2009 News

Brockton Hospital CEO on leave amid allegations is no stranger to controversy

06.03.2009

By Kyle Alspach
ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
Posted Jun 02, 2009 @ 03:56 PM
Last update Jun 03, 2009 @ 08:50 AM

BROCKTON — Now on a leave of absence amid allegations of “inappropriate behavior,” Norman B. Goodman’s future as head of Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital is uncertain.

But Goodman, president and chief executive officer of the Brockton area’s largest hospital for nearly two decades, has been at the center of controversy before — the 103-day nurses’ strike in 2001 and the severing of ties with longtime hospital partner Boston Medical Center in 2005, for instance.

“He is not shy of controversy,” said former hospital trustee Richard Rosen, “and he’s always been embroiled in it.”

Still, none of those incidents ever forced him out of the job for any period of time. This situation is different, though the specifics released by the hospital and board of trustees have been few.

After an inquiry from The Enterprise on Tuesday, the hospital released a three-paragraph statement and sent an e-mail to staff members saying Goodman had agreed to take a leave of absence while an independent investigation takes place.

The trustees requested the investigation and the leave of absence after receiving “allegations of inappropriate behavior,” the statement said, without specifying the nature of the allegations.

Hospital spokeswoman Karen Blomquist said she had no further information about the allegations, and couldn’t answer questions about when the leave of absence began and whether Goodman is being paid during it.

Goodman earned $950,780 in pay and benefits in 2007, the highest salary of any hospital CEO in the region, according to nonprofit financial records.

The leave of absence is expected to last seven to 10 days while the investigation takes place, according to the statement, which didn’t specify who is conducting the investigation.
 “Until that time, Mr. Goodman has agreed to remain on leave and to cooperate fully with the inquiry,” the statement reads.

Goodman did not return messages left by phone and in person with a family member at his Easton home, in an upscale neighborhood of stately residences, three-car garages and large, impeccably-landscaped lawns.

Goodman has headed the hospital, formerly known simply as Brockton Hospital, since 1990.

With 1,813 employees, the hospital is Brockton’s second-largest employer, behind only the city government, according to the Brockton 21st Century Corp., an economic development group.
Patricia Roland of Raynham, chairwoman of the hospital’s board of trustees, declined to elaborate on the statement released by the hospital.

 “I really can’t comment on anything more,” Roland said.

The board’s vice chairman, David Wolohojian of Bridgewater, also declined to comment, and other members of the 17-member board did not return messages or could not be reached Tuesday.

Kathy Metzger, chair of the nurses’ bargaining unit at the hospital, which has often been at odds with Goodman, also declined to discuss the matter.

 “I’m going to wait until the investigation finishes, let that unfold, then I’ll make a comment,” she said.

Kyle Alspach can be reached at kalspach@enterprisenews.com.

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