published Monday, February 18th, 2013

Why the hurry? Erlanger board meets in closed session to perhaps pick a CEO

The Erlanger board — never a model of doing business in the sunshine — plans a called meeting tonight to discuss and likely vote on the hospital's new chief executive.

Much of the "discussion" -- perhaps even a decision -- is expected to be made out of public hearing in a "closed session."

What's more, the board is flaunting advice from our local legislative delegation to hold off on a hire because the hospital authority's charter is certain to change. In fact, the state House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed the bill making that change. The legislation whittles the 12-member board to nine members and sets new rules for conflict of interest and other governance. The legislation is on a fast track: The Senate is expected to take it up this week.

So why, why, why would the board of the region's only public hospital insist on hiring a new chief when his or her contract could be terminated early -- and with a very expensive parachute payment?

In wouldn't be the first time: In fact, almost all of Erlanger's chiefs have left without warm parties but with plenty of cash.

The board should be overhauled. And its members should be ashamed.

If there's a reasonable explanation why board members think a rushed CEO hire will save them from some uncertain authority change, its members should discuss those reasons openly. And they should discuss the merits of each candidate in the sunshine.

After all, the hospital is publicly owned and taxpayer subsidized.

Aside from that, it is primarily financed with patient dollars.

And we're all patients now and again.

The idea that these sitting Erlanger trustees -- appointed, by the way, by our elected officials -- have the consummate gall to close all of us out of these discussions is maddening.

The process of change at Erlanger should be transparent.

As we've noted before, the problems at Erlanger have occurred largely because of this board's abuse of the public interest.

What's going on behind closed doors right now contributes to that core problem.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
AndrewLohr said...

They may already have met, but if they wanna be harmless could they hire an interim CEO, with no big parachute, to be reconsidered when the new board is in place?

February 18, 2013 at 1:01 a.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.