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Jefferson hospital CEO resigns

September 29, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

RANSON, W.Va. - The head of an organization overseeing the merger of Jefferson Memorial Hospital, City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va., and West Virginia University Hospitals said Tuesday he does not foresee any changes affecting the chief executive officer at City Hospital.

"We don't see any changes (for) Jon," said Roger M. Eitelman, referring to Jon Applebaum, chief executive officer of City Hospital. "He's doing a fine job," said Eitelman, chief executive officer of West Virginia University Hospitals-East.

Eitelman's comments followed the announcement this week that John Sherwood, the chief executive officer of Jefferson Memorial Hospital, will resign after nearly six years on the job.

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"This isn't about performance. John (Sherwood) chose to leave," Eitelman said.

Sherwood could not be reached for comment and Jefferson Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Tina Stover said Tuesday that Sherwood would not be available for any media interviews.

Eitelman said officials at West Virginia University Hospitals-East will begin searching for a replacement for Sherwood, whose resignation becomes effective Friday. Officials hope a replacement can be named within several months.

City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital merged with West Virginia University Hospitals in an attempt to bring more physicians to the area, expand medical services and have better treatment options locally.

Jefferson Memorial issued a press statement Tuesday saying Sherwood agreed to remain as chief executive officer of Jefferson Memorial until a chief executive officer of West Virginia University Hospitals-East was hired.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Jefferson Memorial Hospital family for their support and assistance as we have worked to address the many challenges facing a small hospital in West Virginia," Sherwood said in the hospital's statement.

"I wish you all the best as you work to reach the success envisioned by the merger that created the new WVUH-East Health Care System," Sherwood said in the statement.

The hospital's statement said Sherwood has worked to advance health-care services to Jefferson County residents and his leadership positioned Jefferson Memorial for the merger.

Eitelman said the merger group plans to create other new positions, including vice president of finance and physician development.

Because the new health care system is bigger than the hospitals involved, a vice president of finance is needed to guide the organization in that area, Eitelman said.

The physician development person will focus on physician recruitment, Eitelman said.

Eitelman told the Jefferson County Commission last Thursday his organization remains committed to building a new Jefferson Memorial Hospital to meet expected increases in patients in coming years.

Jefferson Memorial Hospital is seeing 18 to 20 patients come through its doors every day but that is expected to increase to about 40 to 45 patients a day within five years, said Eitelman, adding that the pace of growth in the area demands a new hospital.

Eitelman said Jefferson Memorial Hospital will be looking for land in the county for a new hospital and physician offices, but he did not give a timetable for the project.

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