Contract ends for hospital administrator John Johnson
Board cites protection of hospital interests as reason Gothenburg Memorial Hospital board members have wrangled with the decision for more than a month.
On Thursday, they terminated the contract of administrator John Johnson who was hired in March of 2000.
During a regularly scheduled meeting in the Wellness Center conference room, board member Larry Gill made the motion, noting that the action was needed to “protect the best interests of the hospital.”
The board discussed the issue in closed session, during a special meeting on Feb. 4, but took no action.
Kayleen Dudley, who was chief operating officer, nursing service administrator and assistant administrator, is now interim chief executive officer.
Education coordinator Joyce Clark is interim nursing director.
After cancelling the contract at Thursday’s meeting, the board went into closed session to discuss details of the severance and other issues but took no action upon reconvening.
On Friday, board member Dr. Carol Shackleton said Johnson will receive severance pay as was stipulated in his contract.
Shackleton said Johnson was put on administrative leave on Dec. 20 and Dudley appointed as interim CEO.
“We felt we needed to move the hospital forward at this time,” she said. “We needed a change in leadership.”
Shackleton said the board plans to search for another administrator but now wants to regroup and determine the direction of the hospital.
“We want to do strategic planning for the next three to five years and those results will help determine the type of leader we’ll need.”
She described Johnson as a strong asset, who guided the hospital administratively into areas of strength.
“He was visionary, a strong leader and was exceptional at guiding us through the federal red tape concerning changes in health care,” Shackleton said.
Johnson, she said, spearheaded the hospital’s designation as a critical access hospital which brought about expansions and advancements.
“We won’t regret the 12 years he was here because he was dedicated to the hospital and its mission,” Shackleton said. “In many respects, he’ll be missed.”
Johnson could not be reached for comment.