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SGH CEO John May Resigns

By Staff | Oct 5, 2016

May's letter to staff announcing his resignation as CEO of Sistersville General Hospital.

Citing “personal reasons,” Sistersville General Hospital CEO John May called it quits last week.

“Due to personal reasons, I am resigning as CEO at Sistersville General Hospital,” May wrote in a letter addressed to hospital employees on Tuesday. “We are a rural hospital and members of a dying breed. Our facilities are not fancy and we do not offer many services available at larger facilities. Our strength lies with our people you. It has been a pleasure to be associated with you for nearly the past four years.”

May’s last day was Oct. 5. His letter of resignation is provided with this story online.

“The SGH Board of Managers, physicians and employees join together in wishing Mr. May well in his future endeavors. Moving forward, a CEO search will be conducted and we will continue providing the same compassionate care our community deserves. Our current COO Brandon Chadock has been named interim CEO,” said Linda Leasure, president of the SGH Board of Managers.

Chadock, who is also a member of City Council, offered an optimistic assesement of the hospital’s future.

“Although Mr. May’s resignation was unexpected, the employees are determined to join together and overcome the challenges that lie ahead,” he said. “Moving forward we are focusing on increasing efficiencies, decreasing cost, and capturing revenue. Our first priority remains providing quality, compassionate care.”

City Hall and SGH have been involved in discussion in recent weeks about the future of the city-owned hospital. Dozens of people attended a City Council meeting in September where May said due to nature of health care, rural hospitals are at risk of closing as they struggle with government red tape and finances.

“I wish we could continue along as if nothing has changed, but that is simply unrealistic,” May wrote in his letter of resignation. “We have to focus on reducing our expenses and increasing revenue. We have already experienced some cuts to expenses, however, we must go further. Each of us should be looking for ways to cut expenses for the hospital and encouraging our patients to use our services.”

May’s letter mentions that he will be making recommendations for expense cuts to the hospital’s Board of Managers.

“I will be providing my recommendations to the Board of Managers for cuts and changes to our operation,” May wrote. “I started by cutting in administration with the layoff of our CNO (Chief Nursing Officer). My departure will provided additional cuts. I will recommend further reductions in my report to the Board.”

Councilman Alex King proposed a motion that council adopted regarding the formation of an exploratory committee comprised of the SGH administration, City Council and affected parties. The committee’s intent will be to study options about how to preserve the hospital in this challenging health care environment.

West Virginia University Hospitals approached SGH about the possibility of entering into a partnership to cooperatively develop a new health care facility.

During September’s council meeting, May said WVU was considering building an ambulatory care center in or near Sistersville. WVU Medicine has provided a list of intended services and minimum staffing levels for the proposed center. He said SGH is the second largest employer in Tyler County, so any possible staff reduction from 110 employees to 50 employees would be felt.

There was uncertainty as to whether an emergency department would be in the cards because WVU favors a primary care approach, but that SGH strongly endorses an emergency room because the numbers were there to support that service, May said. If there is no emergency room, ambulance service could be affected, perhaps eliminated. During the council meeting, SGH Chief of Staff Amanda Nichols said these potential plans are stalled because of the citys ownership of the hospital a complex problem involving government-ownership and control.