Summa Health CEO resigns amid physician tension

Akron, Ohio-based Summa Health System's President and CEO Thomas Malone, MD, resigned after facing significant criticism from physicians and staff, according to a report from Cleveland.com.

Summa leadership has been under fire since it switched emergency room physician groups upon the start of 2017 with little notice. The health system's contract with longtime partner Summa Emergency Associates expired and it began staffing emergency rooms across several locations from US Acute Care Solutions, a national emergency medicine group.

Shortly after the switch, roughly 250 physicians voted "no confidence" in Dr. Malone and health system leadership at an impromptu staff meeting. Physicians also signed a letter calling for Dr. Malone to resign. They said the decision was "the last straw," and told the Akron Beacon Journal a culture of fear exists among Summa employees.

Attempting to deal with the fallout, Dr. Malone issued a memo to staff earlier this month apologizing for the ER staff switch and "disruptions to both our patients and our employees." The board backed Dr. Malone, but promised to enact changes to address physician concerns.

However, Dr. Malone ultimately decided to resign because "it became apparent that his continued presence in his role at CEO was distracting the forward progress of the organization," the health system's board of directors said in a statement, according to Cleveland.com.

Dr. Malone, who has led Summa Health since 2015, will finish out his last 60 days as president and CEO, according to the report.

"I care deeply about the future of Summa Health and am incredibly proud of all that we have accomplished together over the last two years," Dr. Malone said in a statement, according to Cleveland.com. "However, as I thought about what would be best for our organization moving forward, it became clear to me that my presence may be a distraction from our goals. And that is unacceptable to me."

Read the full story here.

 

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