Elliott removed as CEO of Rowan Regional

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin
kchaffin@salisburypost.com Novant Health officials announced Tuesday that Chuck Elliott has been relieved of his duties as chief executive officer of Rowan Regional Medical Center effective immediately.
“Chuck didn’t do anything wrong,” said Kati Everett, vice president of public relations and marketing for Novant’s Presbyterian Healthcare. “Really, the organization felt that the change was necessary to allow Rowan Regional to move in the right direction in the future.”
Elliott has been replaced by Jeff Lindsay, president of Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville, a Novant facility. “He will oversee both hospitals, but will spend the majority of his time at Rowan Regional Medical Center,” Everett said.
The decision to remove Elliott as chief executive officer was recommended by Novant officials and approved by the Rowan Regional Medical Center Board of Directors prior to Tuesday, she said.
Rowan Regional’s leadership team was notified of the change in leadership in an 11:30 a.m. meeting Tuesday, after which they began to informally notify staff. All Rowan Regional employees were informed in an official memo sent out via e-mail at 3 p.m.
Lindsay was at the medical center Tuesday talking with staff and will be holding employee forums beginning today. He spoke on behalf of Novant Health at many of the public meetings on the Novant and Rowan Regional certificate of need application for a new community hospital in southern Rowan.
Officers and members of the Rowan Regional board of directors released a statement saying they preferred not to speak to the press “out of respect to Chuck.”
Attempts to reach Elliott for comment were unsuccessful.
He was hired in March 2002 as the chief executive officer of Rowan Regional. Elliott worked previously as group vice president in North Carolina for Quorum Health Resources, supervising the operations of nine hospitals Quorum manages in this state.
Rowan Regional announced its decision to merge with Novant Health in August 2007 after five months of negotiations with Novant and Carolinas Health Care System.
As part of the merger agreement, Novant was given ownership of Rowan Regional in return for investing $250 million in capital improvements over five years, expanding services and paying the hospital’s debt.
Rowan Regional officials would not say how much the debt was, but the amount included debt on the $55 million expansion and renovation program the medical center had just completed. Hospital supporters had collected more than $20 million in donations for the project.