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More execs out at DeKalb Medical; hospital disputes fraud rumors

In addition to the CEO, DeKalb Medical Center has also lost its chief financial officer and chief operating officer in recent weeks, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed Monday.

Last week, the hospital group acknowledged CEO John A. Shelton's resignation and that about 60 workers had been laid off. The medical group, which runs three hospitals in the Decatur and Lithonia areas, also did away with 80 vacant positions.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution subsequently learned that CFO John Katsianis and COO Dane Henry were also out.

DeKalb Medical spokeswoman Cheryl Iverson confirmed that both resigned. 

Katsianis left for "personal reasons" in August, she said. The board accepted the resignation of Henry on Nov. 11, effective immediately. 

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Iverson said she wasn't "at liberty" to say why Henry resigned. She declined to say if he was asked to step down. Efforts by The AJC to reach Henry weren't immediately successful Monday.

Amid the recent turnover and turmoil, rumors are circulating through the halls of DeKalb Medical that an investigation is underway over alleged fraud.

Even Iverson has heard about it, but said it is not true and that there is no such investigation or allegations.

“There's not been any fraud," she said Monday. "Are there financial difficulties? Yes. Is the board pleased with performance? No."

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The spokeswoman said the medical group, which has about 4,000 employees, faces similar problems as other health care providers: Georgia's reluctance to expand Medicaid; the number of uninsured people in the area; and a nursing shortage.

The hospital is hoping Bob E. Wilson, an attorney and DeKalb Medical board vice chairman, can help with the financial troubles as the new CEO. He took over from Shelton last week and has committed to leading through June, Iverson said.

The CFO position has been temporarily filled by Robin Nichols, while a search is underway for a permanent replacement.

Jim Forstner is stepping in as the COO. He had been the senior vice president for strategy, a position which is being eliminated, Iverson said.

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