Another Eleanor Slater chief medical officer resigns

Katharine Woods, DO, has resigned as chief medical officer of Eleanor Slater Hospital, a public facility in Cranston, R.I., less than a year after her appointment, The Providence Journal reported Dec. 15. 

In a Dec. 1 letter obtained by the newspaper, Dr. Woods informed Louis Cerbo, the acting director of the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, which runs the hospital, of her resignation, effective Jan. 5.

"After our discussions, it is clear that this is not the mutual best fit for myself or the organization for the long run, as sad as it will be to leave the co-workers and staff with whom I work most closely everyday and as much as I remain dedicated to healthcare provided for the common good," the letter reads, according to The Providence Journal.

In a message Dr. Woods sent to staff of the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals on Dec. 15, which was shared with Becker's, Dr. Woods expressed gratitude for her time with staff.

"Between successfully achieving Joint Commission accreditation, separating the two state hospitals, stabilizing staffing, and beginning to expand our community collaboration and education presence, I can confidently call 2023 a successful year for us," said Dr. Woods. "I appreciate your support, willingness to explore new strategies, and your unparalleled commitment to providing exceptional care for those we serve. However, after much consideration and discussion, I will be moving forward with exploring new opportunities for myself in 2024."

Sue Ferranti, DO, will serve as interim CMO, a spokesperson for the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals told Becker's. The spokesperson, Randal Edgar, said the hospital is engaged in a national search and hopes to have the position filled by summer 2024. Interviews with three candidates have already been scheduled.

Dr. Woods stepped into the CMO role at Eleanor Slater on April 3. She took over from Dr. Ferranti, who served as interim CMO after the sudden departure of Elinore McCance-Katz, MD.

Dr. McCance-Katz came into the position amid allegations of improper billing and patient safety concerns that threatened its ability to receive CMS reimbursements. She stepped down from the position in July 2022 after less than a year in the role.

Before joining Eleanor Slater, Dr. Woods served as CMO of Phoenix-based Arizona State Hospital.

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