Updated April 22
Joe Woodin, the former Martha’s Vineyard Hospital CEO, resigned from his position as CEO of South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska, on Tuesday, he confirmed with The Times.
According to a hospital press release, Woodin resigned due to “unanticipated circumstances that prevent him from remaining in the position.”
In a telephone interview with The Times Monday, Woodin said the situation is completely different from his departure from the Island hospital. South Peninsula had been losing money, and Woodin said he helped it turn a profit for the second year in a row. “They’re doing a big turnaround,” he said.
He leaves the Alaska hospital with a signed settlement and a recommendation from the hospital’s board of directors. Woodin told The Times he is looking to move back to the Northeast.
“I’m happy, and they’re in great shape,” he said.
Woodin lasted a little more than a year at the Alaska hospital, and unlike Martha’s Vineyard, where he had purchased a home, he was renting in Alaska: “I was never planning on staying here for life. It’s too far away.”
David Groesbeck, the president of the South Peninsula Hospital board, told The Times the parting was amicable. “Joe was here for a little over a year. When we brought him on board, we brought him in as a change agent. That’s an exhausting undertaking,” Groesbeck said. Woodin helped the hospital get into healthier financial shape, he said. “Our finances were troubling at best. Joe is a high-energy individual who was able to bring our finances so that we are solvent. At the same time, he undertook a number of other initiatives.”
Woodin, who was fired as CEO of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in June 2017, reached a settlement with the Island hospital in September.
Woodin had filed for arbitration, claiming wrongful termination. In March, in court filings in Dukes County Superior Court, hospital attorneys claimed Woodin was in default on a $250,000 promissory note he signed with the hospital.
Woodin’s departure from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital prompted community groups to begin asking questions about the Island hospital’s transparency.
In January 2018, Denise Schepici, a longtime seasonal visitor of the Island, took the reins of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital after a search that included the use of a private consultant.
Woodin said he leaves Alaska on different terms than he did when he departed the Vineyard. He said he plans to do some exploring in Alaska, and would particularly like to visit Barrow, the northernmost city in the country.
Woodin says he’s already been approached by recruiters, and will likely continue to work in hospital administration. “I’ve learned a lot,” he said.
Prior to his experience on the Vineyard, Woodin was a hospital administrator at Gifford Hospital in Vermont for 16 years.
Groesbeck, who at one time lived on Cape Cod, said he understands why Woodin would want to head east. Alaska is not for everyone.
“It takes forever to get here. My wife and I joke that no matter how we do it, it takes 20 hours to get back,” he said. “It’s a different pace in Alaska.”
Editor George Brennan contributed to this report. Updated with comments from Woodin and the hospital’s board president.