HealthLeaders Media HR - December 28, 2009 | AAFP President Says Health Reform Bill a Good Start for Addressing Physician Shortage
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AAFP President Says Health Reform Bill a Good Start for Addressing Physician Shortage
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media

Lori Heim, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, says she is encouraged by several provisions in both the House and Senate reform bills that begin to address the nation's dire shortage of primary care physicians. [Read More]
  December 28 2009

Editor's Picks
HHS Offers $38M in New HIT Workforce Development Grants
HHS last week announced it is targeting $38 million for additional grants to support the training and development of a skilled health IT workforce. These latest awards, together with the recently announced $80 million in workforce program grants for the Community College Consortia and Curriculum Development Centers, recognize the need to develop a health IT workforce to support the meaningful use of health IT, said David Blumenthal, MD, HHS' national coordinator for health IT. That is one way to spin it. But does it not also indicate that this nation's healthcare system—on the cusp of a long-touted technological revolution—has a woeful and alarming lack of skilled people in place to run the technology? Don't get me wrong. The new grants are good news. But it's a little unnerving, too. Is the electronic health records movement really this far behind the hype? Consider the announcement earlier this month from HHS that it was offering $60 million in grants for researchers to develop "breakthrough advances" that overcome barriers to the adoption and meaningful use of health IT. Huh?! Even though we are just a few short years away from widespread and mandated implementation of EHR, kinks remain in the system when it comes to both "meaningful use" and "interoperability," the lodestone of the medical records movement. Given that lives are at stake, and the money involved, you would have thought that many of these core issues would have been settled by now. [Read More]
SEIU-UHW Trumpets Pay Raises for Members, Despite Bad Economy
Get used to reading stories like this, because you're going to see a lot of them in the coming year as organized labor launches a blitz on the healthcare sector. I've been a journalist for about 25 years, and I've frequently covered organized labor in various sectors; trucking, rubber workers, healthcare. I have no beef with unions. They perform an important function and organized labor has made this country a better place. I have noticed, however, that they've become more and more media savvy every year. Twenty years ago, you couldn't get a union organizer to return your calls, or even pick up the phone at the local headquarters. It would just ring and ring. Not even an answering machine. Now, the folks at SEIU and the National Nurses Union—among others—are very acutely tuned to not only the concerns of the nation's labor force, but also how media work. If your hospital is involved in an organizing battle with the unions, you'd better have your message in place for the media. Rest assured, labor will. [Read More]
Success Story: Sisters of Mercy Health
Learn how the Sisters of Mercy implemented changes to improve service quality through IBM Service Management solutions. These solutions facilitate a business process transformation that fosters a culture of productivity and continuous improvement. Download the free copy of Success Story: Sisters of Mercy Health. [Read More]
Executives on the Move
WASHINGTON: Quirin to lead AHA's Metro Hospitals section
Julie Quirin, CEO of Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, will lead the American Hospital Association's Section for Metropolitan Hospitals as chair of its 24-member governing council for 2010. The Section is a forum for suburban and urban hospitals to discuss common interests and concerns and to participate in the AHA policy process. Mark Gavens, senior vice president, Clinical Care Services/COO for Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles is this year's chair-elect. Brian A. Gragnolati, president/CEO of Suburban Hospital Healthcare System in Bethesda, MD, is immediate past chair. The Metropolitan governing council advises the AHA on federal policy issues. [Read More]

TAMPA: WellCare Health Plans names new CEO
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. has announced that Alec R. Cunningham, 42, has been elected CEO effective today. Cunningham, who is currently president of WellCare's Florida and Hawaii division, will succeed current President/CEO Heath Schiesser, who, as previously announced, will leave the company at the end of this year. [Read More]

MARRIOTSVILLE, MD: New CEO named at Bon Secours St. Francis
Secours Health System and the Bon Secours St. Francis Health System have appointed Mark Nantz as its new CEO for Bon Secours St. Francis Health System in Greenville, SC. Nantz will assume his new responsibilities at St. Francis Feb. 1. Nantz comes to St. Francis from Carolinas HealthCare System, where he is currently president of Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast in Concord, NC. [Read More]

