Smith retired in December 2011 as the senior vice president of operations for Tenet Healthcare's central states region. He is credited with masterminding the struggling region's successful turnaround. In 2000, Smith was recruited by Clarent Hospital Corp. in Houston to complete a complex restructuring of the company and its hospitals. In between, he managed a three-state hospital region for Universal Health Services.
At Parkland, Smith's most urgent task will be to lead the effort to complete the tasks outlined in the CAP.
In recent months there has been growing concern that Parkland's systemic issues are thwarting improvement efforts. The June progress report from Alvarez & Martin, the independent safety consultant hired to oversee the CAP process, was critical of the number of patient care, patient safety, and adverse events that continued to occur at Parkland despite the implementation of a CAP, the daily presence of A&M, and "numerous state visits regarding adverse patient events."
In the report, A&M consultants placed blame on the inability of some members of the hospital's senior management team to drive "a true operations turnaround situation."