Greenwood Leflore Hospital is parting company with interim CEO Subho Basu after 10 months on the job.

In a specially called meeting Thursday, the hospital board voted unanimously to terminate Basu, effective immediately.

No reason was given for the termination. In a prepared statement, the board said that it “made this decision after thorough deliberation, guided by  what the Board believes is in the best long-term interest of our Community Hospital.”

Basu could not be immediately reached for comment.

Harris Powers Jr., chairman of the hospital board, said that Dawne Holmes, the hospital’s chief financial officer, will serve as interim CEO while the board conducts a search for a permanent chief executive.

Basu was hired in October 2018 to fill a position that had been vacant for seven months following the firing of Jim Jackson, a longtime administrator at the publicly owned hospital.

Basu is credited with helping to improve the hospital’s troubled finances, although it has continued to operate at a substantial loss.  For the first nine months of the current fiscal year, the losses have totaled $5.2 million, compared to almost $6.4 million for the same time period the year before.

Basu became acquainted with the Greenwood hospital while working for Vizient Inc., a Dallas-based consulting firm that was hired to help restore the hospital to profitability.

Although he initially lived in Greenwood, Basu later relocated to the Memphis area, from where he commuted.

The leadership of the hospital board at the time of Basu’s hire indicated that it was trying him out for the permanent position. That elevation never happened.

In the meantime, the composition of the board changed significantly, with the appointment of three new board members — Powers, Greenwood Fire Chief Marcus Banks and retired beer distributor Hank Hargrove.

At the time of Basu’s hire, it was reported by then hospital board Chairman Sammy Foster that Basu had been signed to a three-year contract with a clause allowing it to be terminated by either party on 60 days’ notice. The exact terms of the contract and Basu’s salary were never disclosed. It is unclear what if any severance package Basu will receive.

The search for a permanent CEO will be occurring at the same time that the hospital board, together with city and county officials, is weighing the direction in which to take the hospital.

A Portland, Maine-based consulting firm, Stroudwater Associates, is conducting an analysis to determine how the Greenwood hospital can best position itself for the future in response to the changing face of health care and what is shaping up to be a fourth straight year of multimillion-dollar losses.

Among the options being considered are selling or leasing the hospital, affiliating with a larger medical institution or continuing to operate as an independent entity.

Stroudwater is expected to make its recommendation in about three months.

The hospital board, in its statement Thursday, asked for the community’s understanding as it works through the management changes.

“Our Hospital is owned by the citizens of Greenwood and Leflore County,” the statement said. “We ask for your support and patience during this time of transition, as we work together to insure our hospital is successful for many years to come.”

Contact Tim Kalich at 581-7243 or tkalich@gwcommonwealth.com.

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