To the Editor:
As I read the editorial (June 15, “A question of credibility”) and the scathing letters in the Martha’s Vineyard Times about the dismissal of hospital CEO Joe Woodin, I was dismayed at the witch-hunt tone of many of them. We Vineyarders love a cause and plunge in to help those we perceive to be in need; that is one of our community’s many virtues. In this case, we are hearing only one side of the story, and we may be plunging in too soon. I feel it is long past time to hear something in support of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH) board of directors (BOD). The BOD consists of 17 intelligent men and women who dedicate many thankless hours without pay to the hospital. I have not always agreed with their decisions, but I have always respected them for the work they do, and know that they have never done anything to merit the derisive censure they have recently received.
I have worked at the hospital for 30 years, and have witnessed several people let go, for various reasons. Administration has never once released information as to why that person was fired. They kept silent because they are protecting the employee; it is not their job to destroy reputations. And in spite of The MV Times editorial last week, it is not my right to “demand to know” what that person did and expose their humiliation.
Historically it has been the practice to privately and discreetly offer an employee at the CEO level an opportunity to leave gracefully by signing a mutual agreement of resignation. Only Mr. Woodin knows why he chose not to sign. I applaud the board’s integrity for keeping silent during this onslaught of criticism when it would be so much easier and in their best interests to give us the reasons, but it wouldn’t be the right thing to do. The decision to terminate Mr. Woodin’s contract must not have been an easy one for the board to make. The editorial questions why it took more than a few minutes for the BOD to make its decision, implying some devious subterfuge, when instead it demonstrates that they explored the alternatives and acted with deliberation and reflection.
Finally, I have heard people saying that what they are reading and hearing must be true, because everyone is saying it. Over the years I have heard many, many stories that we all thought were true, but when you trace the source of the rumors and innuendo, the truth was far from the gossip. Remembering the game Telephone makes me wonder about how this all started and where all the drama, finger-pointing, and toxic outrage is coming from. This witch-hunt is destructive and divisive to the hospital and our Island community, and it is time to move on and celebrate that we still have a hospital and exceptional employees still serving our community.
This is my personal opinion, and not the opinion of MVH.