Lowe had served as CEO of the district for the past five years. Schafer, the longtime director of nursing at San Juan Hospital, is expected to also serve as interim CEO for at least several months.
The district operates San Juan Hospital and three clinics, in addition to outreach efforts. There are 110 employees in the district.
Health care officials state that Lowe’s leadership during the recent re-building phase at the district was invaluable, but they add that the time has come for a change in leadership.
While the operating room at San Juan Hospital has never been busier, the number of inpatient admissions to the hospital has dropped by 240 bed days in the past year.
In addition, the implementation of a new electronic billing system may have contributed to a decrease in overall revenues for the district.
The district also faces debt payments as the result of a series of capital projects at the hospital.
At the same time, according to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, the license of surgeon Dr. Kris Hayes has been suspended. District officials report that Dr. Juan Vasquez, of Moab, is providing general surgical services at the hospital, with no break in services.
Officials add that orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mac Wyman remains very busy.