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The case of the missing hospital CEO solved!

imagesBack in the spring of 2008 times were tough for Franklin Regional Medical Center.

The community hospital, owned at the time by Florida-based Health Management Associates, was attempting to relocate away from the poor and elderly residents of Franklin County and closer to the relatively prosperous — and well-insured — patients of northern Wake County.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services was threatening the hospital’s funding after an investigation into the death of a 76-year-old patient. CMS said patients were in immediate jeopardy at the facility.

And even after the initial CMS warning, here’s what a second federal investigation found:

Patients were given anesthesia without proper oversight. There was no documentation that 37 different patient complaints over a three-month period had been addressed. Restraints were used improperly. The nursing staff was disorganized and did not always follow the orders of physicians. Medical records were a mess, and the building was in disrepair, according to the CMS review.

Not surprisingly, the CEO overseeing this disaster, Brian Gwyn, was promptly removed from his job and transferred by HMA to an “unspecified post” within the company. Hospital and company spokespersons refused to tell anyone where Gwyn landed.

One would assume that after presiding over the downfall of a hospital and endangering patients, Gwyn would never work in health care again, at least not in a position of authority. So it comes as quite a shock that Gwyn was recently hired by Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System.

Not only was Gwyn hired, he was hired to actually run a hospital. He is the new CEO of Cleveland Regional Medical Center in Shelby, North Carolina.

The press release didn’t mention Gwyn’s most recent CEO position. It only mentions that he has 15 years of experience including “leadership positions” in Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas.

It is unbelievable that Gwyn could get such a critical job with his history. Carolinas owes the people of Cleveland County an explanation. And hopefully the hospital system will keep a close watch to ensure that the quality of this important facility remains top notch.

2 Comments

  1. anonymous

    October 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    There is more to this story than you know. Brian Gwyn is an excellent leader and administrator that was brought in to turn FRMC around. However, he was blocked and hampered by HMA management at every step of the way. Prior to this incident, he terminated the Chief Nursing Officer and replaced her in his efforts to improve the facility. But before he could see those results, he was scapegoated by HMA and moved to another facility to help them save face. I am happy to see him with a quality organization like Carolinas Healthcare. He will be an valuable asset to his new facility and the people of Cleveland County.

  2. Adam L

    October 9, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    I hope you’re right, although Gwyn was at the hospital for awhile and the CMS investigation found serious systemic problems.