Rodney Miller quit as president of the National Association of Health Services Executives a few days after the release of an audit report cataloging his alleged misappropriation of hospital funds for personal use while chief executive officer of a public hospital in the Virgin Islands from 2002 to 2007.
Miller a nonissue, execs say
Former CEO’s legal woes will have no impact
NAHSE, an association of black healthcare executives that collaborated with the American College of Healthcare Executives in a new survey of career attainment among minority healthcare executives (See Cover Story, p. 6), announced Aug. 4, 2008, that Miller resigned for personal reasons. Since then he has been convicted in the Virgin Islands of making fraudulent claims for not disclosing his bad-conduct discharge from the Navy on the employment application for his job at 123-bed Schneider Regional Medical Center, a public hospital on the island of St. Thomas. He faces a trial set for June on several additional charges, including embezzlement and grand larceny.
If his peers are angry at Miller or concerned that progress on the diversity issues explored in the ACHE report could suffer from a scandal involving one of their highest-achieving young leaders (hes just 36), the ones contacted for this story didnt say so. Three declined to comment.
Tying Rodney Millers experience to this report doesnt serve the diversity effort much at all, said Fred Hobby, president and CEO of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association. Rodney is one of thousands of minority healthcare executives. Its an isolated, unfortunate issue, and we have seen these issues across all racial and ethnic lines in the past.
NAHSEs executive director, who was hired during Millers tenure as president, referred questions about the impact of Millers departure and legal troubles to Clifford Barnes, a partner in the law firm of Epstein Becker & Green and a longtime NAHSE member.
Barnes said the decision to resign was Millers, and he praised Millers performance during a fast rise through NAHSEs ranks, particularly his success persuading its board to hire their first full-time executive director. There is a sense of disappointment that it happened at all, Barnes said of the situation, which he described as Millers personal challenge. Regardless of how it ends for Miller, Barnes noted that the investigation alone has caused tremendous dislocation for himself and his family, offering a valuable lesson for NAHSE members who aspire to the heights Miller reached and may one day face the scrutiny that comes with leadership. Even if youre at the head of an organizationyoure a CEO, which most in NAHSE emulate towardsthats not the end all and be all, Barnes said.
Modern Healthcare recognized Miller on its annual list of Up & Comers in 2002 and on its Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare in 2006 and 2008.
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