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Doctors all vote no-confidence in hospital leader

Chief of staff: CEO’s choicesaffecting care, staff morale by CAITLAN BUTLER EL DORADO NEWS TIMES | June 6, 2021 at 2:47 a.m.

EL DORADO -- The general medical staff at the Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado issued a no confidence vote in the hospital's leadership Friday night, Dr. Ezinne Nwude, chief of staff, confirmed Saturday.

"These doctors, who have dedicated years of practice in this community to take care of the health of this community, have come together to say enough is enough and have made a unanimous vote of no confidence," she said.

The hospital is owned by Community Health Systems Inc. (CHS), a publicly traded company that owns, operates or leases about 84 hospitals across 16 states, according to its website.

Other hospitals in Arkansas owned by CHS include the Northwest Health Physicians' Specialty Hospital in Fayetteville; the Willow Creek Women's Hospital in Johnson; Northwest Medical Center-Springdale; Siloam Springs Regional Hospital; and Northwest Medical Center-Bentonville.

The El Dorado hospital is led by CEO Scott Street, who was named to the position in 2017. Originally from Cherokee Village, Street has held administrative roles at several other hospitals in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Before taking the El Dorado position, he was CEO at Nacogdoches Memorial Health in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Nwude said the vote of no confidence specifically referred to Street's leadership.

"This is the first leadership that the general medical staff of this hospital have had enough concern about their practices and policies that they decided to come together and speak up and make this unanimous vote," she said.

Nwude declined Saturday afternoon to specify the problems, but said the quality of care is being affected, as is staff morale.

She said news of the vote has been passed along to the medical center's board of trustees. Board chairman Rob Robinson couldn't be reached Saturday afternoon.

"The board of trustees of the hospital is well aware of this vote. We wrote a letter to them telling them about this vote of no confidence and listed the reasons why" she said.

Nwude said CHS has also been informed of the vote, and the hospital staff is waiting to hear from company representatives.

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