By Timothy Sweet
Following extensive consideration and discussion, the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital board of trustees voted this morning to terminate the employment of Joseph Woodin as president and CEO of the hospital. This difficult decision reflects what trustees have seen as a widening difference between the vision of the board and the ideas and leadership style of the hospital’s top executive regarding the right direction and path for the hospital. Indeed, our board has great respect and admiration for Mr. Woodin, for his passion about healthcare, and for what he has been able to accomplish in his yearlong tenure at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. We are truly grateful to him for helping to move this hospital forward.
At the same time, we recognize that a shared vision and a cohesive sense of where we are heading are critical if our hospital is to continue delivering the kind of outstanding care and services that those who live in, work on, or visit this Island expect and deserve. Ensuring the ongoing strength and viability of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is a responsibility entrusted to the board of trustees. Every one of us takes this obligation to heart. We remain committed to making sure that this hospital is the best it can be, now and into the future. Making difficult — sometimes unpopular — decisions is part of the role we have accepted.
We are fortunate that Tim Walsh, who so ably led Martha’s Vineyard Hospital for 16 years before retiring in May 2016, has agreed to step in as interim president, as we undertake a search for a permanent leader. Mr. Walsh’s ongoing involvement, deep knowledge, and love for this hospital will help us move through this period smoothly.
Finally, we recognize that the news about this leadership change may be concerning, unsettling, or even disappointing to members of our hospital family and people throughout our community who have witnessed so many positive changes at this hospital. We have made great progress in the past decade in building and opening a beautiful new facility, expanding our programs and services, and creating important collaborations with other hospitals and organizations. The support and trust of this community has helped make our hospital grow and thrive. We want this great momentum to continue. Our focus has been — and continues to be — on doing whatever it takes to meet our goals, serve our patients, and preserve Martha’s Vineyard Hospital as an outstanding healthcare resource.
Mr. Sweet is chairman of the board of trustees of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.