Fort Smith hospital CEO ousted after remark about Hispanics | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fort Smith hospital CEO ousted after remark about Hispanics

Posted By on Fri, May 9, 2014 at 9:09 AM

click to enlarge CEO OUSTED: At Sparks. - CITY WIRE
  • City Wire
  • CEO OUSTED: At Sparks.
Michael Tilley of The City Wire in Fort Smith reports on the abrupt removal of Tim Schmidt, the interim CEO of the Sparks Medical System in Fort Smith.

On Tuesday, Schmidt was addressing a group of 100-150 hospital employees. During the question-and-answer portion, Schmidt was asked why he wanted to move from Laredo, Texas – a larger city with population of about 240,000 – to Fort Smith.

According to three sources who spoke to The City Wire, Schmidt responded: “Have you ever been to Laredo, Texas? It’s 97% Hispanic.” The sources said the comment soon made its way through the hospital, with Hispanic employees – to include at least one physician – expressing displeasure with the comment.

Community Health, which owns the hospital, reportedly plans to send execs to talk to employees as part of the damage control.

You have to wonder: Why did this fellow think this would be a safe remark in Arkansas?

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