Luis, Schneider hospitals name interim chief financial officers


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ST. CROIX - The territory's hospitals named new chief financial officers on Friday - albeit in an interim capacity.

Nellon Bowry is interim CFO at Luis Hospital and intends to remain in an interim capacity while he helps in selecting a permanent CFO. Fred Vitello has been selected as interim CFO at Schneider Regional Medical Center, but his selection as permanent CFO is expected to go before the Schneider Regional board later this month.

Both men were introduced at a territorial hospital board meeting on Friday at Schneider Regional on St. Thomas.

Vitello is from Philadelphia and has extensive experience in health care financing, according to Schneider Regional Chief Executive Officer Bernard Wheatley.

Vitello was one of the candidates presented by a search firm and scored high when he went through an interview process with the Schneider board's Finance Committee and the hospital's executive team, Wheatley said. Vitello is a certified public accountant and holds a master's of business administration degree, according to Wheatley.

Vitello started at the hospital on Nov. 18 as a consultant.

Wheatley said he believes Vitello has the experience and the leadership skills that the hospital needs.

Vitello's contract as a consultant calls for him to receive $850 per day worked at the hospital, plus expenses to include meals, housing and some travel, Wheatley said. Vitello does not get paid for working on days he is traveling, according to Wheatley.

He will go before the Schneider Regional board, likely later this month, for their approval as permanent CFO, Wheatley said.

If Vitello becomes the permanent CFO, the contract will be different and the expenses will no longer be part of it, Wheatley said, adding that details on that have not yet been worked out.

Eugene Welch, who had been interim CFO at Schneider since 2008, left the post on Dec. 2, Wheatley said.

Bowry has had a long career in finance in the territory and had been Luis Hospital's chief financial officer previously, several years ago, before he went to work as the V.I. Water and Power Authority's chief financial officer.

After Bowry retired from WAPA, he took a position as interim CFO at the V.I. Port Authority, where he helped the agency transition and recruit and hire a new CFO.

Bowry came back to the hospital as interim CFO on Dec. 16. The territorial hospital board on Friday approved Bowry as interim CFO, acting on the matter because Luis Hospital only has two board members and lacks a quorum to conduct business.

A contract that the territorial hospital board provided to The Daily News between Bowry, doing business as Southgate Consulting Group, and Luis Hospital indicates he is to receive $1,250 on the first and 15th of each month to be interim CFO. He is also to receive expenses for travel authorized by the hospital chief executive officer between islands or outside the territory.

The contract term is from Dec. 16 through March 31, although it can be extended. The contract did not say how much time Bowry is to work per week.

Messages seeking more information about the contract from territorial hospital board chairwoman Lynn Millin-Maduro and Luis Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kendall Griffith were not returned Friday night.

The Daily News was unable to reach Bowry on Friday night.

- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email jblackburn@dailynews.vi.

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