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Shake-up at public hospital

CEO leaves; management contractor may be next

Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
Kent Jorgensen
Don Beswick

MORRISON – Morrison Community Hospital's CEO is gone, and its longtime management company may well be out the door, officials said Monday.

In recent days, Kent Jorgensen, CEO since June 2011, left his position, replaced by interim CEO Pam Pfister.

On Wednesday, the hospital's board of directors will consider whether to keep Mercy Medical Center in Clinton as its management contractor, a role Mercy has played for more than 2 decades.

Mercy's current contract ends June 30, the end of the hospital's fiscal year.

"We don't wish to extend the contract," said Don Beswick, the board's chairman.

He declined to discuss the reasons, saying such information may come out at Wednesday's board meeting.

Traditionally, Mercy has employed the hospital's CEO, who works with the board of directors, as was the case with Jorgensen.

Pfister, formerly the hospital's associate administrator, is an MCH employee, Beswick said.

A news release on Jorgensen's appointment as CEO in 2011 has been deleted from the hospital's website.

According to the release, obtained from another website, Jorgensen had more than 30 years of experience in health care administration. He served Mercy Medical Center in Clinton as the vice president of aging services for 21 years and, before that, as administrator for Colonial Manor in various places in Iowa.

Members of MCH's board of directors are appointed by the Whiteside County Board. Under Illinois law, it is a hospital district.

Mercy spokeswoman Julie Dunn declined to explain Jorgensen's status with Mercy.

"Over the coming weeks, we will continue to work with Morrison Community Hospital to ensure a smooth transition," she said in a statement. "We have enjoyed our working relationship and wish them well in their future endeavors."

Mercy is a nonprofit hospital.

To attend

Morrison Community Hospital's board of directors meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the second-floor conference room at the hospital, 303 N. Jackson St.

The board is expected to consider whether to continue its longtime management contract with Mercy Medical Center in Clinton.

Call 815-772-4003 for more information.

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