Erlanger's Will Jackson not chosen as South Florida hospital CEO

Dr. Will Jackson, president and CEO of Erlanger Health System, was not tapped to lead the South Florida public hospital where he was one of four finalists in a CEO search.

The board of Memorial Healthcare System - a $2.3 billion health care network situated between Fort Lauderdale and Miami - met Friday and deliberated for over an hour before ultimately choosing Scott Wester, current president and CEO of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Three of the seven board members picked Jackson as their first choice, saying they were drawn to the fact that he's a physician, has a master's degree in business administration, served in the military and completed his undergraduate degree in Florida.

However, a board majority chose Wester for his demeanor and strategic outlook.

"I felt that Mr. Wester was probably a little more outstanding than some of the other three. I felt that he was just so natural, so genuine, clearly qualified and felt like he would immediately be able to step in and meld into our culture and guide the organization successfully," said Jose Basulto, a commissioner on the South Broward Hospital District Board, which governs the health system.

Jackson, Erlanger's former chief medical officer, became Erlanger's CEO in September 2019. The board last approved a new, two-year contract with Jackson in June 2020.

In October 2021, the board bumped Jackson's annual salary up from $625,000 to $806,000.

Jackson and an Erlanger spokesperson declined to comment for this story.

Contact Elizabeth Fite at efite@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6673. Follow her on Twitter @ecfite.