On the eve of what was expected to be a contentious board of directors meeting, the head of Florida’s compensation program for brain-damaged children abruptly resigned.
Kenney Shipley, who has overseen the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association, or NICA, for nearly two decades, announced her resignation in a letter Wednesday. It takes effect Jan. 4, 2022, though Shipley intends to claim accrued leave time after an interim director is appointed.
“I feel grateful and honored to have been able to serve the very special families that I have worked with over the years,” Shipley wrote in her letter ahead of a Thursday meeting. “Many have been my heroes and taught me what real strength and character are.”
Shipley, a former insurance adjuster, had been facing intense criticism since April when the Miami Herald, in partnership with the investigative newsroom ProPublica, began publishing a series of stories about the program, created by the Florida Legislature in 1988 to immunize obstetricians from the financial consequences of catastrophic births.
The investigation by the news organizations detailed how NICA had amassed nearly $1.5 billion in assets while administrators often refused requests large and small — for medication, medical equipment...