New CEO for Jackson hinging on experience
By Ashley Hopkins
One month before Jackson Memorial Hospital's financial river is forecast to run dry, Miami-Dade must charge a new president and CEO with leading the cash-strapped hospital into the next fiscal year. As the clock winds down, county officials are discussing what requirements to include in the job description.
A key question: must the next president have management experience in a teaching hospital?
The question is vital because County Manager George Burgess and former Miami City Manager Carlos Migoya are among those seeking the job behind the scenes. Neither has such experience, nor do others with eyes on the prize, which pays more than $600,000 per year.
Eneida Roldan, who has been CEO of Jackson Health Systems since June 2009, announced in November that she wouldn't renegoiate her contract after the county commission questioned her actions related to the performance of Foundation Health Services, the consulting firm charged with handling international marketing for the hospital.
According to a report from the Miami-Dade Office of Inspector General, recent changes to Jackson foundation Chief Executive Rolando Rodriguez's contract would pay him $52,500 should Jackson cancel its marketing contract with the organization. Drafts of minutes revealed that the foundation board, including Ms. Roldan, appeared to approve contract changes Sept. 30.
Following a wave of commission concern, Ms. Roldan announced she wouldn't reapply when her contract expired June 1, leaving county officials wondering what to do.
Past searches for the position asked that all applicants have management experience within a comprehensive teaching hospital or academic health center. That provision was not going to be listed this time.
But at a Feb. 17 joint meeting between the Public Health Trust and the county commission, Commissioner Barbara Jordan recommended restoring it to the position description.
"I've gotten a lot of calls from the community that feel that by dropping this criteria the trust is getting very political," she said, later adding, "We're talking about the management of a teaching hospital.… To leave that out, to me, says that that's not important enough to put it in."
John Copeland, chair of the Public Health Trust, said the search committee discussed previous solicitations as a jumping-off point to start negotiations but wanted to "expand the pool" to include those who might not have been considered in the past.
Commission Chairman Joe Martinez, who sat in on meetings with the selection committee, said the committee decided to leave the position description "wide open" to ensure that the county picked the best man, or woman, for the job.
"We weren't precluding anyone from applying just because they didn't have that background," he said.
Ms. Jordan asked that the selection committee consider updating the job description to list experience with an academic medical facility as a "preferred" or "desired" condition, and Gladys Ayala, chair of the search committee, said the committee would discuss accepting Ms. Jordan's recommendation at its next meeting.
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