Two Luis Hospital vice presidents resign
Published: August 13, 2013
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ST. CROIX - The shake-up at the top at Luis Hospital continued last week, as two executive vice-presidents resigned.
Venne Williams, vice-president of Ancillary Services, and Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel, vice-president of Marketing and Materials Management, have resigned their posts.
Luis Hospital Interim Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kendall Griffith said that Williams and Simmonds-Emmanuel chose to leave their positions at Luis of their own volition to pursue other opportunities.
Williams' last day at the hospital was Friday, according to Griffith.
Simmonds-Emmanuel said her last day at the hospital will be Thursday.
The resignations come after a month of drama at the hospital, which started with Griffith's July 9 resignation, the intervention of senators and the hospital board's reinstatement of Griffith the following week as its last act before two board members resigned.
Those board resignations came as members of the 30th Legislature mounted political pressure and petitioned for a special session to abolish the board, reinstate Griffith and provide the hospital with a cash infusion.
Ultimately, though, board chairwoman Kye Walker stepped down, then she and board member Imelda Dizon resigned, leaving the Luis Hospital board without enough members to conduct business.
Senators then called off the special session and have yet to appropriate any additional funding for the cash-strapped hospital.
Two weeks ago, Griffith fired vice-president of Facilities Management Peter Abrahams, saying that the position had been eliminated.
Griffith suggested at that point that there might be further reductions in the hospital's executive team.
However, Griffith said on Monday that he did not request either one of the most recent resignations.
However, Griffith does not intend to fill either position, he said.
"My intention is to decrease the executive team and to disseminate responsibilities among the remaining VPs," he said. Griffith said he thinks the middle managers will be able to support the vice-presidents.
"Becoming smaller makes us more efficient," he said.
As vice-president for Ancillary Services, Williams, who has a doctorate in physical therapy, was responsible for departments that included pharmacy, radiology, laboratory, dietary, respiratory therapy and physical therapy, according to Griffith.
As vice-president of Marketing and Materials Management, Simmonds-Emmanuel handled publicity, community outreach and a variety of other duties for the hospital, as well as overseeing materials management.
Simmonds-Emmanuel said she plans to leave the island.
"The decision is a personal and professional decision. There are opportunities for me to grow elsewhere, so I've chosen to take advantage of those opportunities," she said. She declined to be more specific.
The Daily News was unable to reach Williams.
Griffith spoke well of Simmonds-Emmanuel and Williams, saying he would be sad to see them go "because they were quite capable" and said that he wishes them well.
He said he did not see the most-recent resignations as a reflection on his leadership.
"Changes have to occur," he said. "We need change. We can not do the same thing the same way and expect a different result."
- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.