WhidbeyHealth CEO’s contract extended for another year

The CEO of WhidbeyHealth will continue to steer the hospital district through the pandemic crisis for another year.

During a meeting last week, members of the hospital board unanimously approved an extension of Ron Telles’ contract for another year. Telles’ contract would have expired May 12.

Jake Kempton, the hospital’s attorney, said Telles would normally undergo an official performance evaluation, but the extension foregoes that step.

“It recognized that COVID has thrown everything to the wind in terms of our normal operations,” he said.

Telles had been the hospital’s chief financial officer when he was named CEO a year ago. His salary is $330,000 a year.

Telles is leading the hospital during what is likely the most challenging period in the hospital’s 50-year history. The hospital was already struggling financially when the pandemic came along. The hospital lost about $2 million a month in revenues because outpatient services had to be closed; at the same time, expenses related to the virus were more than $1 million a month.

About 100 employees were furloughed. The hospital started a telemedicine program, consolidated clinics and implemented protocols for preventing the spread of the virus.

Ron Wallin, board president, praised Telles for building an accomplished and skilled team of professionals at the hospital.

Telles also focused on the quality of the staff.

“It’s a pleasure working here,” he said. “I truly love the community and I love the staff.”

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