Tampa General Hospital CEO abruptly resigns

Tampa General Hospital CEO Jim Burkhart has resigned unexpectedly after nearly four years of heading the safety net hospital.

"We appreciate all that Jim has done during his time here," said John Brabson, chairman of TGH's board of directors, in an emailed statement. The statement did not, however, give a reason for Mr. Burkhart's sudden departure.

The hospital selected Steve Short, current executive vice president and CFO, to serve as acting president and CEO, effective immediately.

"Steve Short has all the trust and confidence of the board. He has served as our CFO for 16 years and was the unanimous choice of the board to lead us through this transition and all the strategic initiatives we are considering," said Mr. Brabson in the statement.

Prior to joining Tampa General Hospital, Mr. Burkhart served as president and CEO of Shands Jacksonville (Fla.) Medical Center, now known as UF Health Jacksonville.

According to a Tampa Bay Times report, Mr. Burkhart helped smooth relations with the hospital's primary teaching partner, the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa, during his tenure at TGH. He also oversaw a partnership between the hospital and Orlando-based Florida Hospital, which "focused on outpatient, home care and hospice services," the report notes.

The hospital is initiating a national search for a permanent CEO.

Update: Mr. Burkhart spoke about the circumstances surrounding his unexpected resignation in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, in which he said the hospital's board of directors pushed him out of the job and the hospital's finances played a role in his ouster. Read more here.

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