Boca Hospital CEO Fedele Agrees To Postpone Retirement

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As Jerry Fedele preps for another year on site, BRRH names new COO

By: Dale King Contributing Writer

Boca Raton Regional Hospital President and CEO Jerry Fedele, who had already announced plans to retire in August, just shy of 10 years at the helm of the medical facility on Meadows Road, has agreed to stay on for another year, according to Thomas Chakurda, vice president of marketing for the hospital.

“The board believes it would be highly beneficial for Jerry to be in place during the transition to a strategic partner,” he said. As a result, he agreed to postpone his departure until August of 2019.

Last June, the hospital established a steering committee to locate a partner to “elevate and accelerate its position as the pre-eminent academic tertiary referral center in the region.”

In April, that panel announced it had narrowed a list of 12 suitors who responded to a request for proposals to five healthcare providers that could make the partnership work.  The prospective partners include Baptist Health South Florida, Cleveland Clinic, Memorial Healthcare System, Novant Health and Orlando Health.”

“This group represents some of the most accomplished and respected healthcare systems in the country,” Fedele said at the time. “We believe it is an affirmation of our capabilities and strength as well as our attractiveness as a potential partner.”

He emphasized that BRRH entered into the process of seeking a partner from a position of strength and noted the significant increase in hospital utilization, programmatic and facility expansion, strong financial performance and record-setting levels of philanthropic support in recent years as key drivers behind the success of Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

When it announced the formation of that committee, hospital officials stated that such a partnership would enhance BRRH’s ability to develop nationally recognized clinical programs to better serve its patients, mitigate the challenges of a stand-alone organization in a complex and evolving healthcare industry and provide greater access to capital.

Since that time, Boca Raton Regional Hospital has embarked on a series of communication initiatives to explain the rationale behind the initiative to its key constituencies including medical staff, employees, volunteers, philanthropists, community members and governmental and civic leaders.

“Our goal through this process is to maintain the highest level of transparency for our stakeholders,” said Christine E. Lynn, BRRH Board Chair. “We’ve done that in a material way and created a dialogue that has fostered a solid understanding of the impetus for this initiative.”

Officials emphasize that Fedele had a lot to do with a major turnaround in hospital performance and financial stability when he arrived in 2008 as part of a consulting team tasked with propping up a facility that was hemorrhaging millions of dollars each year.

“We built strength in the balance sheets. We are on strong footing now.  We have grown the institution and its utilization. We have gone from 2008, when we were losing $120 million a year, to now, when we have grown and are having capacity problems. But those are good problems.”

Karen Poole arrived at Boca Hospital at the same time Fedele did. She became chief operations officer and held that position until earlier this month when she retired.

BRRH issued a statement in mid-April announcing the appointment of Mindy Shikiar, MBA, MSN, as the new chief operating officer.

A seasoned healthcare executive, Shikiar joined Boca Region in 2003 and has served in various leadership positions including vice president of Oncology Services, Ambulatory Services and Business Development.

“We are enthused over Mindy’s transition to chief operating officer,” said Fedele. “Her experience and skill set are ideally suited for this important role within our organization. Her leadership will be instrumental as we continue to enhance our position as a pre-eminent, academic referral medical center in the region.”