California hospital fires CEO after nearly 2 years in role

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed nonprofit hospital in Hollister, Calif., has fired Steven Hannah as CEO after about two years on the job, BenitoLink reported Oct. 26.

Mr. Hannah was let go Oct. 14 because the hospital board of directors chose "to go in a different direction," said Jeri Hernandez, the board president, according to the report. He received $360,563 in severance pay, per his contract.

Ms. Hernandez told BenitoLink she can't provide further comment because "the decision to release Mr. Hannah from his contract was made in a closed session meeting and cannot be made public."

Mr. Hannah joined Hazel Hawkins as CEO in November 2020.

He declined to answer BenitoLink's request for comment, but Sherrie Bakke, director of patient and community engagement and business development, told the publication he issued this comment in a notice to hospital staff: "Thank you to all the staff, volunteers, leaders and providers for the great past two years as your leader. Together, we were able to manage through the pandemic and accomplish fulfillment of the mission of Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital. I am proud of all of you and have the highest respect for all that you do. I leave you with my best wishes."

Before joining Hazel Hawkins, Mr. Hannah served as an interim COO/CFO and executive adviser for St. Mary-Corwin Hospital in Pueblo, Colo., part of Centennial, Colo.-based Centura Health.

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