In a 3-2 vote, the Greenwood Leflore County Hospital board voted out CEO Jim Jackson. He had been CEO since 2009 and with the hospital since 2000. The firing comes after a recent financial audit that revealed the hospital had lost more than $22 million dollars last year due to reduced Medicare and Medicaid funding. The figure was also higher than normal due to a new accounting standard that requires hospitals to write off more quickly patient balances that likely won’t be collected. That new standard raised the loss by more than 2/3. This is the second year in a row the 208-bed regional hospital has had a multi-million-dollar loss.
Board members Sammy Foster, Freddie White-Johnson and Emma Bell voted not to renew Jackson’s contract while board chairman Brian Waldrop and Larry Griggs voted for Jackson. In a statement released by the hospital, Waldrop noted the rest of the administrative staff will remain in place. Dawne Holmes will be the interim CEO as they begin a search.
In addition, Griggs whose term ends in May announced he would not seek a reappointment. He also released a statement regarding the problem and issues.
“The actions taken last night (March 20) with the firing on Jim Jackson and having no apparent plan of action made it clear to me majority of the board is acting on emotions and behaving in vindictive manner. It is easy to put the blame on one person when times are difficult, but I think it will soon be realized that Jim Jackson is not the problem.”
The 208-bed hospital employs nearly 900 employees with a mix of full and part time. They have nearly 36,000 ER visits each year as well as 7,500 to 8,000 admissions each year. The hospital also now runs the cancer center that was run previously by a doctor who leased space there. And to get patients, doctors and visitors around, the hospital has started an elevator renovation plan.