The tumultuous three-year tenure of Bruce Siegel, M.D., as head of 734-bed Tampa (Fla.) General Healthcare ended last week when Siegel left his job as the hospital's president and chief executive officer.
Siegel, who came to Tampa General in July of 1996, is the former president of New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. He resigned from that post in 1995.
H.L. Culbreath, chairman of the 13-member board that oversees Tampa General, declined to say whether Siegel, 39, resigned or was fired.
However, both Culbreath and Siegel told MODERN HEALTHCARE that the decision for Siegel to leave was mutual.
"The hospital has got to have political and public support, and that support seemed to be eroding," Culbreath said.
Immediately after Siegel's departure was announced Feb. 16, Ron Hytoff, Tampa General's chief operating officer, was named as the new CEO.
Hytoff, 54, who was recruited by Siegel almost three years ago, served as president and CEO of 272-bed University of Louisville (Ky.) Hospital from 1990 to 1996.
Easily one of the most controversial moves during Siegel's tenure at Tampa General was his push to take the former public hospital private by leasing it to a private, not-for-profit corporation in 1997.
Since then, Tampa General has lost more than $27 million, Siegel said.
Siegel's management of the hospital and its financial crisis had been criticized by some local officials, who have called for his ouster.
"I certainly had concerns about the environment and how effective I could be in it given some of the politics here," Siegel said. "It is a highly political environment."
Culbreath said a severance package for Siegel, who earned $335,000 annually, was being worked out. He declined to provide details.
Siegel said he has no immediate career plans.