Bartlett Regional Hospital announced that two of three finalists for its chief executive officer position have withdrawn from consideration citing personal reasons. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

Bartlett Regional Hospital announced that two of three finalists for its chief executive officer position have withdrawn from consideration citing personal reasons. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

2 of 3 hospital CEO candidates drop out

Finalists withdraw a day before in-person interviews begin, BRH board considers next steps Saturday.

The leadership turmoil at Bartlett Regional Hospital continues to linger, as two of three candidates to be the new chief executive officer have withdrawn from consideration a day before in-person interviews and public meet-and-greets were scheduled.

Emily Dilley, CEO of Kearny County Hospital in Lakin, Kansas, and Matthew Heyn, president and CEO of Delta Health in Delta, Colorado, both withdrew “due to personal reasons,” a news release from Bartlett stated Thursday. The lone remaining candidate is Jeffery Hudson-Covolo, vice president for patient care services and chief nurse executive of Sierra View Medical Center in Porterville, California.

Erin Hardin, a Bartlett spokesperson, said she can’t disclose the specific reasons Dilley and Heyn withdrew, but it is not because they were put off by the leadership issues the hospital has faced the past couple of years.

“That is not the indication I’ve been given,” she said. “Both of these individuals have stated it’s because of individual family considerations.”

Attempts to reach Dilley and Heyn for comment Thursday were unsuccessful.

A public meet-and-greet with Dilley was scheduled Friday evening as part of her interview process, while a similar meeting with Heyn was scheduled Monday. The interview with Hudson-Covolo on Tuesday has been canceled as well while Bartlett’s leaders reevaluate their options.

A special meeting of Bartlett’s board of directors is scheduled at 9 a.m. Saturday to discuss the next steps in the search for a CEO, Hardin said. Among the options the board may consider is accepting the lone remaining candidate as the new CEO, considering three additional candidates who didn’t make the first cut of finalists after preliminary interviews, and extending the search to attract more applicants.

“That’s what the board is going to take up,” Hardin said. “They’re going to meet as a board and evaluate what those next steps are they’re going to take.”

While the meeting is listed as public and available via Zoom, discussion about the CEO search is likely to take place in closed executive session since it’s a personnel issue, Hardin said.

“While I am disappointed by this delay, ultimately, it is important that we take our time in order to find the best fit for our hospital,” Kenny Solomon-Gross, the board’s president, said in a prepared statement.

Both withdrawn candidates were seeking to move on after relatively short stints at their current positions. Dilley was appointed to her current job in September of 2021 and Heyn in April of 2020. Hudson-Covolo has been at his current job since January of 2014.

Bartlett has gone through several CEOs during the past couple of years, mostly acting CEOs filling in following the retirement of one permanent leader and the firing of another following an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate staff member. The hospital has also seen the departure of its chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief behavioral health officer.

Juneau Empire reporter Mark Sabbatini can be reached at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com

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