The chief executive officer and two other top officials at 799-bed Mount Carmel Health System, Columbus, Ohio, resigned after a review by the system's parent, Trinity Health, Novi., Mich., found they had engaged in behavior that was "inappropriate and inconsistent" with the organizations' values, Trinity said. The executives -- Joseph Calvaruso, Mount Carmel's president and CEO since 1998; Julie Snyder, its senior vice president of people services; and Kirk Hummer, chief operating officer at Mount Carmel St. Ann's, Westerville, Ohio -- were placed on paid administrative leave earlier this month after the system's corporate compliance department received complaints about their behavior at a management retreat, Trinity spokesman Steve Shivinsky said. At deadline, Hummer had not responded to a message left at his home, and telephone numbers for Calvaruso and Snyder could not be obtained.
The retreat in September was based on the Higher Ground training program developed by Canadian author Lance Secretan to infuse spirituality into the workplace. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the executives swapped clothing and demonstrated their attire before attendees at the event. Shivinsky declined to describe the inappropriate conduct but said it was not a sanctioned part of the retreat. "We conducted a thorough review and found the behavior neither silly nor trivial. It was not a 'walking in someone else's shoes' exercise as has been described," Shivinsky said. Ronald Whiteside, COO at Mount Carmel-East, has been named interim CEO. Shivinsky said Trinity will begin a search for a permanent CEO and expects to fill the other executive positions shortly. -- by Mark Taylor