OSKALOOSA — Kevin DeRonde has been reinstated as CEO of the Mahaska Health Partnership.
DeRonde had resigned on Oct. 7, as the board was preparing to have a closed session review during a special meeting. The board appointed CFO Gene Williamson as the interim CEO, but didn't disclose the reasons behind the decision.
On Friday, after three hospital trustees resigned and at least 105 hospital staffers signed a petition supporting DeRonde, the board voted to reinstate him as CEO. A start date is to be determined.
Board president David Langkamp said in a statement that the hospital has experienced "dramatic financial and clinical turnarounds with a patient-centered focus."
He continued, "We have one of the most diverse medical teams for a critical-access hospital in Iowa. Mahaska Health ended the fiscal year 2021 with a profit, enabling us to continue working with Mahaska Health partners, employees and the community, ensuring a solid and stable future with continued growth and advanced care in the region."
Langkamp’s announcement of the news to hospital employees and community members was met with applause and cheers.
"Together, at Mahaska Health, we would like to express our full support for the board's reconsideration of reappointment of Kevin DeRonde as CEO for Mahaska Health," read the top of the petition supporting DeRonde that had been circulated.
Hospital trustees Amy McGriff, James Hansen and Margaret Ratcliff announced their own resignations via email Oct. 14. All three resignations were emailed to board members and the media at 5:14 p.m. Thursday. The rest of the board accepted their resignations at Friday's meeting.
In their letters, they defended their decision to accept DeRonde's resignation last week.
“Our decision to accept the CEO’s resignation was based on information reflecting a trend that is not in the best interest or the long-term viability of MHP,” Ratcliff said in her letter of resignation.
The three letters all carried similar tones, and at times contained text that was verbatim.
Each letter ended with three requests to board members: to be good and responsible stewards of tax dollars; to protect the hospital from litigation in matters in which responsibility is on the board and to take the advice of attorneys; and to bear in mind that Mahaska Health Partnership is an Equal Opportunity Employer for all, regardless of age, gender, race or religion.
The county hospital, which receives taxpayer funding, has not yet responded to the Herald's public records requests for more information relating to DeRonde's resignation on Oct. 7.