Washington hospital restructures amid executive firings

The firing of four executives at Coupeville, Wash.-based WhidbeyHealth Medical Center comes amid a restructuring at the organization, the South Whidbey Record reported Feb. 15.

A statement posted online said the organization implemented a restructuring the week of Feb. 11 to improve the public hospital district's long-term financial sustainability.

This plan "included a reduction in the executive leadership team structure as well as other adjustments to staffing levels throughout the organization," the statement said.

The statement also said the move is in line with the hospital's plan to grow operating revenues to generate 90 days cash reserves and ensure financial stability.

"The strategic realignment will broaden the district’s operating margin, while reducing the total leadership salary burden," the hospital said. "Fiscal projections have been adjusted to account for the continued pandemic-related loss of revenue through procedures like elective surgeries."

The hospital did not provide the South Whidbey Record with information about additional terminations outside of the executives, or new organizational flowcharts, by press time.

Conor O'Brien, a hospital spokesperson, told the newspaper the restructuring is a fluid process about "optimizing our workflows and scaling operations to meet the volume needs of our community."  

The fired executives are CNO Erin Wooley, MSN, RN; CIO Brett Mello; Chief Human Resource Officer Debbie DeCorde; and Chief Quality Officer Jon Scallan.

The firings came in the wake of a no-confidence vote held Jan. 31 by medical staff in CEO and CFO Ron Telles, COO Garth Miller, MD, and hospital attorney Jake Kempton. The medical staff, which includes employed and affiliated providers, such as physicians and nurse practitioners, cited concerns over finances, turnover and technical issues with the phone system, according to the South Whidbey Herald.

Mr. O'Brien told Becker's he expects to have an update after the hospital board of commissioners meeting Feb. 17.

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