Arkansas Children’s Hospital has announced to staff the retirement of three top officers — positions that the hospital will not fill — and the elimination of two positions now filled.

President and CEO Marcy Doderer announced the hospital “restructuring” in an email Jan. 15 to all employees of ACH and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, which is the employer of Children’s medical staff. Retiring are Tom Bonner, senior vice president for public affairs; Jeannette Perdue, vice president of operations; and Scott Gordon, executive vice president. Vice president for patient care services Sandy Taylor and vice president for medical administration, safety and improvement Debby Keene have lost their jobs through the elimination of their positions.


In response to questions from the Times about whether there were other layoffs and whether ACH had financial reasons for the changes, spokesman Dan McFadden provided this statement, reprinted here verbatim:

“President and CEO Marcy Doderer just passed her six-month anniversary here at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. As with any organization under new leadership, some organizational restructuring is to be expected. There are no layoffs, just five positions that are being eliminated three from retirement options, and several reporting relationships have been realigned to best meet the needs to serve our patients and families.” 

Seems to me that when two people lose their jobs because their positions have been eliminated they’ve been laid off. McFadden did not reply to that observation, saying the hospital would have no further comment. (Children’s receives more than $1 million in taxpayer dollars from the state and county, but apparently feels no obligation to the public to share the reasons for its restructuring, though they could shed light on circumstances beyond the hospital’s control relating to public policy.)


The hospital also eliminated another position by combining the chief quality officer and chief medical officer jobs. Dr. Jay Deshpande, chief quality officer, will now also be chief medical officer. The former medical officer, Dr. Robert Morrow, has left ACH to become executive vice president and chief clinical officer at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, the Dallas hospital announced last week.

Doderer also announced the creation of a new position, chief strategy officer “to lead the strategic planning and business development functions for ACH.” The hospital will recruit for the position soon.


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