Hospital restructures amid tumult

WhidbeyHealth administration last week released a brief statement on its restructuring plan.

In the midst of turmoil from a no-confidence vote and the firing of executives, WhidbeyHealth administration last week released a brief statement on its restructuring plan.

The release states that the public hospital district’s “strategic organizational restructuring” was implemented in an effort to improve the district’s long-term financial sustainability.

“The restructuring included a reduction in the executive leadership team structure as well as other adjustments to staffing levels throughout the organization,” according to the statement.

A request for information about additional terminations beyond the executive team members, as well as new organizational flowcharts, was not fulfilled by press time.

Conor O’Brien, hospital spokesperson, said in an email that the administration is conducting a “top to bottom examination.”

“Optimizing our workflows and scaling operations to meet the volume needs of our community is a fluid process dependent upon each considered process,” he wrote.

Two weeks ago, doctors and other providers in the hospital system overwhelmingly passed a no-confidence vote against CEO Ron Telles, Chief Operating Officer Dr. Garth Miller and attorney Jake Kempton.

Medical staff expressed concerns over constant turnover, hospital finances, disrespectful treatment and technical problems, especially glitches with the phone system.

Last week, Telles terminated Chief Nursing Officer Erin Wooley, Chief Information Officer Brett Mello, Human Resources Officer Debbie DeCorde and Quality Control Officer Jon Scallan.

Hospital employees said the hospital’s medical staff coordinator, who was highly regarded by the staff, was also terminated.

Telles said the terminations were for financial reasons. Critics of the administration, however, questioned the motives, especially in light of the passage of the levy increase in November.

The hospital board met with members of the medical staff in closed-door executive session last week. Monday night, they met in executive session again to discuss the performance of a hospital employee and evaluate complaints against that employee.

No action has been taken by the board.