Big South Fork Medical Center announced Wednesday (July 25) a change atop its management team.
Rennova Health Inc., parent company of BSFMC, said that Hal Leftwich will replace Tony Taylor as CEO at the hospital. Most recently, Leftwich served as CEO of Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon, Fla. for five years. Prior to that, he was CEO at Hancock Medical Center in Bay Saint Louis, Miss. for 15 years.
“Hal brings many years’ experience working as the CEO of rural and critical access hospitals, including in Tennessee, to BSFMC,” the hospital said in a statement. “His knowledge and expertise will help grow the hospital operations and build relationships with local doctors.”
Leftwich’s appointment was part of a sweeping change atop BSFMC’s management team, which was announced abruptly Wednesday afternoon. In all, three members of the hospital’s administrative team were informed that they were being dismissed, a move that reportedly came as a surprise and shook the hospital’s staff.
Seamus Lagan, CEO of the West Palm Beach-based Rennova Health, described the changes as a “separation of ways” and told the Independent Herald that it “has been amicable.”
“It is always unfortunate that companies and individuals part company for various reasons through growth stages of a business,” Lagan said. “We believe the opportunity going forward requires change and a business decision was made to restructure the management at the hospital.”
In addition to a new CEO, two other administrative positions at the hospital were eliminated: Marketing & Safety Director Wayne King and Chief Nursing Officer Ashley Griffith were informed that their positions were being removed.
Lagan told the Independent Herald that those were positions “where synergies with our other facility and corporate can be achieved.” That was a reference to the hospital’s recent acquisition of Jamestown Medical Center.
“We do not anticipate any further changes to management or the number of employees,” Lagan added.
All three members of the administrative team had been at Big South Fork Medical Center since the facility opened last summer. King and Griffith were long-time employees of the hospital in various capacities, while Taylor had also served as the hospital’s CEO during Pioneer Health Services’ ownership of the facility. He remained at the hospital after Pioneer closed it amid a bankruptcy struggle in 2016, helping to facilitate the transition that ultimately saw Rennova purchase the facility from Pioneer.
BSFMC has undergone growing pains since reopening last year. In June, the hospital announced that it was laying off 20 employees, or approximately 15 percent of its staff. That announcement came one day after Rennova completed its purchase of the Jamestown hospital. Earlier, there had been rumors circulating that Rennova intended to close the hospital, prompting King to issue a statement in March that “BSFMC and Rennova are here to serve our community and its citizens” and have no intent to close.
Lagan said Thursday that the hospital remains committed to future growth.
“We appreciate the efforts and commitment by all our employees, current and past, to ensure this facility continues to provide the service needed by the local community and we are determined to support that commitment and look forward to this hospital serving the community for many years to come,” he said.
Lagan added that Rennova is planning to expand the hospital’s board of directors, setting up “one or two committees” to assist with oversight of the hospital’s governance and compliance, and for assistance in planning future projects.
BSFMC recently installed a new, state-of-the-art CT machine and has announced that it is relaunching the Doc’s Diner, the hospital’s cafe, for the community.