North Texas Medical Center CEO Steps Down As New Management Takes Over

Chris Zeringue will step down as CEO of Gainesville-based North Texas Medical Center (NTMC), opting not to continue employment at the hospital just two weeks after its board approved a salary offer for Zeringue that came in $45,000 lower than his request.

Both Zeringue and Chief Nursing Officer Angela Yancey decided to return to Texoma Medical Center. The two had been on loan from the Denison-based hospital during the year in which Universal Health Services (UHS), which manages Texoma, was also managing NTMC. UHS had become NTMC’s management company as NTMC announced they were filing for bankruptcy in late 2016.

When UHS pulled out of the deal in January—amid revelations that NTMC was losing more than $650,000 a month—the board at NTMC entered negotiations to secure Zeringue and Yancey longer term. The two had previously told the Gainesville Daily Register that they planned to stay with NTMC.

But salary negotiations caused a stir, according to the Daily Register’s reporting. The paper says that the requested salary was $395,000, and that board members agreed to extend an offer of $350,000.

The news landed two weeks later—on Monday of this week—that Zeringue would not be accepting and that he and Yancey would instead return to Texoma.

Community Hospital Consulting, the Plano-based company that won the contract to manage NTMC (starting May 1) after UHS backed out, said in a news release only that Zeringue and Yancey decided to return to Texoma and that Yancey will help with the transition. Robbie Baugh, NTMC’s board president, was more free-wheeling in an email to the Daily Register.

“This was obviously disappointing news, especially after the press and social media criticism over his proposed compensation,” he said. Adding: “This was very unexpected but, if we work together, I am confident we can move through the bankruptcy and return our community hospital to a strong and stable operation.”

I reached out to Baugh, and he responded through a lawyer that represents NTMC.

“There had been negotiations to encourage both to stay and work under the new management, Community Hospital Consulting, but ultimately both decided to stay with UHS.” said Kevin Reed, of Austin-based Reed, Claymon, Meeker & Hargett, PLLC.

Community Hospital Consulting has named an interim leadership team of CEO Joe Thomason, CFO Rodger Bowen, and CNO Becky Small. Thomason had been serving as senior vice president of hospital operations for CHC.