Jan. 15, 2004 – Gregory Calliste, a native of Grenada who has spent much of his career in hospital administration in New York City, has been hired as the new chief executive officer of Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center.
The appointment was announced on Thursday in a release by the St. Croix District Governing Board of the V.I. Hospital and Health Facilities Corp.
Pastor Lester White, who chairs the corporation's St. Croix district governing board and also chaired the search committee, said the board, "after an extensive search," was "excited" to announce the appointment.
Calliste has been an administrator in the substance abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention program of Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, one of various facilities operated by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. He also was deputy executive director of the Central Brooklyn Family Health Network.
He holds a master of science in public health and nutrition from Columbia University and a master of business administration from the New York Institute of Technology.
Calliste "impressed us with his in-depth knowledge and understanding of the challenges that face our hospital and the territory as a whole," White said in the release. "He has a proven track record for successfully managing challenges at Kings County Hospital Center through his hard work and collaborative management style."
Citing Calliste's "passion for excellence and energy," White said the board is "very happy that Mr. Calliste has decided to accept the challenge" of becoming CEO at Luis Hospital. And, White added, the board looks forward to making the St. Croix facility "the hospital of choice in the Eastern Caribbean."
Nearly a year ago, on Jan. 21, 2003, the hospital board dismissed Thomas Robinson as CEO and named Dr. Michael Potts, a staff physician, as interim CEO. (See "Robinson removed as head of Luis Hospital".) Dr. Lloyd Henry, a staff physician named to succeed Claudius Henry as the hospital's medical director at that same time, has been serving recently as acting chief executive officer.
White said a year ago that the removal of Robinson and Claudius Henry was "an internal issue."
Robinson faced staffing and funding shortages throughout his tenure at the St. Croix hospital. He said he was forced to close an acute-care unit in August of 2002 for lack of money to hire adequate nursing staff. In several appearances before the Senate that year, he pleaded for $20 million more than the $20.8 million for the hospital requested by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in his proposed fiscal year 2003 budget.
For FY 2004, Luis Hospital officials sought $19.1 million, the Senate Finance Committee approved $17.9 million and Gov. Charles W. Turnbull proposed $18.7 million.
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