The Erlanger Health System board did not waste much time coming up with a new leader after parting ways with past president and CEO Dr. Will Jackson 13 days ago. The panel on Thursday night unanimously agreed that its chairman, Jim Coleman, should be the new president and CEO.
Mr. Coleman, who currently is president and CEO of the Alliant healthcare management firm, said he will give an answer soon to the board offer.
He is being offered a one-year contract at $625,000. There is an opportunity for a 30 percent bonus based on reaching certain goals.
Board member John Germ, who heads the management committee, said "a confidential settlement agreement" had been reached with Dr. Jackson.
In the interim, Chief Financial Officer Lynn DeJaco has been heading the hospital along with Chief Operating Officer Rob Maroney and longtime hospital official Gregg Gentry.
The Erlanger Board issued this statement:
"The Board of Trustees made this decision following a careful consideration of the criteria and qualifications necessary to lead Erlanger through the ongoing process to restructure to an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and ensure Erlanger’s continued ability to meet the calling of its mission for years to come.
"Jim Coleman’s deep healthcare management experience, his extensive knowledge and ties to our community and unquestionable commitment to Erlanger will ensure this organization is best positioned for a vibrant future. Jim’s healthcare career began at Erlanger more than 30 years ago when he served for nearly a decade in a variety of leadership roles, including as Director of Respiratory Care and Special Services, Director of Quality Management and Vice President of Planning and Decision Support. Over the next 20-plus years he held a broad array of leadership positions in a number of hospitals and healthcare organizations, including currently serving as President and CEO of a hospital management company with facilities in multiple states.
"The board believes Mr. Coleman’s depth and breadth of knowledge of the healthcare industry and specific experience with and commitment to Erlanger will serve the organization well as we continue our work to ensure the best possible future for healthcare in the Chattanooga region and beyond."
Mr. Coleman has over 25 years management experience in the hospital industry in both for-profit and not-for-profit facilities. His expertise includes hospital operations, strategic market and partnership development, finance, leadership development and physician relations and recruiting. Prior to his current role, he was senior vice president of Southeast Hospital Operations for a national rural hospital management company, where he directed corporate services for hospitals in Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Louisiana.
Previously, he also worked for Hospital Corporation of America for 10 years in senior management roles for Parkridge Health System as COO and Interim CEO for Parkridge Valley Hospital in Chattanooga. In addition to daily operations, he led strategic business development for the market, resulting in numerous acquisitions and increased market share, along with top financial and quality performance across the multi-hospital system.
Mr. Coleman has also served in executive leadership positions in other rural, community and academic health systems in the Southeast, including hospital CEO for his hometown hospital where he was born in Cleveland, Tn.
He has MBA and BS degrees from the University of Tennessee and is married to his wife Amy.
His first job out of college was in the respiratory department at Erlanger.
He has been on the Erlanger Board since 2019.
His appointment is by the legislative delegation.
Shelia Boyington is to move up to lead the board.