The Lawrence Memorial Hospital administrator that oversaw many of the facility's patient care departments has unexpectedly left her position at the hospital.
Bonnie Peterson left her job as chief operating officer of the hospital on Monday, Gene Meyer, LMH president and CEO, confirmed Thursday.
Meyer declined to say whether Peterson resigned or was dismissed. Peterson did not return phone calls seeking comment. But when reached by telephone, her husband, O.P. Peterson Jr., said his wife submitted her resignation on Monday and left the job that day.
He said his wife resigned for personal reasons that included spending more time with her family and to perhaps continue work on a doctorate.
Peterson had been the chief operating officer at the nonprofit hospital since September 1998. She was among several key administrative hires by Meyer after his arrival at LMH in 1997. Meyer said Peterson's duties included oversight of most of the hospital's clinical departments, including the nursing, radiology and laboratory departments.
Peterson came to LMH from Milwaukee, where she spent two years as vice president of patient care services at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Peterson earlier had held administrative positions at Trinity Lutheran Hospital and Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. In 1991, she was honored as Nurse Administrator of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Area Hospital Assn.
Meyer declined to comment on whether Peterson's sudden departure was related to issues involving the quality of patient care provided by the departments she oversaw.
"It is a personnel issue and I'm just not going to comment on it," Meyer said. "That's our policy and I'm sticking with it. People are just going to have to trust that whatever happened here happened for the right reasons."
Vickie Randel, chairwoman of the hospital's board of trustees, also declined to comment on the departure, referring questions to Meyer or the hospital's attorney.
Janice Early-Weas, director of community relations, said no decision had been made yet on whether the position would be filled.