Johnson appointed as new CEO of Eleanor Slater Hospital

PROVIDENCE – A former CEO for several health care facilities throughout the Midwest was hired to run Rhode Island’s state psychiatric hospital, according to state officials.

Brett Johnson, who was chief executive officer for Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital from November 2017 until recently, was appointed to become the next CEO at Eleanor Slater Hospital, according to the R.I. Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, which made the announcement on Monday. Johnson will start the job on June 5 at Eleanor Slater Hospital, according to the department.

During his time as CEO for Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital for four and a half years, Johnson oversaw a $23 million operating budget and a staff of more than 200, according to state officials. Before that in 2017, Johnson briefly served as CEO at Vibra Hospital in Springfield, Illinois. And before that he was CEO at Regency Hospital in Sylvania, Ohio, for about a year and a half, which came after his nearly five years as administrative director for not-for-profit integrated healthcare organization ProMedica in Toledo, Ohio.

“I am pleased that someone with Brett Johnson’s knowledge and experience has agreed to lead Eleanor Slater Hospital,” said Richard Charest, director Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals. “Brett has extensive experience in hospital leadership, he has a strong track record at the hospitals he has led, and he understands the needs of Eleanor Slater Hospital’s patients.”

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Eleanor Slater Hospital, which has campuses in Cranston and Burrillville, has been led by Charest as a CEO on an interim basis since June 2021.

In recent years, the state-run psychiatric hospital has faced financial troubles, including problems with improper billing practices, resignations within its upper ranks, such as the resignation of Dr. Brian Daly as chief medical officer last year, and complaints from employee union groups regarding a volatile work environment at the hospital.

Marc Larocque is a PBN staff writer. Contact him at You may also follow him on Twitter @LaRockPBN.