Just over a year as he came onboard as Chief Executive Officer for South Peninsula Hospital, Joe Woodin announced his resignation on Tuesday, April 16. In a press release from the hospital on Wednesday, Woodin cited “unanticipated circumstances that prevent him from remaining in the position.”
The SPH Operating Board has appointed Noel Rea of NetworxHealth, a consulting division of Virginia Mason Medical Center, as the interim CEO effective immediately, according to the press release.
“South Peninsula Hospital is more than just a community hospital,” David Groesbeck, President of the Board of Directors, said in the press release. “It has grown quickly to become a regional medical center and leading employer in the community. Joe made great progress on numerous priorities during a critical transition time for the organization, and we thank him for his service. We anticipate continued progress under the leadership of Mr. Rea, who brings expertise in working with rural, independent health care facilities in Alaska.”
Woodin was appointed by the SPH Operating Board in February 2018 to replace former CEO Bob Letson, who had been CEO for 10 years. Woodin started work in March 2018.
He came to Homer from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Massachusetts, where he had been president and CEO for about a year. Previously Woodin had spent 17 years as the president and CEO of Gifford Health Care and Gifford Medical Center in Vermont.
The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital board of directors terminated Woodin in 2017, saying his vision did not align with theirs. Woodin filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the hospital, and they eventually reached a settlement through mediation.
According to Wednesday’s press release, Rea has 28 years of health care experience in Alaska, 12 of those in upper management. He served six years as Director of the Alaska Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, four years as CEO at Wrangell Medical Center, two years as hospital administrator at Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), and brief interim positions at Prestige Care in Anchorage and Cordova Community Medical Center in Cordova.
Rea graduated in 1991 with a bachelor of science in psychology from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, and in 2007 with a masters of business administration from Alaska Pacific University. He also is a licensed nursing home administrator with the State of Alaska and president of the Alaska Chapter of American College of Healthcare Executives. He has served on numerous regional and statewide boards, including Anchorage Project Access, Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association(ASHNHA) and Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center.
Rea dismissed from Wrangell Medical Center in June 2012 by members of the Wrangell Medical Center Board of Directors, who themselves had been recalled by voters in a special election the day before.
According to the Petersburg Pilot, six recalled members voted to terminate Rea’s contract.
Rea received more than $500,000 in severance pay, but the Wrangell Sentinel reported in a lawsuit settlement between Rea and the Wrangell Borough, Rea had to pay back $250,000.
Plans are underway to begin the search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer, according to the press release.
Reach Michael Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Armstrong’s sister, Helen Armstrong, is a member of the South Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board.