John Birkmeyer resigns from DHMC

by Seamus Walsh | 10/14/16 12:30am

John Birkmeyer, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Centers’s chief academic officer and vice president of integrated delivery systems, has resigned. His resignation, given with one week’s notice, takes effect today.

Birkmeyer, who came to Dartmouth in 1989 for his residency, also has worked at the Veterans Affairs hospital in White River Junction, as the chief of general surgery at DHMC and as a professor at the University of Michigan. He left his endowed position at the University of Michigan two years ago to take the vice president and chief academic office job at DHMC. 

Birkmeyer presided over the transfer of state contracted psychiatric services from the Geisel School of Medicine to DHMC, which has not gone smoothly. Contracts for psychiatrists and nurses were not renewed during a labor dispute during the transition. After the contracts were not renewed, DHMC attempted to hire back some of the laid-off employees at reduced salaries. The employees declined the reduced offer. 

DHMC has been dealing with an unanticipated $23 million budget deficit that may result in the layoff of up to 460 employees and the restructuring of the hospital. 

Birkmeyer is the latest of many high-ranking staff members to leave DHMC. In July, Chief Financial Officer Robin Kilfeather-Mackey left to pursue graduate school. In September, Norris Cotton Cancer Center head Mark Israel announced his resignation, and David Folks, New Hampshire Hospital’s chief medical officer, has announced he will leave in January to take a position at Michigan State University. 

DHMC’s chief medical officer, Ed Merrens, will assume Birkmeyer’s position in the interim as the hospital searches for a permanent replacement.