Rocking Horse Founder Ousted By Board Of Directors

Nov 13, 2013

An ongoing dispute between the founder of Springfield's Rocking Horse Community Health Center and its board of directors has reached a conclusion. An official statement from the board states that Dr. James Duffee is no longer employed there.

Duffee founded the center in 1999 to serve families with little or no health insurance, and he's been very popular with patients.

Recently CEO Dana Engle, who has been there since 2007, left Rocking Horse for another job. Duffee can't comment on his own termination, but he says the board is in a time of transition.

"That's a period of time in which the boards of non-profits have to reassess their direction, and sometimes they decide to move in a different direction," Duffee explained.

 But many people are upset about Duffee's departure.

A group of nearly 50 employees sent a letter to the board, accusing them of shifting to a more corporate, less community based, approach to care.

Rocking Horse Board Chair Rob Baker says the board parted ways with Duffee due to philosophical differences.

"The organization grew certainly and we did have some differences in terms of how best to achieve the mission," Baker says.

Duffee's termination agreement does leave him the freedom to continue with his patients. He says he's looking to keep practicing medicine in the Clark County area.