IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Richard Salluzzo, 59, surprised many last week by stepping down from his post as CEO of Hyannis, Mass.-based Cape Cod Healthcare just 29 months after his arrival.
Salluzzo, who took over leadership of the provider in July 2008, could not be reached for comment. But through a statement put out by Cape Cod Healthcare, the executive indicated that his departure was the result of a desire to pursue other interests and his belief that he had accomplished the goals set by the healthcare provider.
Chief among those goals was turning around the financially troubled two-hospital system. The provider reported an operating loss of $18.7 million in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2008, according to a disclosure statement in a February 2010 bond memo. But under Salluzzo’s guidance—which included cutting 169 jobs shortly after his arrival—the not-forprofit system reported operating income of more than $17.1 million the following year, according to the disclosure. In a separate unaudited financial statement for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2010, Cape Cod reported an operating gain of $31 million.
“Dr. Salluzzo was instrumental in allowing Cape Code Healthcare to regain financial and organizational stability,” the system’s chairman, Thomas Wroe, said in a statement.
Salluzzo’s apparent success in turning around Cape Cod has made his departure all the more startling to some observers.
“It was certainly a surprise to me,” said Massachusetts Hospital Association President and CEO Lynn Nicholas. “Dr. Salluzzo had not been at Cape Cod Healthcare that long,” she added, noting that he inherited a number of challenges when he arrived at the provider from his previous post as CEO of Kingsport, Tenn.based Wellmont Health System. Those challenges included an unusually high Medicare population that makes declining reimbursement rates particularly problematic for Cape Cod. Cape Cod COO
Michael Lauf, 40, has been appointed acting president and CEO of the system. Lauf, who also previously worked at Wellmont, was recruited by Salluzzo to join the system in July 2008. <<