The Graham Regional Medical Center board of directors has engaged the services of a consulting firm to place an interim hospital administrator to lead the new hospital district until the board finds a permanent chief executive.

The development followed an emergency meeting of the hospital district board on Monday, Dec. 9, during which the board met in executive session to discuss what the meeting's public notice termed “personnel matters.”

On Wednesday, The Graham Leader learned that the board was discussing the imminent departure of Steve Hartgraves, who has served as CEO and administrator of GRMC since August 2007.  Hartgraves left his position on Monday.

“The hospital and Mr. Hartgraves have agreed in principle to a mutual dissolution to his employment contract, and he is no longer with Graham Regional,” GRMC board chair Neal Blanton told The Graham Leader.

“We hope to have a contract signed with an interim administrator within a week,” Blanton said, adding that he anticipates the interim administrator will be at work next week. 

Hartgraves confirmed his departure from GRMC during a Thursday telephone call with The Graham Leader.  

Read more in Sunday's Graham Leader.