Employees and staff at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock were informed Friday that Chief Executive Officer Sue Micheletti and Chief Nursing Officer Sony Sidhu are no longer with the hospital.
Warren Kirk, top executive of the Northern California Group of Tenet Healthcare Corp., announced the leadership changes in a memo distributed at the Turlock hospital.
Micheletti became the CEO of Emanuel when the hospital was acquired by Tenet Healthcare in August 2014. Formerly an independent church-owned hospital, Emanuel was struggling financially when Tenet purchased the 209-bed facility on Delbon Avenue more than three years ago.
The memo from Kirk did not disclose the reason for the departure of Micheletti and Sidhu. A Tenet spokesman said the company would not have further comment out of respect for employee privacy.
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Micheletti said Friday that Tenet made a leadership change. “It just happened today, so I don’t have any comment and can’t say that I have made any plans,” Micheletti said.
Sidhu was not immediately available for comment.
Lani Dickinson, who previously held numerous leadership roles at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, has been named the interim CEO and acting chief nursing officer at Emanuel.
Tenet, a national hospital chain based in Dallas, also owns Doctors Medical Center of Modesto and Doctors Hospital of Manteca.
In the memo, Kirk thanked Micheletti for playing a pivotal role in bringing Emanuel into “the Tenet family”. He recognized Micheletti and Sidhu for their dedication to the hospital. “We wish them well in their future endeavors,” Kirk’s memo said.
Micheletti was the chief operating officer of San Ramon Regional Medical Center in the Bay Area for 14 years before taking the top leadership job at Emanuel.
Multiple sources said they believed Micheletti and Sidhu were ousted by Tenet.
Jeffrey Lewis, chief executive officer of the Legacy Health Endowment, a nonprofit created by Tenet’s acquisition of Emanuel, said he believed that Emanuel has improved its financial performance in the last three and a half years.
Lewis, who serves on the governing advisory board for Emanuel, said Micheletti and Sidhu were placed in a difficult position because of Tenet’s strategy to accept a proposal last year to unionize nurses at Emanuel. In August, the hospital’s registered nurses chose to join the California Nurses Association in a 284-to-4 vote.
“Sue Micheletti had an impossible job,” Lewis said. “She was an incredible professional, a gifted CEO and the right person for that job.”
Lewis said the former CEO had excellent communication skills and interacted well with hospital employees and members of the community.
Dickinson was the chief nursing executive of Tenet’s former western region from 2015 to 2017. She held a previous position as chief operating officer for the 172-bed Lakewood Regional Medical Center in Lakewood.
For many years, Dickinson held management positions at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto including chief nursing officer, director of clinical quality improvement and director of patient care services.