Florida health system CEO resigns after 'no confidence' vote by staff

Naples, Fla.-based NCH Healthcare System President and CEO Allen Weiss, MD, resigned Jan. 23, days after staff physicians issued a vote of no confidence against him, according to a Naples Daily News report.

Kevin Cooper, the health system's chief of staff, also quit. The board of trustees "voted unanimously to accept the resignations of Dr. Allen Weiss and Kevin Cooper, effective immediately," a spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Naples Daily News.

The resignations came just one day after two rallies were held in Naples. One rally was in support of the health system's leadership, while the other protested the executive team and the organization's admissions policy. Physicians voted "no confidence" in Dr. Weiss Jan. 17 due to concerns over a new admissions policy that prevented physicians outside of NCH from writing prescription orders. Staff had also opposed an admissions policy last summer that eliminated admission privileges for independent physicians on three floors at the health system's flagship hospital.

The admissions policy is now "being changed to be inclusive of all physicians on the medical staff," the statement obtained by Naples Daily News noted.

Dr. Weiss has led the hospital since 2006, prior to which he was president of the health system for six years. He serves on the American Hospital Association board and is a past chair of the Florida Hospital Association. He previously had a solo practice in rheumatology, internal medicine and geriatrics.

Mr. Cooper joined the NCH management team in 1995, prior to which he was an attorney with a Fort Myers, Fla.-based law firm.

Phil Dutcher, NCH's COO, will take over as interim CEO. The board will begin searching for a permanent leader.

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