Augusta University Health System restructures top post in face of $24M net loss

Augusta (Ga.) University Health is merging the leadership of the health system with its flagship facility, Augusta University Medical Center, according to The Augusta Chronicle.

Per the restructuring, Augusta University President Brooks Keel will no longer serve as CEO of the health system, which is facing a net loss of $24 million in fiscal year 2019. The CEO of Augusta University Medical Center, a role currently held by Phillip Coule, MD, will serve as CEO of the health system as well. Additionally, the new health system CEO role will include the responsibilities of Augusta University’s executive vice president of health affairs.

Dr. Coule, who is the interim CEO of Augusta University Medical Center, will oversee the health system and take on the duties of the executive vice president of health affairs until the organization names a permanent successor to Lee Ann Liska, who resigned June 6.

Dr. Keel, who has served since 2015 as university president and health system CEO under the previous leadership structure, will continue to exert hiring and firing authority over the new CEO position. He will also have a vote on the Augusta University Health board.

"Dr. Keel has two full time jobs right now, and it’s almost impossible for anybody to do that," Steve Wrigley, Atlanta-based University System of Georgia chancellor and Augusta University Health board member told The Augusta Chronicle. "This system has grown and changed and became a lot more complex in the past few years, so I think this move makes sense in terms of strengthening the organization going forward."

The health system is projecting a net loss of $24.4 million for the current fiscal year that ended June 30. Following Ms. Liska's resignation, Mr. Keel told employees that they must "carry out our mission in a fiscally responsible manner," according to the Chronicle.

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