Bartlett Regional Hospital leadership shakeup continues

An earlier version of this article stated that newly appointed Chief Clinical Officer Kim McDowell is pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing degree. The report was based on McDowell’s online profile that appeared on the BRH website. On Friday, the Empire learned that she has completed the Master’s degree, and the hospital’s website — and this article— have been updated accordingly.

After a tumultuous few months full of management resignations, Bartlett Regional Hospital officials announced a new leadership structure, named an interim chief financial officer and announced a timeline to find a permanent CEO in a Wednesday afternoon news release.

According to the release, under the new leadership structure, all clinical services fall under the direction of the reestablished chief clinical officer position.

In a Thursday morning call with the Empire, Erin Hardin, director of community relations at BRH, said the structure is similar to one the hospital used in the past. She said that staff members have already transitioned to the new structure.

Long-time BRH employee Kim McDowell has been named the chief clinical officer, Hardin confirmed to the Empire.

In addition, she said that Vlad Toca has left the chief operating officer position and is no longer employed by the hospital.

“Our interim CEO came in and has done an evaluation and determined it made sense to go back to the prior, streamlined organization,” Hardin said.

She said this operating structure is typical for hospitals.

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About McDowell

According to the hospital, McDowell joined BRH in 2015 and was the emergency department director before assuming the role of chief nursing officer in 2021.

According to her online profile, McDowell worked as an emergency department nurse, a charge nurse and a clinical supervisor in a 65-bed unit before joining the staff at BRH.

She holds an Associate of Applied Science in nursing from Central New Mexico Community College and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from New Mexico Highlands University. She completed the Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nursing Administration program at the University of Phoenix.

Courtesy photo/Bartlett Regional Hospital Kim McDowell has been named the Chief Clinical Officer at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Courtesy photo/Bartlett Regional Hospital
Kim McDowell has been named the Chief Clinical Officer at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

New Interim CFO

On Wednesday, hospital officials announced that Robert “Bob” Tyk will be joining Bartlett at the end of February to assume the Interim CFO position.

According to the hospital, Tyk was selected through an interim leadership company and brings more than 30 of experience serving as a health care CFO or CEO.

According to the LinkedIn Profile, he was most recently affiliated with the Skaggs Community Health Center in Branson, Missouri.

Courtesy photo/Bartlett Regional Hospital Robert “Bob” Tyk was named interim CFO at BRH this week. He will begin work in late February.

Courtesy photo/Bartlett Regional Hospital
Robert “Bob” Tyk was named interim CFO at BRH this week. He will begin work in late February.

Current CFO Kevin Benson resigned as the hospital’s chief financial officer earlier this month. Friday is his last day on the job. His departure marked the third high-profile resignation at the hospital since September.

Early last year, Benson served as interim CEO while hospital officials conducted a search to replace CEO Chuck Bill, who retired.

After a nationwide search, longtime BRH employee Rose Lawhorne was appointed CEO in April.

In September, Lawhorne abruptly resigned from the top job after just six months in the post.

At the time of her resignation, City and Borough of Juneau City Manager, Rorie Watt, said Lawhorne resigned amid news of an inappropriate personal relationship with a subordinate staff member, which violates city policy.

Download/BRH website Kevin Benson, chief financial officer at Bartlett Regional Hospital, is leaving his post later this week. Robert “Bob” Tyk was named as interim CFO this week.

Download/BRH website
Kevin Benson, chief financial officer at Bartlett Regional Hospital, is leaving his post later this week. Robert “Bob” Tyk was named as interim CFO this week.

A few days later, hospital officials announced the resignation of chief behavioral health officer Bradley Grigg. KTOO previously reported that Grigg’s departure is part of an active criminal investigation.

Earlier this month, Amanda Black, interim director of marketing and strategy at the hospital, declined to comment on the report.

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“As for the request for information on Mr. Grigg, BRH has no comment,” Black wrote in an email to the Empire in early January.

In late October, Jerel Humphrey stepped into the top job at Bartlett. He’s the fourth chief executive officer — and the third person to hold the position on an interim basis since January 2021.

Humphrey replaced Kathy Callahan, who came out of retirement to temporarily serve as interim CEO after Lawhorne’s resignation.

In Wednesday’s news release, the Board of Directors said that a formal process to replace Humphrey with a permanent CEO is underway.

According to the news release, the board anticipates reviewing the final pool of candidates in late spring. Finalists will be invited to Juneau to visit the hospital and conduct their final interview.

Despite the turmoil, Hardin said that staff morale is steady.

“It’s an amazing team at Bartlett,” Hardin said. “It’s been a long pandemic, and that is reflected across the community. But, the staff is resilient. They do an amazing job.”

Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at dana.zigmund@juneauempire.com or 907-308-4891.

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