The top leadership of the Adams Health Network (AHN) took an abrupt change Thursday night at a special meeting of the AHN trustees when members voted unanimously to accept the resignation of president and chief executive officer Tom Nordwick.
Nordwick, who has served in that capacity since July of 2011 after succeeding long-time CEO Marvin L. Baird, submitted a letter of resignation to the board.
Board member Dennis Bieberich moved to have the board "accept and approve the resignation and settlement of Thomas J. Nordwick as CEO and president of Adams Health Network and appoint the chairman to execute any and all documents on behalf of the board.
"(The board) further approves all acts taken by the CFO (Dane Wheeler) and the board attorney (Adam Miller) concerning said resignation and related matters."
Another trustee, Louise Ray, quickly seconded the motion, and by a 5-0 vote, the resignation was accepted.
The trustees then approved the appointment of current chief operating officer of AHN, JoEllen Eidam, as interim chief executive officer. The board said a time table for the hiring of a new CEO had not been established.
Baird, who served as CEO for 22 years before retiring in 2011, was contacted by the Democrat Thursday night and said he was surprised to learn about the letter of resignation by Nordwick.
"I haven't heard anything at all about this," he reported, adding "Adams Memorial Hospital was a wonderful place for me to work for the over 20 years I was there. I always told them if there was ever anything I could do for them, I would be happy to help."
That offer of help, however, was one that will likely not be taken up, according to at least one source at the meeting who spoke off the record.
The contents of the letter submitted by Nordwick were not made public nor were the terms of the settlement package.
Contacted Thursday night by the Democrat, Nordwick simply noted, "The letter of resignation speaks for itself. I enjoyed my time at the hospital and wish them well."
Nordwick added that he does not have any immediate plans "right at the moment."
Miller emphasized to the board that "the organization is in good shape right now and we're going to move forward together."
A memorandum issued to hospital employees today from the trustees said, "Mr. Nordwick has served the hospital and its divisions as CEO and President since July of 2011. Mr. Nordwick has worked with the hospital's management team and the Board of Trustees to prepare the hospital for the rapid changes that are occurring in the health care industry and to position the hospital to remain independent and financially sound.
"The Board of Trustees wishes Mr. Nordwick and his family success in his new endeavors."
Bill Watson, the recently hired vice president of long-term care for AHN and who, is a member of the AHN senior leadership team, said the resignation of Nordwick will not affect the daily operations of either Adams-Woodcrest or Adams-Heritage, the two hospital-owned nursing homes.
"We're in good shape at both locations and will continue right on as always," he said.