Embattled WhidbeyHealth CEO resigns

Geri Forbes has resigned as WhidbeyHealth CEO.

Hospital district commissioners announced Tuesday morning during a special meeting that Forbes’ contract would be amended to accept her resignation immediately. The board named Ron Telles, who was the chief financial officer, as interim CEO.

WhidbeyHealth board Commissioner Ron Wallin said at the meeting it is the board’s intention to name Telles as the full-time CEO at the next regular board meeting in May.

Forbes will continue to be employed by the public hospital district as an executive consultant until her retirement, previously announced as July 1. She will receive $66,046 in incentive pay for meeting 80 percent of her 2018 goals, according to WhidbeyHealth spokeswoman Patricia Duff.

Wallin said changing her role to advisor will help make the hospital district’s transition between leaders smoother.

“I’m very humbled and honored to help lead this organization,” Telles said after the announcement. “We are in a little bit of perilous times, but I look out and I see an incredibly passionate focus here.”

Wallin said the hospital board intends to be “more involved” moving forward. He said this won’t mean “micro managing,” but that the commissioners want to receive input from the staff and public.

“We want to hear from people,” he said.

As a consultant, Forbes will be tasked with providing information and guidance regarding operations and activities, plans and negotiations, according to her amended employment agreement. She will continue to earn her base salary of $390,000 but annual incentive pay will be earned for work done in the 2019 fiscal year.

Telles does not yet have an employment agreement and won’t until the next board meeting, Wallin said.

The commissioners’ May meeting is slated for 7 a.m., May 13, in the Robert and June Sebo Health Education Center in the new wing of the hospital.

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