Former Tennessee hospital CEO says he was asked to quit after participating in surgery

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Greg Neal told the Bristol Herald Courier he was asked to resign as CEO of Bristol Regional Medical Center (Tenn.) after attending surgery without a medical license.

Mr. Neal resigned from the post on August 20. He had been CEO of Bristol Regional since 2013 and President of the North East Market of Ballad Health, based in Johnson City, Tenn. since 2018.

Mr. Neal addressed his departure in an email to Mail in which he said Ballad Health asked him to step down after his involvement in surgery.

“I accepted their request and I think it was the right thing to do. After serving for almost 30 years, I think I owe an explanation to the team at Ballad Health, Bristol Regional Medical Center and to our community, ”he wrote.

Mr Neal told the newspaper that a surgeon had recently invited him into an operating room to observe a surgical case and support the surgical team. He accepted the invitation.

“At the start of the case, the surgeon asked me if I wanted to make the initial incision for this surgery. I regret that I did,” Mr. Neal wrote.

“Most importantly, I apologize to the patient and his family. I apologize to the Ballad Health team members and the management at Ballad Health,” he said.

Mr Neal went on to say that the patient was not injured, but his involvement violated Ballad Health policy and he accepts responsibility.

Ballad Health first learned of the incident after a team member used the healthcare system’s compliance process to report the issue, according to a statement from the healthcare system. Once the issue was reported, Ballad Health said it immediately opened an investigation, which ended with the CEO being replaced. Ballad Health has appointed Chad Couch, MD, CMO of Bristol Regional as interim CEO. The doctor involved in the surgery is also no longer working in the hospital.

“By accepting responsibility for his actions and the responsibility that comes with being a top leader, Greg has demonstrated the integrity that is why he was such a successful CEO,” said Ballad Health. “We are grateful for his years of service and for recognizing the importance of our code of conduct. When it comes to a patient safety environment, there can be no exceptions whether you are chair of the board or new to the team. Our policies are serious. We all wish Greg success in his evolution. “

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About Nereida Nystrom

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