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Michael Butler
Michael Butler

Townsend takes over for Butler at LSU division

By Jessica Zigmond
Posted: July 7, 2009 - 2:45 pm ET

Michael Butler has been replaced as the CEO of the Louisiana State University Health Care Services division by Roxane Townsend, the acting CEO of the LSU Interim Hospital in New Orleans. The change, effective July 1, is part of a larger restructuring effort at LSU, said Fred Cerise, vice president for healthcare and medical education at the LSU system. Butler, 54, will continue working at LSU as director of the system's disease-management program.

Townsend will continue in her role as acting CEO at LSU Interim Hospital, which reduced its workforce in April by about 300 people as a result of about $24 million in budget cuts. According to Cerise, the LSU system contracts with professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal to manage the LSU Interim Hospital, which is housed in the system's former University Hospital; it was repaired after Hurricane Katrina. Butler was named one of Modern Healthcare's Top 25 minority executives in 2008.

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“Mike has a very strong history of success in our disease-management programs and we know that's going to be a more important piece for us going forward,” both at the state and federal levels, Cerise said, adding that he views the change as a “positive thing” to strengthen that segment for LSU.

In a letter to LSU hospital administrators, medical directors and employees last week, Cerise said the division has made great progress in terms of clinical measurement and performance improvement, specifically related to disease-management programs. “Our survival as an institution will depend on exemplary results in this area,” Cerise said in the letter. “Because of Mike's expertise, I have asked him to focus full time on these efforts.”

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