Embattled Children's Hospital doctors to exit in August

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- The embattled president and CEO of Children's Hospital and the doctor whose performance was at the center of that controversy are both leaving the hospital in mid-August, according to statements issued Monday by the hospital.

Dr. Richard Azizkhan will retire and vacate his position at the hospital Aug. 16, at which time former Children’s Board of Directors Chair Rodrigo López will serve as interim president and CEO, according to the release.

No specific departure date was given for Dr. Adam Conley, and the statement did not offer any further explanation as to his departure.

“I would like to thank everyone at Children’s for the tremendous honor and privilege to lead this incredible organization through a time of rapid change,” Azizkhan said. “I am extremely proud of all the dedicated professionals whose amazing work improves the lives of children every day."

Azizkhan, who has been at the helm of Children's in Omaha for the past four years, was named in a lawsuit filed in January by two local doctors after 10 surgeons resigned from Children's Hospital. He had also been previously named in hundreds of lawsuits filed in Ohio.

The lawsuit was filed in early January against the hospital; its president and CEO, Dr. Richard G. Azizkhan; and Dr. Adam Conley. In the complaint, Dr. Mark Puccioni, a pediatric neurosurgeon, and plastic surgeon Dr. Jason Miller expressed concerns about Conley's performance and alleged that the hospital, its CEO, and Conley himself disparaged their reputations.

The board of directors has begun a nationwide search for a new president and CEO, the release states. That search is expected to be completed in the next several months.

According to Monday's statement, letters were mailed to Conley's patients to notify them and provide information about their care.

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