New Mexico hospital fires CEO after staff alleges mismanagement

The board of Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital in Gallup, N.M., fired its CEO June 11, about a month after a group of staff alleged mismanagement and approved a no confidence vote. 

In a June 11 news release, the hospital board said CEO David Conejo's termination was effective immediately, and CFO Mary Bevier has been appointed as interim CEO, according to Searchlight New Mexico. Mr. Conejo will no longer be a member of the board. 

The changes came after an ad hoc group of providers sent a letter to the hospital board in May lodging several complaints against Mr. Conejo, including allegations of mismanagement that led to staffing shortages. After laying off nurses in March as a cost-cutting measure, the hospital was overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

In a memo to staff, the hospital board asked for unity in regaining the community's trust. 

"We wish to honor the dedication and sacrifices that all of the staff have made in this very difficult recent past, with not only the coronavirus issues but the negative publicity that has caused some community members to lose confidence in the care at [Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services]," reads the memo from board chair Laura Hammons, according to Searchlight New Mexico. "We ask that all of us work to restore that trust, giving our best effort and helping our coworkers to do their best." 

The board will soon begin a search for a new CEO, according to the report. 

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