Roberts Announces New Eleanor Slater Hospital CEO

Published on Monday, January 23, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Health and Human Services Secretary Elizabeth Roberts today announced Cynthia (Cindy) Huether as Chief Executive Officer of the Eleanor Slater Hospital (ESH) within the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH).

“Cindy has spent several years focusing on providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities, behavioral health and long term care needs - for both public and not for profit providers,” said Secretary Elizabeth Roberts. “She was recruited through a robust national search and selection process and will be able to leverage her experience in acute psychiatric care, home health care, and Medicaid home and community-based services as well as Medicaid redesign in her new role. I look forward to working closely with Cindy to strengthen the work already underway to improve operational efficiency and quality of care at Eleanor Slater Hospital.”

After observing operational and management failings at the hospital in the first weeks after taking office, Governor Gina M. Raimondo directed the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to conduct a thorough review of ESH and lead an overhaul of the hospital’s operations to better support hospital staff and provide better care for patients. One of the key findings from an independent review of the hospital undertaken by the Raimondo administration included concerns with leaders placed in key positions who lacked the appropriate training and experience.

Huether has more than 25 years of experience in the health care field. She has executive-level experience in leading complex agencies, financial and operational management, and has had regulatory and clinical accountability.

"I was drawn to this position due to the hospital’s engagement in an active performance improvement effort and the staff’s dedication to patients and families,” Huether said. “This is a unique opportunity to build upon the turnaround effort underway at Eleanor Slater Hospital and make huge strides in an ever-changing environment.”

In late 2015, the hospital brought in an advising management team through Applied Management Systems who worked with BHDDH’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz to improve the delivery of care to patients served by ESH and lower its overall cost structure. Some of the improvements made to date include implementing a Nursing Professional Council, a Patient Safety Committee, a Staff Recognition Program, and updating hospital policies and procedures. This month, the hospital also launched a leadership training curriculum. With Huether onboard, the hospital will continue its turnaround efforts and work to recruit more medical professionals.

“Cindy will find a dedicated staff at Eleanor Slater Hospital,” stated BHDDH Acting Director Rebecca Boss. “She will continue to strengthen services and lead the hospital’s effort to meet the health care triple aim of providing better care, producing better health and lowering health care costs.”

As CEO of Eleanor Slater Hospital, Huether will oversee campuses in Cranston and Burrillville. She will manage a department of more than 800 employees and a more than $109 million budget for this fiscal year. Eleanor Slater Hospital is the state’s only Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH) with 284 beds. The hospital provides long-term acute and post-acute hospital level of care to patients with complex medical and psychiatric needs.

Huether has a BA from the State University College at Geneseo, NY and a MPA from the Rockefeller School of Public Affairs, SUNY Albany.

Sophie O’Connell
401-275-3837 (cell)