Hospital CEO resigns after participating in surgery

The CEO of Bristol (Tennessee) Regional Medical Center was asked to step down after health system officials learned he took part in a surgical procedure at the hospital.

Greg Neal, former CEO of Bristol and president of Ballad Health’s northeast market, admitted that he made the initial incision while he was in the OR observing a surgery. Neal does not have a license to practice medicine. 

“Recently, at the invitation of a surgeon, I entered an operating room to observe a surgical case and to support our surgical team, as many health system and hospital CEOs do throughout the nation.

"As the case began, the surgeon asked if I would like to make the initial incision for this surgical procedure. I regret I did so,” Neal wrote in a letter to the Bristol Herald Courier explaining the reason for his departure. 

According to Neal, the patient was not harmed. The surgeon involved in the case no longer works at the hospital. 

Officials learned of the event after a team member reported it through the health system’s incident reporting system. 

“This underscores the importance of our compliance program and makes clear that all team members, including senior leaders, are expected to comply with our policies designed to protect patients. To be clear, no one is exempt from complying with our standards, and everyone is expected to comport with our zero harm culture,” said a statement from health system officials.