Watsonville Hospital appoints CEO after several rocky management changes

Steven Salyer has been appointed CEO of Watsonville (Calif.) Community Hospital after the hospital has endured several management changes in the last few years, according to a July 23 Good Times report.

Seven things to know:

  1. Mr. Salyer started the role July 6. He previously served as the COO of UP Health System-Marquette (Mich.). Before that, he was the CEO of Sebastian (Fla.) River Medical Center and COO of Vero Beach, Fla.-based Indian River Medical Center.

  2. At the California hospital, Mr. Salyer will ensure operational success by building strong partnerships with the medical staff to enhance clinical quality and patient safety, he said in a news release.

  3. Mr. Salyer said the hospital intends to launch a cardiac catheterization lab, increase its cancer care and begin interventional radiology. The hospital is also seeking partnerships with other providers to improve complex services such as liver transplants.

  4. The CEO is coming into the role after several turbulent shifts in management for the hospital, Good Times reported. In June 2019, Los Angeles-based Halsen Healthcare purchased the hospital from Brentwood, Tenn.-based Quorum Health, which later filed for bankruptcy in April 2020. 

  5. The sale was halted when Watsonville Community Health Trust said it wanted to buy the hospital instead. However, the trust couldn't secure funding, and Halsen purchased the hospital in October 2019. Soon after, Halsen sold the building and property to Medical Properties Trust and then leased it from them in a leaseback.

  6. In January 2021, the hospital's board said it ousted Halsen from its leadership role because it failed to meet "financial obligations to various stakeholders," Good Times reported. Medical Properties Trust owns the property and contracts Prospect Medical Holdings to oversee operations.

  7. The hospital is in much better financial shape than it was under the previous management, and the board is in talks to plan the future of the hospital's leadership, Mr. Salyer said.

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