Luis' chief medical quality officer resigns
Published: August 17, 2012
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ST. CROIX - Dr. Robert Centeno has resigned as chief medical quality officer at Luis Hospital, effective Oct. 15.
Luis Hospital Chief Executive Officer Jeff Nelson mentioned Centeno's resignation on Monday during testimony at a Senate committee meeting, and the hospital released a statement about the resignation on Thursday.
As chief medical quality officer, Centeno was responsible for working with the hospital's information technology team to begin implementing a $6 million upgrade of the hospital's computer system.
Centeno also led a team that secured a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Interior Department to upgrade the hospital's information technology infrastructure and led the implementation of the hospital's "Healthy Access" initiative.
"Dr. Robert Centeno has been and will always be a valued member of the JFL team and medical staff. We are saddened to see him go as JFL wishes to recruit, and more importantly, retain our talented, qualified physicians and health care professionals," Nelson said in the statement.
Centeno described his resignation as "entirely a personal decision."
"My commitment to the strategic plan and vision for JFL reaching its audacious goal remains steadfast," Centeno said in the prepared statement. "It is my sincere hope that the legislative and executive branches will give JFL the financial support or latitude required to emerge from its current financial emergency."
The release also quoted Luis Hospital Board Chairwoman Kye Walker saying that Centeno's "commitment to the hospital and the community is remarkable," and wishing him well.
Nelson told senators Monday during a meeting of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Energy and Veterans Affairs that Centeno had announced his resignation and would be moving to Virginia.
Centeno held more than one position during his tenure at Luis.
A plastic surgeon who came to Luis Hospital as a staff physician in 2008, Centeno was named chief medical officer and vice-president for Medical Affairs in 2009.
During a Senate committee meeting in March, Centeno testified that he was no longer chief medical officer, although he said he would continue working for the hospital in a different position with the same salary.
At that time, Dr. Coleridge Franklin became the hospital's chief medical officer, and Centeno became the chief medical quality officer.
On Thursday, Luis Hospital spokeswoman Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel said that officials had not yet decided whether Centeno's chief medical quality officer position would be filled once he leaves.
The topic of the hospital having two medical officers came up during Senate testimony Monday.
Under questioning, Nelson said that Centeno and Franklin were making in excess of $200,000 each, but he said that Centeno was resigning.
On Thursday, Simmonds-Emmanuel said that Centeno's salary is $193,000. She said that number reflects the 8 percent cut on a $210,000 salary.
Centeno did not return a call to The Daily News on Thursday.