Kansas hospital fires CEO

Pratt (Kan.) Regional Medical Center has fired CEO Darrell Lavender and is moving forward with a search for a new leader.

The hospital board announced the termination in a letter to employees July 15, one day after a group of community members in Pratt gathered to express concerns about Mr. Lavender and the future, according to CBS affiliate KWCH.

The letter states that the board "wishes to address the recent controversy concerning PRMC," according to ABC affiliate KAKE.

"After 25 years plus of administration under one CEO and that retirement, we hired a new CEO with a different perspective and style than his predecessor," the board wrote, according to KAKE. "Our current CEO was chosen after months of interviews with involvement of hospital and medical staff. Change is very difficult and this one was for so many."

According to KAKE, the board said it has met with physicians, administration, staff, and community members during the past six months "to understand and work through tensions that arose during this transition. There has been much controversy, many rumors, and misunderstanding while the board has worked through this process."

The board continued: "We thank the community for your patience and understanding during this period. A decision has been made to move forward with the search for a new CEO. Mr. Lavender will be leaving PRMC, and an interim CEO will be named until a new CEO has been chosen."

Pratt Regional announced Mr. Lavender's appointment to the CEO role in May 2021. He replaced longtime CEO Susan Page, who retired.

Before joining Pratt Regional, Mr. Lavender's most recent role was COO of Munson Healthcare Manistee (Mich.) Hospital.

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