2nd CEO leaves Missouri hospital over attempted CFO termination

The board of trustees at Houston, Mo.-based Texas County Memorial Hospital has unanimously — and suddenly — voted to remove CEO Stace Holland, marking its second CEO exit over a termination dispute in less than two years.

The decision was made at a Feb. 6 board meeting and took effect immediately, according to a news release from the hospital. Bill Bridges, the hospital's emergency services director who has served there for more than three decades, was named interim CEO. 

This ouster was abrupt, according to local newspaper Houston Herald. Mr. Holland reportedly terminated Linda Pamperien, the hospital's CFO of nearly 30 years, ahead of a scheduled special meeting of the board. 

The board then moved the meeting to the hospital's community safe room and hosted a public forum. "Nearly all" employees in attendance criticized Mr. Holland's leadership and praised Ms. Pamperien's, according to the Herald. The board then entered a closed session and voted to end Mr. Holland's tenure. 

A hospital spokesperson declined to provide any specific reason for the ouster of Mr. Holland, or for his decision to terminate Ms. Pamperien, but confirmed the events outlined in the Herald in a Feb. 7 phone call with Becker's. Mr. Bridges immediately took the helm, and Ms. Pamperien has been reinstated, according to the spokesperson. 

Mr. Holland assumed the top job in November 2022. He has previously served as CEO of Shattuck, Okla.-based Newman Memorial Hospital and as an administrator for St. Louis-based Mercy, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

The hospital's board issued a statement in a Feb. 7 news release: "We have and always will try to do what's best for the employees and the patients of this hospital."

It is the exact same statement given in a July 12, 2022, news release announcing the exit of former CEO Chris Strickland. Mr. Strickland told Becker's on Feb. 8 that he resigned from the job after the board interfered with his own attempt to terminate Ms. Pamperien's employment. 

Like Mr. Holland, he had served approximately 15 months in the role. 

Mr. Bridges was also named as part of an "interim leadership team" immediately following Mr. Strickland's exit, though he maintained his title as director of emergency medical services. Two months later, the hospital reappointed former administrator Wes Murray to serve as interim CEO until Mr. Holland was named to the permanent position. 

Mr. Holland's departure is not expected to interfere with ongoing hospital projects, including recruitment and retention efforts and the completion of a new surgery department, according to the Feb. 7 news release. 

This story will be updated if more information becomes available.

Editor's Note: This story was updated Feb. 8 at 12:44 p.m. to include more information on Mr. Strickland's departure.

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