Scott Thompson is set to return to Russell County Hospital, effective May 1.
The Russell County Hospital Board announced at its meeting Friday, March 25 that Thompson, who previously served as interim and then full-time CEO at the institution in 2018 and 2019, will replace retiring CEO Pat Branco, who announced his retirement earlier this month.
The board announced at a special-called meeting earlier this week, one of more than a half-dozen hospital board meetings held during March, that it would extend Thompson a contract offer. The meetings were mostly special-called, and mostly held in executive session, out of the public eye, because personnel matters were being discussed.
In other business at the meeting, the board approved two measures aimed at retaining and incentivizing nurses. The incentives include moving overtime ER nursing shifts from time-and-a-half pay to triple pay (only for the duration of the current six-week scheduling period) as well as a $2,000 bonus at the end of 13 weeks, up to June 30.
Chief Nursing Officer Judy Withers recommended the incentives. Withers actually proposed a $4 per hour raise in lieu of the bonus, but the board elected to go the bonus route because it would leave more flexibility for the new CEO’s vision and strategies.
Withers said that without additional nursing incentives, she would continue to lose staff.
“I’ll just be honest, if we don’t do something, I’m losing more nurses, and I’m losing more OR techs,” Withers said.