WOODSVILLE, NH: Ryan named CEO at Cottage Hospital
The Cottage Hospital Board of Trustees has appointed Maria Ryan as the new CEO of Cottage Hospital, a 25-bed, critical access hospital in Woodsville, NH. The transition of this office is expected to be completed in late January. Ryan is has served a dual role as Cottage Hospital's CNO/COO for the past three years. She succeeds Reg Lavoie, the current CEO. [Read More]

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL: Cowling named CEO at PBG Medical Center
J. Michael Cowling has been named CEO at the 199-bed Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. Cowling most recently served as division vice president with Health Management Associates, a Naples, FL-based operator of acute care hospitals. Opened in 1968, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center is owned by a subsidiary of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. [Read More]

LOS ANGELES: Health Net Inc. names new general counsel
Health Net, Inc. has named Angelee Bouchard, 41, as senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, effective immediately. Bouchard joined Health Net in 2003 as vice president, assistant general counsel, and assistant secretary. Her primary responsibilities have included oversight of all of the company's corporate finance and merger-and-acquisition transactions as well as the company's corporate governance program. [Read More]

DALLAS: Akdamar named CEO at Medical City Dallas Hospital
Medical City Dallas Hospital has named Erol Akdamar president/CEO, effective Jan. 11. Akdamar, 42, is currently CEO at St. David's South Austin Hospital. He has held various senior management roles over the past 15 years, including hospitals involved in partnerships between HCA and tax-exempt organizations such as St. David's in Austin, Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria, LA, and Tulane University Hospitals in New Orleans. [Read More]

CHARLOTTE, NC: Premier promotes McKasson to CFO
Craig McKasson, vice president of finance and corporate controller at Premier Inc., will be promoted to senior vice president/CFO effective Jan.1. As CFO, McKasson will join Premier's executive leadership team and will report directly to Susan DeVore, Premier's president/CEO. McKasson will replace Ann Rhoads, who is resigning her position after 11 years of service, following a recently announced office consolidation that is expected to be complete by February 2011. [Read More]

ABINGTON, PA: Merlis named CEO at Abington Health
The Board of Trustees of Abington Health voted to appoint Laurence M. Merlis its new president/CEO. Merlis will succeed Richard L. Jones, Jr., who will retire on Jan. 31. Merlis has served as president/CEO at GBMC HealthCare/Greater Baltimore Medical Center since 1999. [Read More]

TAMPA: SRI/Surgical Express appoints new CFO
Mark Faris was promoted to vice president/CFO at SRI/Surgical Express Inc., which provides central processing and supply chain management services to hospitals and surgery centers across the United States. He has been serving as interim principal financial officer since April, succeeding former CFO Wallace Ruiz. Faris joined SRI as controller and vice president in February 2007. He previously was director of treasury for WellCare Health Plans Inc. [Read More]

OCEANSIDE, NY: HANYS names new chairman
South Nassau Communities Hospital President/CEO Joseph A. Quagliata has been named chairman of the Healthcare Association of New York State Board of Trustees for a one-year term that begins Jan. 1. HANYS is the only statewide advocate for more than 550 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, homecare agencies, and other healthcare organizations throughout New York State. HANYS' volunteer Board of Trustees is responsible for managing the Association's activities. [Read More]

NASHVILLE: Boyd named interim CEO at Metro Hospital Authority
Jason Boyd has been appointed interim chief executive of the Metro Nashville Hospital Authority. He will assume the role on Feb. 1. Current CEO Reginald Coopwood, MD, recently told the authority's board that he plans to accept the chief executive post at Regional Medical Center in Memphis. Boyd had been COO of the authority, which runs Nashville General Hospital at Meharry and other facilities. [Read More]

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