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By Richard Asinof
(Updated, May 10, 9:30 a.m.)
Memorial Hospital’s May 7 announcement that current president and CEO Martin E. Tursky was leaving for family reasons at the end of June did not tell the entire story. Both the hospital and Tursky failed to mention that Tursky was taking a new job at a hospital in Sandusky, Ohio, beginning July 1.
The board of directors at Firelands Regional Health Systems, a 400-bed hospital, announced on May 8 that Tursky had been chosen as the hospital’s next president and CEO after a five-month search, according to the article in The Morning Journal.
“I’m extremely excited, my family’s extremely excited,” Tursky told the newspaper.? Tursky went on to say that the facilities at Firelands were top notch, but the outstanding team of staff was even more impressive. “You can tell the spirit there and the strength of the team very quickly,” he told the newspaper. “I am very excited to join that team.”
PAWTUCKET – Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island President and CEO Martin E. Tursky announced his resignation Monday, effective June 30.
Tursky notified the hospital’s board of directors that he will be returning to his home state of Ohio because of family obligations.
Tursky had been promoted to his current position effective Oct. 1, 2011, after serving as the hospital’s executive vice president and COO for a year.
He replaced Francis R. Dietz, who had served as Memorial’s president and CEO since 1966, the longest-serving hospital executive in the nation.
“Martin has done a fantastic job in a very difficult health care climate during his time here, both as a COO and as president and CEO,” said Robert Andrade, chairman of the hospital’s board of trustees.
Arthur Deblois III was appointed to serve as acting president while the hospital assesses its next steps, according to Andrade.
“It is with mixed emotions that I am leaving Memorial Hospital,” Tursky said. “I am very proud of the staff at Memorial.” The hospital, he continued, “is a valuable resource that delivers high quality care and there are opportunities for growth.
Memorial, a 294-bed community hospital serving Blackstone Valley and southeastern Massachusetts residents, is a teaching affiliate of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and serves as the chief site of the medical school’s primary care academic program.
Tursky had taken the helm at the community hospital during at time when health care delivery in Rhode Island and hospital finances were beset by high costs and shrinking reimbursements.
In an interview with Providence Business News in July 2011, Tursky spoke about the move that Memorial had made to a preferred health network to promote employees staying within the hospital’s health care system.
“Most of the pieces for an integrated delivery system are already in place,” he said, including the integration of electronic communication between the hospital and physician offices.
At the time, Tursky was also very upbeat about the new clinical affiliation with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, adding high-quality tertiary services.
“We are confident that Memorial’s high quality services and partnerships will continue to attract a larger market of health care consumers who desire the best care while receiving the highest level of service and satisfaction,” Tursky said in the interview.
However, at an April 4, 2012, hearing before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Christopher Callaci the general counsel for the United Nurses & Allied Professionals, said that Memorial Hospital should be added to the growing list of community hospitals struggling to keep its head above water financially.