Porter Medical president resigns over plagiarized emails

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MIDDLEBURY — The Porter Medical Center Board today announced President and COO Seleem Choudhury will resign from the Middlebury hospital effective immediately.

The Board also announced Fred Kniffin, MD will return in an interim role during this time of transition.

In an email to the Porter community, Seleem wrote that he had concluded that he could no longer lead the organization.

Choudhury offered a personal apology and expressed deep admiration for the Porter community.

The resignation comes following recent developments relating to his weekly employee emails, some of which were plagiarized.

Porter is part of the UVM Health Network.

Porter’s board of directors accepted Seleem’s resignation and thanked him for putting the interests of the Porter community at the forefront.

“The members of the Porter board are saddened by the situation, and believe this is the right decision for the Porter community to move forward,” said Sivan Cotel, Porter Medical Center Board Chairman. “Seleem worked hard for the organization and we appreciate his service. It is now time for us to look to the future.”

UVM Health Network leadership also expressed appreciation for the work Seleem has done in the months since taking the helm at Porter.

“I want to thank Seleem for doing what he feels is best for Porter,” said UVM Health Network CEO Dr. John Brumsted. “Some may view this as a drastic step given the circumstances, but when a leader believes he can no longer be effective in his role, it is right to step aside. I believe Seleem deserves a second chance and we will be working with him to see if there is an opportunity elsewhere in the UVM Health Network where his skills and talents can be applied.”

For his part, Seleem issued a personal apology to the Porter community:

Dear Porter Community,

I realize my actions surrounding my weekly e-mails were wrong and I apologize. I know I am no longer the right person to lead Porter and have made the decision to resign.

I care very much for the organization and its people and have tried to inspire others through connection, dedication and passion. Above all, I want Porter to be successful.

I will always be in awe of you, from those within the hospital, to the community clinics and of course those who work in the beautiful Helen Porter skilled nursing facility.

I will recall with fondness my time at Porter, through visible attentive leadership and warm conversations walking the halls and working in the cafeteria. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of this special place.