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Health and Hospital Corporation to Conduct National Search for New CEO

(INDIANAPOLIS) — Marion County will launch a national search for the next leader of the agency which oversees Eskenazi Hospital and the Marion County Health Department.

Matthew Gutwein announced his resignation Monday. He’ll step down September 30 after 18 years as president of the Health and Hospital Corporation. Board chair Joyce Rogers says an interim director will take over after that.

Gutwein told the board his tenure leading the agency has been “the privilege of a lifetime,” and says he’s confident the agency’s commitment to its patients will continue to grow.

Gutwein’s resignation comes three weeks after the Indianapolis Star revealed a previously undisclosed settlement with American Senior Communities, which operates 90 agency-owned nursing homes across Indiana. Two top ASC executives and three other men pleaded guilty in 2017 to padding invoices to the Health and Hospital Corporation. The Star reported an internal ASC report calculated the scheme swindled the corporation out of $35 million, $20 million more than the corporation recouped in the settlement.

Neither Gutwein nor board members referred directly to the report at Tuesday’s meeting, though board member Greg Fehribach, without elaboration, told Gutwein, “We all should think about how to convince you that maybe your choice wasn’t the right choice at the time, and I challenge others to think about that too.”

Fehribach and Rogers praised Gutwein, saying he’s embodied the agency’s mission of making health care available to all. Fehribach credits Gutwein with putting the county in position to handle the coronavirus pandemic.

Eskenazi Health Foundation president Ernie Vargo says Gutwein’s enduring legacy will be the
transformation of the former Wishard Hospital into Eskenazi Hospital. He says the hospital is a public-health model for the country.

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