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Sebastian hospital CEO seen top choice for No. 2 Vero spot

STORY BY MEG LAUGHLIN (Week of April 3, 2014)
Steven Salyer is CEO of Sebastian River Medical Center.

The resignation last week of Sebastian River Medical Center CEO Steve Salyer came as a surprise, according to board members at the Sebastian hospital.

Meanwhile, sources close to the search for a chief operating officer for Indian River Medical Center say that Salyer is “the top choice” for the Vero job, and has entered into salary and job responsibility negotiations for the position.

But Salyer, 38, told Vero Beach 32963 Saturday night he has “absolutely not signed a contract with Indian River Medical Center” and wanted to clear up “rampant rumors” that he had resigned in order to jump from one job to the other.

“My resignation was 100 percent related with two major issues in my life – both of them having to do with my parents,” said the former Sebastian CEO.

“My father suffered several years with cancer and just passed away. I spent much of my recent time with him. The second reason I resigned is that my mother has leukemia and I feel it's my duty to take over what my father did and help take care of her,” he explained.

As a result, he said, he is currently spending much of his time with his mother in Knoxville, TN, where she lives.

“Having the time to deal with these personal difficulties” and doing the right thing for his parents is his priority, he said, again stressing that his resignation was not to move into a higher-paying job at a larger hospital.

Salyer said he decided to talk to Vero Beach 32963 so that readers would have enough detail to believe him “during this time of struggle.”

Whether he hopes to take the IRMC job in the next few months was something he would neither confirm nor deny,  IRMC spokesman Kim Leach-Wright would only say that IRMC has a “preferred candidate” who would be announced when an agreement is finalized.