Duke Regional Hospital asks 3 executives to step down

Durham, N.C.-based Duke Regional Hospital's chief nursing officer, chief financial officer and chief operating officer have been asked to step down from their roles after an assessment of the hospital's performance over the past year, according to an internal letter sent to staff obtained by local news outlets.

The health system's CEO Craig Albanese, MD, announced the changes in a letter to staff, NBC affiliate WRAL and CBS affiliate WNCN reported April 20. 

Vicky Orto, DNP, RN, chief nursing officer; Jonathan Hoy, CFO; and Mitch Babb, BSN, RN, COO, were each asked to step down "after a thorough assessment of Duke Regional Hospital's performance over the past year," Dr. Albanese wrote in part to staff on April 20. 

"I have determined the need for transformation, which requires making several leadership changes in order to best position our hospital to fulfill its mission of caring for our patients and community for the long term," he wrote, adding the executives will be stepping down from their roles immediately. 

According to WNCN, Dr. Albanese's letter goes on to announce the appointment of Kristin Merritt, MSN, RN, as the new CNO, and that Leigh Bleecker, CFO of Duke Raleigh (N.C.) Hospital, has been asked to expand her role to also serve as CFO of Duke Regional. 

In an email to Becker's April 21, a spokesperson for the hospital shared some of the above statements that Dr. Albanese told staff but did not confirm who is replacing the three executives stepping down. 

"In today's fast-changing healthcare landscape, nationally and locally, we must continue to transform and act with urgency to meet the needs of our patients and our organization. That means advancing how we deliver care, share best practices and expertise, break down silos, and promote innovation and systemness to improve the performance of our health system," Dr. Albanese told staff, according to the spokesperson. 

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