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Seneca Hospital loses CEO Wagner

Seneca Healthcare District held a special board meeting Dec. 30 and announced that the board had voted to not renew the contract of hospital CEO Linda Wagner Linda Wagner. File photo

The Seneca Healthcare District special board meeting Dec. 30 presented some answers as well as some interesting questions to community members about the turmoil that has been the center of attention at the hospital for the past several months.

After returning from a closed session, new board President Ken Crandall announced that the board had voted to “not renew the contract of hospital CEO Linda Wagner” and that current hospital CFO Steve Boline had been appointed interim administrator for the hospital.

The board had voted to place Wagner on administrative leave Nov. 26.

The questions that immediately arose were due to the fact that prior to the start of the Nov. 26 SHD board meeting, then board President Dr. David Walls addressed a statement to those gathered regarding some of the “rumors” and “information” being disseminated both in the community and during previous board meetings.

Included in his comments he dismissed the idea that the current finance officer was being considered as a replacement for CEO Wagner, “That is not true,” he said.

He then announced the board had voted to place CEO Linda Wagner on paid administrative leave pending further negotiations.

Several people have noted they would like an explanation from the board regarding the seeming contradiction.

Crandall stated that Jerri Nielsen, Dr. David Walls and himself voted not to renew the contract and Rich Rydell voted in opposition. Typically Seneca has a five-member board, but there was a vacancy due to the passing of Dana Seandel.

Crandall also said the board could not comment on the reasons for the non-renewal vote without permission from Wagner because it was a personnel issue and was confidential.

Upon contacting Wagner, she stated that she had been officially notified Jan. 2 that her contract was not being renewed.

When asked for a comment she said, “Even though I don’t agree with the decision, I have a deep tie to the hospital and many of the people. I have spent the last seven years trying to make Seneca Hospital a better healthcare facility and I believe it is much better than when I began as CEO in 2012.”

She added, “I offer my best wishes to the hospital and the community and hope for a bright future.”

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