After a summer of nurse strikes, Baystate Franklin Medical Center president to resign in 2018

Greenfield, Mass.-based Baystate Franklin Medical Center President Cindy Russo is resigning, effective Jan. 12, according to a Greenfield Recorder report.

Ms. Russo assumed the role in May 2016. She previously served as vice president of operations for the central region at Hartford (Conn.) HealthCare. Springfield, Mass.-based Baystate Medical Center President Nancy Shendell-Falik wrote in the memo that Ms. Russo's decision was personal, and she will "explore other healthcare leadership opportunities," according to the report.

Ms. Russo's tenure at Baystate Franklin has not been smooth. In July and August, Baystate Franklin's registered nurses, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, conducted strikes to protest what the union deems as "bad faith bargaining" by the hospital. In August, a picket outside Baystate Health's corporate headquarters in Springfield, Mass., drew approximately 50 nurses and supporters from both Baystate Franklin and Westfield, Mass.-based Baystate Noble Hospital.

The nurses at Baystate Franklin have been in contract negotiations since November 2016. But, they announced this week that relations with the hospital's leadership have improved.

The business agent of the newly formed Baystate Franklin Security Officers' Union Steve Maritas said that Ms. Russo's decision to resign is tied to "charge the union filed with the National Labor Relations Board," the report notes. But Baystate Franklin officials said Mr. Maritas' claims are not true and that "this is a leadership transition."

Baystate Noble Hospital President Ron Bryant will take over as interim president of Baystate Franklin.

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