Wyble out as COO of Heart Hospital

by Leslie Turk

A month and a half after Heart Hospital of Lafayette was named one of the nation's Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals by Thomson Reuters, its COO was terminated.

Karen Wyble is no longer the chief operating officer of Heart Hospital of Lafayette, an affiliate of Our Lady of Lourdes.

The following statement was emailed by Lourdes' President and Chief Executive Officer Bud Barrow to employees Dec. 29:

"Please be aware that effective today Karen Wyble is no longer serving as Chief Operating Officer of Heart Hospital of Lafayette.
We will begin immediately with the Heart Hospital Board the search for a Cardiovascular leader to sustain and enhance our CV program in alignment with our Mission and goals. I have appointed Vice President of Corporate Development Donna Landry to serve as interim COO of HHL, working with Lourdes COO Monte Wilson in his role of integrating all service lines on both campuses. Their experience in healthcare leadership and community service position us well to build on our collective strengths and our dedication to service excellence and to high quality patient care for little to no disruption in our CV operations.
Our team of Donna and Monte is here to help the HHL and Lourdes teams truly integrate into one team of Franciscan excellence in CV services for the benefit of Acadiana."

Landry joined Lourdes Aug. 24, having previously served as chief administrative officer at Schumacher Group since December 2006. Landry left Lafayette General Medical Center after nearly two decades to join Schumacher.

Lourdes had no additional comment on Wyble's departure, and The Independent was unable to locate Wyble for comment.

Lourdes' purchase of a majority interest in Heart Hospital in November 2007 came after a failed takeover of the hospital by the physicians' group that founded it in early 2004. Though it did not disclose terms of the deal, in February 2007 Heart Hospital's founding partner, North Carolina-based MedCath Corp., announced that it and the original physicians' group had signed a letter of intent in which the local physicians, who at the time owned 49 percent of the hospital, would own 100 percent of it. That deal, however, fell apart, paving the way for Lourdes to step in.

Wyble was with Heart Hospital when Lourdes took over and has served as COO since at least November 2007.

Wyble's termination comes 1.5 months after Heart Hospital of Lafayette was named one of the nation's Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals by Thomson Reuters. The Thomson Reuters study examined the performance of more than 1,000 hospitals by analyzing outcomes for patients with heart failure and heart attacks and for those who received coronary bypass surgery and percutaneous coronary interventions, such as angioplasties.

This year's winners were announced Nov. 14 in Modern Healthcare magazine. In 2008 Heart Hospital was named by Thomson Reuters as one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals for cardiovascular care.

"I couldn't be more pleased for the team of health care providers and physicians at Heart Hospital of Lafayette to be amongst the 50 top cardiovascular hospitals in the nation by Thomson Reuters," Wyble said in a press release announcing the honor. "This recognition highlights for our families in Acadiana that our community has a top cardiac hospital, the only one in the state."