Describing the corruption in Illinois as “deep, wide and pervasive,” Pamela Davis, president and chief executive officer of 301-bed Edward Hospital in Naperville, Ill., called for an end to the certificate-of-need requirement for new healthcare facilities in Illinois and the whole country.
“My personal belief is that there is no reason for certificate of need in any state,” Davis said during a news conference call. “I believe competition is the best way to regulate the type and amount of healthcare” found in a community.
Davis went to the FBI after she said she was approached before a 2003 Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board meeting and was told that Edward Hospital’s proposal for a new hospital in Plainfield, Ill., would never get approved unless she followed instructions on which companies to hire for the project.
Davis said she then agreed to wear a wire so the FBI could record eight months of her conversations with the “bad guys,” and tapes of those conversations have proved to be vital to the federal government’s probe into Illinois government
corruption. While her activities have led to praise and accolades, including being named the “person of the week”
by ABC news , Davis said her efforts to get the new hospital approved continue to be stymied
She blamed this on two unnamed state health department staffers who she said “continue to act in a mean and hostile way.”
“I actually believe there is revenge occurring,” Davis said. “Our project continues to be tainted by the fact that I stood up and did the right thing.”
She said participating in the investigation was worth it, but that it was also like holding down two stressful full-time jobs.
“I found myself alone, isolated and—more times than I wanted—in my office with the door closed,” Davis said, adding that during the ordeal, she lost weight, developed “high blood pressure issues,” and found her fingernails becoming paper thin to the point of falling off. “Would I do it again? Absolutely, I would do it again.”
What do you think?
Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your comments to Modern Healthcare Online
. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.