Hutcheson Medical Center CEO Charles Stewart, under fire for months as the Fort Oglethorpe hospital struggled financially, resigned Monday night. The hospital's vice president of operations and interim CFO Gerald Faircloth also resigned, according to Hutcheson Medical Center Board of Directors Chairwoman Martha Attaway. Both resignations are effective immediately. Stewart has resigned to pursue other opportunities, according to a news release.
Hutcheson's board met during a called meeting Monday night.
“I appreciate the opportunity to have worked with the Hutcheson Medical Center Board of Directors and the support they have shown me during my tenure," Stewart said in the news release. "I feel the organization is facing a time where new leadership is needed.”
HMC’s Chief Nursing Officer Debbie Reeves will serve as the system’s interim CEO. During the leadership transition period, Community Hospital Corporation (CHC), of Plano, Texas, will provide management support, the news release stated. CHC was hired by HMC last year to help the hospital through a series of changes to the system that would ensure the future of quality, community-based health care to North Georgia residents.
Hutcheson, a 300-bed community hospital, has lost money in four of the last five years, records show. Unaudited financial statements show a 2010 loss of $7.1 million and a 2009 loss of $7.3 million. In recent months, the hospital has averaged just 30 to 40 patients a day.
Attaway said the board's "foremost concern for HMC is to provide quality care for our patients, while producing a stable environment for our employees to do their work. We believe the actions that have been taking place over the past several months will enable us to fully address those concerns.”
More in tomorrow's edition of the Times Free Press.