East Cooper: Shake-up at the top

Sinacore-Jaberg

Just weeks into the job, the new chief executive officer of East Cooper Regional Medical Center has made sweeping changes among her top-management ranks, saying it's time to bring in new leadership as the Mount Pleasant hospital enters a new era.

Three high-level executives, including chief medical officer John Langley and chief operating officer Bill Cone, recently left their jobs, the hospital said. The other was Tony Ojeda, who was director of business development.

No specific reasons were given for the departures. No replacements have been named.

"These changes are being made in part due to the anticipation of East Cooper opening our new hospital in January of 2010," CEO Janie Sinacore-Jaberg said in a statement Wednesday.

"While we are extremely grateful to the staff who have gotten us to this point, we need a new leadership team who can help us create a vision for the future of our hospital."

Langley, who resigned, according to a memorandum that was sent to employees Friday, declined to comment Wednesday. Cone and Ojeda could not be reached. Cone will stay on to oversee construction of the hospital, according to the memo.

The changes came five weeks after Sinacore-Jaberg took over the top job at the Tenet Corp.-owned hospital on Oct. 15, replacing former CEO Andrea Wozniak.

Dallas-based Tenet is in the process of replacing its facility near U.S. Highway 17 and Bowman Road with a $153 million, 140-bed hospital under construction not far from its existing campus.

At the same time, East Cooper Regional is bracing to face major head-on competition for the first time since it opened in Mount Pleasant in 1986: Roper St. Francis Healthcare has started work on an 85-bed, full-service hospital in the north end of town. Roper plans to open in Mount Pleasant late 2010.

While saying she was "truly appreciative of the insight" she received from the former managers, Sinacore-Jaberg added that the hospital needed "to take a fresh approach to developing and growing our services as we strive to meet the needs of our growing community."

"This will take leaders who have the passion, drive and commitment to make our hospital the best it can be," Sinacore-Jaberg said.

A marketing director also left East Cooper Regional as part of the management shake-up. No other major staffing changes are planned at this time, said Sinacore-Jaberg, who did not respond to a request for further comment Wednesday.