role in its web-based project management system. Understanding how limited the pool of potential candidates would be with this skill set, Helbling aggressively pursued the referred professional, and was able to pique her interest. After multiple interviews with our client’s team, we successfully secured her, and she has since become a valuable member of the team.

Construction Controller. While performing the aforementioned searches, we encountered the Vice President of Facilities Finance of a major corporation, who was responsible for creating and managing budget models for new construction and renovation projects, creating financial tracking tools, and reviewing and working with subcontractors and consultants on construction projects. Prior to that, he was a Project Manager for a university medical center, having responsibility for managing and coordinating various construction projects, including offices, laboratories, clinics, auditoriums, and vivariums within the various medical schools on campus and off campus.

Our client felt this individual would fit in well with the group with his finance and operational knowledge, as well as his genuine demeanor and engaging personality. Therefore, the position of Construction Controller was created for him. In this capacity, the professional parlays his knowledge and background to enhance the institution's financial tracking and cost management within its aggressive capital plan. 

View PDF
The environment of a medical institution is equally as important as the care that is provided within it, and high-quality facilities are essential for attracting and retaining medical professionals, researchers, and patients. In frequently partnering with healthcare institutions, Helbling understands this fact and the tremendous impact that talented facilities executives can have upon the bottom lines of organizations.
Tom Helbling, President

Learn about Helbling’s search process