Burnside resigns as hospital CEO, Hughes named interim leader

Brian Burnside has submitted his resignation as president and CEO of Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center, effective at the end of January, after leading the hospital since April 2010.

John Hughes, the current chief operating officer at MMSC, has been named the interim president and CEO, effective Feb. 1. Burnside will stay on at the hospital as strategy and health reform advisor during a transition period expected to last several months, according to MMSC Board Chairman Dr. Terry Briggs.

“The feeling was we could improve the performance by moving John up to the CEO position and have Brian do the conceptual work,” Briggs said. “We all felt this was in the best interest of the hospital and for our patients.”

Briggs said the board has been happy with Burnside’s performance leading the hospital. He said this move was a joint decision between Burnside and the board. Briggs expects Burnside to look for employment elsewhere.

“The board wishes Brian all the best,” Briggs said.

Briggs admitted it is “somewhat unusual” to have a CEO step down and then retain a role in the same hospital.

Briggs said the board will decide in the next month or two if they want to conduct a national search for a new president and CEO or make Hughes the permanent CEO and president.

“I think John will do an excellent job,” Briggs said.

The hospital directed all media inquiries to Briggs and did not make Hughes or Burnside available for interview requests. MMSC did provide prepared statements from the two Marshalltown residents in a press release.

Hughes said he is honored to take on the role of CEO. Burnside said the arrangement “maximizes both John and my strengths and coordinates the work efficiently and effectively.”

Hughes has been COO of MMSC since last May and previously was executive director of McFarland Clinic in Marshalltown for six years.