After six years as president and CEO of Bayonne Medical Center, Robert Evans will be moving onto to a position with a larger medical network. Although the move comes at a critical time for the Bayonne Medical Center, which is involved in the purchase of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bayonne, officials said the change will have no impact on future plans.
Evans, 45, is slated to leave at the end of the year, with reports suggesting that he will serve as a chief operating officer at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark.
BMC Board Chairman Herman Brockman also announced that Brightworks Management will be assuming Evans’ duties as of Jan. 1, 2007 until a replacement can be found for Evans.
Brightworks came on with BMC about six years ago, serving as a consultant in the restructuring of its finances.
Dan Riina, a Brightworks partner, has worked with the BMC Board during the past six years and is also very involved with transition planning regarding the hospital’s new partnership with St Vincent’s Staten Island.
Brockman said that the Board will conduct a professional and comprehensive search for a permanent CEO over the next few months.
“The Board of Trustees and our hospital family appreciate the hard work and dedication that Rob Evans has brought to Bayonne Medical Center for the past six years,” said Brockman. “Rob is part of a leadership team that has made this hospital fiscally strong, expanded patient services and made our new partnership in Staten Island a reality. We wish Rob great success in his future endeavors.”
Brockman said that the entire senior staff, including Chief Operating Officer Marvin Apsel, will retain their positions at BMC. “We have an excellent management team of highly skilled individuals who are very committed to this hospital and our new partnership in Staten Island. They have the complete confidence of our Board members.”
Brockman added that the Board is very familiar with Riina and very impressed with his firm’s work. “Dan is a highly accomplished health care executive and management consultant who is knowledgeable of both Bayonne Medical Center and our new sister hospital in Staten Island. Six years ago, Dan was one of the people most responsible for putting our hospital finances on solid ground.”
Brockman said Riina will work with the Board and senior management team to provide a smooth transition after Evans leaves at the end of the year.
“This is bittersweet”, said Evans. “While I am excited by the opportunity of leading a health system and broadening my professional experience, it was a difficult decision to leave behind the many friends I made while at Bayonne.”
In the six years he was president, Evans and the board of trustees brought a number of initiatives to fruition. Some of these included building a new emergency room, creating a vascular center of excellence, bringing life saving primary angioplasty for heart attack patients and elective angioplasty to those with blocked coronary arteries. Asked what he felt was his greatest accomplishment, Evans stated that, “working relentlessly together with Mr. Brockman to help bring primary angioplasty to Bayonne, because it is a literal life saver to those in need.”
“Rob Evans was relatively young when he first came here – but dedicated, about public health and serving the community,” Brockman said. “While we are sad to see him go, you know that when you hire very good people, one day they will inevitably move on.”
“I was fortunate to have been given this opportunity six years ago, and to have the support and guidance of an outstanding, talented and selfless board of trustees,” said Evans. I am confident that Bayonne Medical Center will continue its march to success.”
“Mr. Evans is highly regarded in the healthcare industry,” said Paul Swibinski, a spokesperson for BMC center. “Everybody here is sad to see him leave, but he received an opportunity he could not pass up.”
Hospital officials said Evans was recruited by the Cathedral Healthcare System, which oversees St. Michael’s Medical Center, and will not have a negative impact on future plans, refuting claims that he was “pushed out” as part of an administrative shakeup.
Swibinski said the recruitment was testimony to the positive impact Evans had on BMC over the last six years.
“The healthcare industry is very competitive and here we have a CEO of a small hospital being recruited by a larger medical organization. This is part of the business cycle and something you will have to expect. I’m certain that just as the board did a good job conducting search six years ago, they will repeat the same process and come up with a very qualified person to become CEO.”
Although the move comes at a time when BMC is purchasing St. Vincent’s Hospital in Staten Island, officials say Evan’s leaving will have no impact on the purchase since it is largely overseen by the BMC board of trustees.
The sale, which recently got a critical approval is waiting for final approval by the New York Department of Health.
Critics of the purchase claim BMC has cut back services in Bayonne in order to improve its financial attractiveness for the sale, a statement hospital officials refute, saying the cutbacks in some areas of the hospital were completely divorced from the sale and were conducted to cut costs and operate efficiently.
“These changes made by the management of the Medical Center put the hospital on firm ground,” Swibinski said. “And no money from Bayonne Medical Center has been used for the purchase of St. Vincent’s.”
Some of the changes such as the closing of birthing services are temporary with the medical center hoping to reopen that department in the first quarter of 2007. Many changes were the result of changes in the medical services industry, with BMC shifting focus to services not provided by other local providers. Last month, the hospital opened the Women’s Center, and is expected to shortly open a new Wound Care Center and is expected to break ground early next year on the construction of a nursing home facility.