July 14, 2001 Eugene Woods, chief executive officer of the Roy L. Schneider Hospital and the man who saw the hospital through its move to semi-autonomy, is leaving St. Thomas at the end of August for a position in the northeastern United States.
Woods has been the hospital's CEO since June 1998. Under his tenure the hospital has seen the best financial years in its history.
In a release announcing Woods' departure, Beverly Chongasing, hospital board chairwoman, said, "Under his leadership the hospital has successfully transitioned to semi-autonomy, made significant investments in the plant and technology, improved quality, developed new services and recruited many needed physicians." Chongasing also said Woods had "put together a strong administrative team." All those improvements will make the hospital's future brighter, she said.
In that light, Woods said the hospital's next move should be toward accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. JCAHO, an independent, not-for-profit organization, evaluates and accredits nearly 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.
Speaking about his hopes for the hospital's future, Woods said, "Above all keep everyone working together as a team towards the vision we have established."
He also said he hoped ongoing construction projects would be completed, including on the hemodialysis and maternal and child health units.
In January 2000 Woods purchased new dialysis machines with Y2K funds and arranged training for nurses in preparation for the next level of service.
At the time he said, "What remains to be done is the construction to expand the unit from 10 to 15 stations."
Woods' efforts also resulted in finding nearly $8 million in grants for other items such as a new computer system, hurricane shutters and infrastructure repairs.
Woods did not say where his next assignment would be, adding the details had not been finalized, but he said he would find himself much closer to family in the Philadelphia area.
Of his years on St. Thomas Woods said, "We have truly loved our three years here, despite the number of challenges. And we will always have special ties here … given that our son was born here."