The pinnacle of Central Oregon’s solely hospital system resigned Tuesday, following a turbulent time that has seen elevated monetary problem and mass layoffs on the hospital.
St. Charles Well being System President and CEO Joe Sluka introduced his resignation in a press launch, saying years of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic had taken their toll. He has held the place since 2014, in keeping with his LinkedIn profile.
“I really feel it’s time for me to step apart, recharge and supply the chance for brand spanking new operational leaders to information St. Charles ahead,” Sluka stated.
Dr. Steve Gordon, a former board member at St. Charles, will take over as CEO on an interim foundation, as a nationwide seek for a brand new government begins.
Sluka will, nevertheless, stay on the well being system in an advisory position to Gordon for an unspecified time period. Spokesperson Lisa Goodman stated Sluka will preserve his present wage whereas serving on this position.
St. Charles didn’t make Sluka accessible for remark Tuesday.
The resignation comes throughout a difficult time for St. Charles. Monetary difficulties led hospital management to put off 105 caregivers and freeze a further 76 positions in Might, because the system confronted an working lack of $21.8 million this 12 months by April.
Two weeks later, greater than 300 suppliers introduced plans to kind a union referred to as Central Oregon Suppliers Community. Hospital executives have stated the layoffs got here on account of the pandemic, however union organizers have claimed monetary mismanagement on the hospital stretches again earlier than COVID-19.
The union issued a press release Tuesday noting St. Charles had requested the Nationwide Labor Relations Board to dismiss its petition for an election.
Les Dixon, a St. Charles worker and member of the Central Oregon Suppliers Community, stated he hopes Sluka’s resignation is an indication that communications between the board and the union will enhance sooner or later.
Sluka’s tenure additionally noticed technical staff at St. Charles decide on a union contract in 2021, shortly after saying a strike.
The well being system is Central Oregon’s largest employer and a significant financial middle for the area.
St. Charles Board Chairman Jamie Orlikoff stated in a Tuesday telephone interview that Sluka resigned on his personal accord, not on the board’s urging. He added the resignation didn’t come on account of the continuing monetary points dealing with St. Charles.
He stated hospital executives, just like frontline well being care staff, are dealing with challenges associated to burnout.
“If Joe needed to remain, he’d be the chief,” Orlikoff stated. “Nobody is completely happy wherever in well being care.”
The management transition within the well being system — in addition to the nationwide search — begins this week.