- Associated Press - Thursday, January 22, 2015

SITKA, Alaska (AP) - An interim CEO has begun working at financially troubled Sitka Community Hospital to fill in for the former CEO, who recently resigned abruptly.

Rob Allen arrived last week from Deerfield, Massachusetts, where he has been living. Allen was raised in Sitka and makes several trips a year to the southeast Alaska town.

Allen’s appointment follows the Jan. 2 resignation of CEO Jeff Comer, who left town Jan. 4 and returned to his home in Phoenix.

Allen began his new stint last Friday after signing a three-month contract. Under the contract, he will be paid $12,500 a month, plus $75 a week for meals.

He said he can serve until April, when his Sitka boat tour business begins for the visitor season, the Daily Sitka Sentinel (https://is.gd/qSyE46 ) reported.



The Sitka Assembly voted in December to extend a line of credit to the hospital from $500,000 to $1.5 million. The hospital reported a $2.2 million loss over 1 ½ years.

Allen is working toward getting the hospital back to a more solid financial standing. He said finding a permanent CEO also is high on the priority list.

Allen said Comer left behind some good ideas.

“I think he got out in front of staff, and the community,” Allen said. “He didn’t build the support he needed to make those changes. It’s on the list of things to evaluate: what makes sense and what doesn’t.”

The hospital also needs a strategic plan for its future, according to Allen.

As for his temporary position, Allen said he has been welcomed by hospital staff members. He said it’s nice to be in Sitka.

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Information from: Daily Sitka (Alaska) Sentinel, https://www.sitkasentinel.com/

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