NCH medical staff vote to remove CEO and COS

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Sign claims the biggest medical groups in SWFL are denying patients the right to choose their own physician. Photo via WINK News.
Sign claims the biggest medical groups in SWFL are denying patients the right to choose their own physician. Photo via WINK News.

Medical staff are calling for removal of two executives at Naples Community Hospital.

An emergency meeting was held at NCH Thursday night with a unanimous no-confidence vote by medical staff, who are calling for the removal of CEO Allen Weiss and Chief of Staff Kevin Cooper.

“It’s really touched the emotional aspect of medicine you don’t really see a lot,” said Thomas Parent, NCH chairman of surgery.

It’s the latest development in an ongoing controversy over new patient policy that could limit choices for medical care. The two executives at the hospital are seen as architects of the proposed policy many at the hospital and in the community do not agree with.

The issue continues to focus on patient fear of not being able to have a primary care doctor provide care for patients in the hospital, rather only being able to get care from NCH staff.

“We’re really talking about access both for physicians and for patients,” Parent said.

Parent is one of many doctors who are rallying to get a message across to the NCH board of trustees.

“We really feel like we’ve just lost our voice in the medical community,” Parent said.

Urologist William Figlesthaler sees it as a change in hierarchy that Weiss and Cooper are trying to implement.

“I think that there is an attempt to vertically integrate the entire hospital and all the specialties,” Figlesthaler said.

Parent disagrees with the policy, which takes away patients from their doctors and only allows NCH doctors to provide care for all patients admitted at the hospital.

“They’ve had relationships with these patients for years,” Parent said. “And then to think that you could justifiably turn over that care when the patient is hospitalized to somebody that you probably don’t have much of a relationship with, and that person doesn’t have a relationship with is going to be hard.”

The board of trustees is the only group that has the power to change the policy. That’s why the medical staff is looking to make changes on the board first.

So, even though medical staff at NCH voted to remove Cooper and Weiss from their positions, it’s not clear if the board will listen to staff members.

WINK News asked the board for response at the meeting and did not receive comment.

“I think the vision of the people on top of the admin is a little different of that in the community,” Figlesthaler said.

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