Good Samaritan Hospital CEO resigns following COVID-19 vaccine scandal
Good Samaritan's COVID-19 vaccine protocols are under review by Santa Clara County. File photo.

    Weeks after a scandal involving inappropriate COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Good Samaritan Hospital’s top administrator is stepping down and leaving the hospital’s parent company, San José Spotlight has learned.

    The hospital’s CEO, Joe DeSchryver, submitted his resignation Tuesday morning, telling staff in an email that he would no longer be with the hospital’s parent company, HCA Healthcare.

    In an email obtained by this news organization, DeSchryver told hospital staff he is leaving to pursue “career advancement opportunities.”

    “It has been an honor to serve as your leader for the past four years, including the most challenging year in healthcare,” DeSchryver wrote. “Over the next coming weeks, I look forward to connecting with you all as I say farewell. It has been a pleasure and honor to serve the Good Samaritan community. My family and I will forever be indebted to the organization for this opportunity.”

    HCA Healthcare spokesman Antonio Castelan confirmed DeSchryver’s resignation.

    “We are grateful for his leadership at Good Samaritan Hospital over the past four years and the remarkable job he has done, including the intense past year marked by COVID-19,” Castelan said.

    The news of DeSchryver’s resignation comes weeks after the hospital faced backlash for allowing teachers and staff at an affluent Los Gatos school district to skip the line for COVID-19 vaccines by pretending to be health care workers.

    The story, first reported by San José Spotlight, generated widespread outcry and led to the county withholding future vaccine doses from the hospital.

    The deal was rooted in an apparent quid pro quo.

    The district’s superintendent, Paul Johnson, told staff in a January email that the reason they could access vaccines was because they helped raise money in the spring for meals for health care workers at Good Samaritan. Johnson told staff they could sign up by using the health care worker button on the hospital’s website, and that this had been approved by hospital COO Gary Gary Purushotham.

    Good Samaritan permanently closed its COVID-19 vaccine clinic in February.

    According to the hospital’s website, DeSchryver worked for the Tenet Healthcare Corporation prior to his post at Good Samaritan Hospital. At Tenet, he served as the CEO of the Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo from 2013 to 2017.

    “Under his leadership, the hospital teams successfully cared for the first COVID-19 patient throughout our hospital system along with an estimated 1,300 others,” Castelan said. “In addition, the hospital worked in collaboration with the CDC to set many clinical COVID-19 standards and protocols.”

    Castelan declined to elaborate on why DeSchryver resigned.

    “During his tenure, he oversaw the hospital’s renowned cardiac, stroke and NICU programs, as well as recent renovation and expansion projects,” Castelan said. “We are sad to see him go and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

    According to Castelan, DeSchryver will remain at Good Samaritan Hospital “over the next few months” as the company conducts a national search for a new leader.

    This story will be updated.

    Contact Madelyn Reese at [email protected] or follow @MadelynGReese on Twitter.

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