Effingham Health System CEO Norma Jean Morgan abruptly retires

Norma Jean Morgan, CEO of Effingham Health System in Springfield, Ga., retired abruptly Wednesday, according to a Savannah Morning News report.

Hospital board Chairman Rick Rafter told the Savannah Morning News that Ms. Morgan, who also served as nursing home administrator, was not forced to retire, but "because of changes in the organization, she decided to retire."

Ms. Morgan's departure comes as the hospital is restructuring and getting ready to reorganize as a nonprofit. As part of those efforts, Tammy Mims was terminated as COO and Mary Pizzino was terminated as CIO, Mr. Rafter said, according to the report. Michael Murphy, Effingham Health System's strategic business liaison and occupational medicine manager, was also fired.

"We're cutting out duplication and restructuring to be more efficient," Mr. Rafter told the Savannah Morning News.

Ms. Morgan's departure marks the second time she has abruptly left Effingham Health System while working there. She also resigned unexpectedly from the top leadership position in October 1995 when she was told to quit or be fired, according to the report. Back then, hospital officials alleged Ms. Morgan's mismanagement and financial irresponsibility caused checks to bounce and resulted in additional problems, the Savannah Morning News reports. Ms. Morgan denied the allegations and later received $70,000 for an out-of-court settlement of a breach of contract lawsuit against the system.

She has most recently served as CEO of Effingham Health System since 2005.

According to the report, Mr. Rafter was complimentary of Ms. Morgan. He praised her recent leadership to modernize the health system and to open 52,000 square feet of new clinical space in 2012.

Fran Baker-Witt, who has been chief transformation officer at the hospital since Jan. 6, will serve as interim CEO.


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