The Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital Board named Dr. Raymond Cintron to the post of chief medical officer and Valdemar Hill Jr. as the chief of Human Resources, actions that address a vacuum in top management positions that has continued for many months at the hospital.
Cintron and Hill have been performing in their roles in an acting capacity for several months, and the board’s move makes their positions official and permanent.
In May, the JFL board placed on administrative leave and then terminated its chief executive officer, Ken Okolo, and named JFL legal counsel Rick Evangelista interim CEO. Okolo had only came on board at the position in February. The board said at the time there were concerns about Okolo’s contract terms and pay package. Evangelista told the V.I. Legislature in May the termination was related to a $15,000 bonus Okolo improperly gave, without board approval, to Chief Financial Officer Tim Lessing and a $25,000 bonus Okolo improperly received from outgoing CEO Dr. Kendall Griffith, also given without board notification or approval. Okolo was also facing scrutiny for his doctorate degree from Century University, an unaccredited college, but board members said at the time that was not related to his termination. (See Related Links below)
Okolo’s ouster came when the hospital was operating without a chief operating officer, a chief nursing officer and a director of human resources. When he was named CEO, Evangelista was serving in the HR director’s spot as well as legal counsel. Hill’s and Cintron’s appointment resolves some of the management vacuum. Meanwhile, Evangelista continues as CEO in a temporary, acting capacity.
“On behalf of the Governing Board of Directors, I congratulate Dr. Valdemar A. Hill, Jr. and Dr. Raymond Cintron. These two gentlemen are eminently qualified to serve as Chief of Human Resources and Chief Medical Officer, respectively. We are confident that these two gentlemen will contribute to the stability and growth of JFL,” said JFL Governing Board Chair Troy deChabert-Schuster in a statement from the hospital.
Cintron has more than 20 years of experience in medicine and has been a staff physician at JFL as a gastroenterology specialist since 2000. He also has been an associate faculty member for the Barry University Physician Assistant program since 2013. Cintron has served as the president of JFL’s Medical Staff twice during his tenure at JFL, and is also a past president of the V.I. Medical Society.
Cintron served as a board member of the Virgin Islands Medical Institute for 10 years, and he was also a board member and physician advisor to Project “HIBISCUS,” a Hepatitis C Awareness program. He earned his medical degree from the Universidad Central de Caribe in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Before his work in St. Croix, Cintron worked in private practice in both New York and Puerto Rico.
Hill was named JFL’s Interim Chief of Human Resources on June 10 and has more than 40 years of experience in human resources. He is a retired tenured business professor from the University of the Virgin Islands where he taught both undergraduate and graduate courses for more than 20 years. He was registered on the panels of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the American Arbitration Association, and the V.I. Public Employees Relations Board as a labor arbitrator. He is certified as a mediator by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. District Court of the Virgin Islands, the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands and the Virgin Islands Public Employees Relations Board. Hill is also certified as a conflict manager by the Center for Conflict Dynamics at Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida and is a member of the Institute of Management Consultants USA.
Hill received a master’s in business administration from Inter American University. He earned his Ph.D. in organization and management with a specialization in leadership from Capella University. Most recently, Hill served as chief negotiator for the Government of the Virgin Islands.
The board is still reviewing candidates for CEO and chief nursing officer.