The news that Eneida Roldan has resigned as CEO of Jackson Health System in Miami has got me down. I interviewed Roldan right after she took the top job and was impressed by her. She is a woman who balanced work and family and succeeded. Roldan, a Jackson-trained physician, was the first woman and the first Hispanic to lead the country's public hospital system. She's smart, focused and an advocate for women. I had such high hopes for her.
During her 18-month tenure as CEO, Roldan put up with more intense pressure to stop the hospital's massive losses than most top executives endure over their entire career. The final straw for Roldan was yesterday when a county commissioner questioned her integrity and moral fiber.
Roldan inherited a mess when she took the CEO job and her tenure was marked by severe ups and downs. A grand jury report in August called Jackson a "colossal mess." The hospital has losses of more than $244 million. Now, I'm not saying Roldan isn't to blame for any of the mess that the hospital system is in. I'm not saying she is to blame. I am just saying that I would have loved to write the story of a successful female CEO, a mother of two, who was able to take on the challenges of running a public health system and making it financially solvent.
Her story reminds me that getting the title of CEO is just one part of the struggle for women. Keeping it, is the more important part.