HealthLeaders Media HR - January 18, 2010 | Wellness Movement is a Worthy Entree, But Hold the Guilt and Shame
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Wellness Movement is a Worthy Entree, But Hold the Guilt and Shame
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media

I very much support the wellness movement. It's needed now more than ever, as the CDC reports that 34% of adults, and 17% of kids are obese. If we want to reduce healthcare costs by any significant measure, getting people to take responsibility for their health is the single most important component. However, when we create the incentives for healthier living that are at the heart of wellness programs, we must also understand that not everybody will be able to take full advantage of those incentives. [Read More]
  January 18, 2010

Editor's Picks
Tobacco users need not apply
Here's an interesting piece out of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Beginning Feb. 1, Memorial Hospital in the Scenic City will no longer hire people who use tobacco products. No puffers. No chewers. No dippers. No spitters. No, er, patchers. Brad Pope, vice president of human resources at Memorial, told the paper that the decision isn't about economics, but is an extension of the hospital's healing mission. People offered employment at Memorial will be tested for nicotine during their required drug test. Even nicotine gum or the patch would make a potential employee ineligible. The rule does not affect current employees. This begs the question "what's next?" I can't fault the hospital and I understand where they are coming from, but this opens up a can of worms. It's one thing to test people for illegal drugs, but tobacco is a legal product in all 50 states. How far can an employer's mandates impose themselves into the lawful behavior of their employees? [Read More]
WV hospital workers fired for refusing flu shots
Here is another example of the individual's right bumping up against the mandates of the institution. Two employees at Charleston (WV) Area Medical Center were fired for reportedly refusing to receive hospital-mandated vaccinations against the seasonal flu virus. Once again, I find myself siding with the hospital, albeit uneasily. I believe the hospital's concerns are valid. But there's also the libertarian streak in me that gets a little anxious when people lose the right to be left alone. [Read More]
Demand for healthcare workers accelerating in most regions
Is this a bellwether for the overall economy, or simply more evidence that the healthcare sector is more resilient to the recession? The demand for healthcare workers appears to be accelerating in most areas of the nation. Labor trends in 30 markets tracked by the consulting firm Health Workforce Solutions LLC found demand growing fastest in Sacramento, Riverside/San Bernardino, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Dallas for the fourth quarter of 2009. The New York/Northern New Jersey area ranked at the bottom of the 30 markets tracked. [Read More]
Layoffs imposed at NC hospital
Despite that resiliency in the healthcare sector, layoffs continue in some parts of the nation. Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton, NC, has laid off 112 people, or just under 5% of its workforce of 2,300. Hospital officials blamed the weak economy for the cuts, which are expected to save $7.5 million. There is also the ripple effect of the layoffs. In many areas, the hospital is one of the largest—if not the largest—employer. Robeson County Economic Development Director Greg Cummings told the local paper: "We never anticipated we would be losing those kinds of jobs, especially at Southeastern Regional Medical Center." He estimated that the workers earned $27,000 and up. [Read More]
Executives on the Move
NEW YORK: Varmus to step down at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Harold Varmus, the president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center since 2000, announced that he has asked the MSKCC Boards of Overseers and Managers to begin a search for his successor. The announcement was made as part of his annual New Year message, emailed to all MSKCC employees. Varmus, co-recipient of a Nobel Prize in 1989 for the discovery of cancer genes, was recruited to the Center 10 years ago after heading the National Institutes of Health for over six years during the Clinton Administration. Varmus said his original intention was to serve as MSKCC's president for about 10 years and stated that, despite continuing to enjoy his position at the Center, "I believe that the institution would now benefit from a fresh approach to the issues it will face in the decade ahead." [Read More]

MIAMI: Baptist Health South Florida shuffles CEOs
Baptist Health South Florida has announced that Javier Hernandez-Lichtl, a 22-year veteran of the company and current CEO of South Miami Hospital, has been named CEO of West Kendall Baptist Hospital. The facility will be the first new hospital in Miami-Dade County in 40 years. It is expected to open in early 2011. Baptist Health announced three other senior management changes. Lincoln Mendez, now CEO at Doctors Hospital, will become CEO of South Miami Hospital; Nelson Lazo, now CEO at Mariners Hospital in Tavernier, will take over as Doctors Hospital CEO; and Rick Freeburg, chief operating officer of South Miami Hospital, will take over as CEO of Mariners Hospital. [Read More]

GAINESVILLE, FL: Gray named to UF's new chair on global health
The University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions has appointed Gregory C. Gray, MD, founding chair of the college's new department of environmental and global health. Gray comes to UF from the University of Iowa, where he established and directed the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases. [Read More]

WASHINGTON: Thomas named VP for Public Policy at NCQA
The National Committee for Quality Assurance has named Sarah Thomas as its vice president for Public Policy and External Relations. She will be responsible for directing NCQA's relations with Congress, federal agencies, and the states, as well as NCQA's work with the media and other external audiences. Thomas is formerly the director of the Public Policy Institute Health Team at AARP. Thomas has 13 years of experience in the federal government. She was deputy director at the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and served at the Congressional Budget Office and CMS. Thomas succeeds Richard Sorian, who is awaiting Senate confirmation as deputy secretary for public affairs at HHS. [Read More]

BRUSH, CO: East Morgan County Hospital CEO resigns
Nancy Schmid resigned as CEO at East Morgan County Hospital effective Jan. 8. Linda Thorpe, CFO at the Brush hospital, will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement has been named. Schmid joined Banner Health as EMCH's CEO in 2008 after successful stints in other healthcare organizations. [Read More]

PINAL COUNTY, AZ: Krmpotic named CEO at Banner Ironwood MC
Deb Krmpotic, RN, has been named CEO for Banner Ironwood Medical Center at Combs and Gantzel Roads in Pinal County, AZ. The 36-bed Banner Ironwood will open Nov. 1, 2010. Krmpotic most recently served as CNO at Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa. She has extensive rural health experience, serving as administrator/CEO at two former Banner facilities; Lisbon Medical Center in North Dakota and Lookout Memorial Hospital in South Dakota. [Read More]

DEERFIELD BEACH, FL: Miller named finance director at North Broward MC
Broward Health North Broward Medical Center has promoted Nancy Miller to director of finance. Miller, a CPA, joined Broward Health in 1972 initially, working in nursing administration at Imperial Point Medical Center. She came to North Broward Medical Center in 2008 as a senior financial analyst. [Read More]

MIAMI: Jackson Health names Small new COO
Jackson Health System has selected a chief operating officer to be the No. 2 in command for Miami-Dade's beleaguered safety-net system. David R. Small, a veteran administrator with 35 years in the healthcare business, has been named to the post by Eneida Roldan, Jackson's CEO. Small's last position was in Chicago, where he was COO and interim CEO of Cook County Health and Hospitals System. [Read More]

SUGAR LAND, TX: Levermann named CEO at St. Luke's Sugar Land Hospital
James Levermann has been appointed CEO of St. Luke's Sugar Land Hospital, effective Jan. 11. He was also named a vice president of the St. Luke's Episcopal Health System. He was most recently CFO for Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, and has held leadership positions at Texas Children's Hospital. [Read More]

AVON, IN: Bailey named CEO at Clarian West Medical Center
The Clarian West Board of Managers has selected Matthew Bailey to succeed Al Gatmaitan as president/CEO of Clarian West Medical Center. Bailey is currently CEO of Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, IN. He is the outgoing chairman of the Indiana Hospital Association. Doug Puckett, Clarian West CFO/COO, has been serving as interim CEO since the departure of Al Gatmaitan for Clarian Arnett Health in Lafayette in November. [Read More]

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