Top hospital staffers laid off after bad state survey

A poor state survey may be the reason behind the replacement of the CEO at Lehigh (Fla.) Regional Medical Center, the Lehigh Acres Citizen reports. A chief nursing officer was also laid off.

The moves came after the hospital responded to a 23-page report of state survey violations. Deficiencies ranged from unsanitary conditions that included dirty toilet areas and a supposedly clean stretcher that had a bloodstain on a side rail, to poor medication administration. According to the report, it wasn't clear that a checks-and-balances system was in place to prevent patients from getting the wrong or unnecessary medication. "This has the potential to affect the health, safety and well-being of all the patients the hospital serves," the report said.

After CEO Chris Rakunas, who had been active in the community, suddenly disappeared without any explanation last week, some employees believed the former CEO had been called to the home office of HMA, which owns the hospital. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration conducted the survey between Dec. 15 and 16, 2010. 

CNO Jeannie Leake also has been replaced, according to the Citizen.

Joanie Jeanette will serve as interim CEO and Bo Pulley will be the interim CFO, according to a vice president of LRMC owner Health Management Associates. HMA has not explained what became of Rakunas and Leake.

To learn more:
- here's hospital's Statement of Deficiencies and its plan of corrections
- read the Lehigh Acres Citizen article