The Fayette County Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees has reached an agreement with Dr. John DesMarais to end his employment as the chief executive officer of the hospital, according to a news release.
Two board members, Oleta Milstead and Myron Priest, declined to comment Thursday on whether DesMarais has resigned or was fired from the job that he’s held full-time since Jan. 29 of this year. They also declined to comment on the reason DesMarais is no longer the CEO. The decision was made at Wednesday’s monthly board meeting.
DesMarais said Thursday that this was the board’s decision. “They indicated that they do not want to continue the status quo,” DesMarais told the Record-Herald. “They do not want to continue this relationship. The board has to make certain decisions about the language used in terminations and they have not decided if it is a resignation or a firing.”
When asked about the reason for his dismissal, DesMarais declined comment.
The news release said that DesMarais has “agreed to end his employment pending negotiations of the terms” of his three-year contract.
Two current FCMH employees will serve as interim co-managers of the hospital. Mike Senter, vice president of physician practices and EMS, will oversee all medical operations while Jane Bissell, the chief financial officer, will manage all business-related operations.
According to the news release, the trustees will immediately commence a nation-wide search in order to find the best possible CEO for FCMH.
“We fully understand that this is a difficult time for health care in the entire country and this adds additional pressure,” Milstead, the board chair, said in a released statement. “Now is the time for all of us to join together to continue to improve on our strengths to benefit the health care of our entire community.”
Before the board hired DesMarais as full-time CEO on Jan. 29, he served as interim CEO for four months after the trustees accepted a proposal from The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center to become affiliates. The former CEO, Lyndon Christman, had been with FCMH for approximately nine years thanks to the management agreement with Mount Carmel. When FCMH left Mount Carmel’s association and accepted OSU’s proposal, Christman was asked to step down form the position while FCMH fulfilled the end of his contract.
In May 2014, FCMH announced it was exploring possible consolidation opportunities with other non-profit, healthcare related organizations, which led to the OSU affiliation.
Before he was named interim CEO, DesMarais was named chief medical officer of FCMH in August 2010. His medical experience over his 26 years as an attending physician includes family practice, emergency medicine, residency teaching and administrative activities.