Telecommunications company Ameritech last week replaced the top executive of its healthcare information systems integration business.
The new head of Ameritech Health Connections, John M. Slotterback, 48, was hired to bring a foundation of healthcare to the 4-year-old unit of the regional "Baby Bell" company that's based in Chicago, spokesmen said.
The resignation of Joseph Sullivan, 49, who brought a banking services background to the president's post, also coincided with the Jan. 1 elevation of Richard C. Notebaert to president and chief executive officer of Ameritech.
Mr. Notebaert, 46, took personal charge of the interviewing and hiring of Mr. Sullivan's replacement, an indication that "the healthcare commitment is at the very top of the house," said Gail Gulinson, vice president for marketing at Ameritech Health Connections.
Reached by MODERN HEALTHCARE, Mr. Sullivan said "a style difference with our new CEO" played a part in his resignation. "He's going to put together a team that he has complete confidence in," Mr. Sullivan said.
Ameritech formed a new unit to enter the healthcare market in 1990 and organized it as Health Connections in December 1992 to develop community health information networks, said spokeswoman Begay Atkinson.
The core of the network is the Keystone data repository developed by Knowledge Data Systems, which Ameritech purchased in 1991. The repository acts as a hub that receives, transmits and stores information from disparate information systems.
Ameritech didn't disclose how much of its $11.2 billion in annual revenues is generated by the healthcare information systems unit.
Mr. Slotterback, who will join the unit as general manager, is an information systems consultant and former executive for healthcare claims processing and medical supply organizations.
From 1987 to 1992, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of CIS Technologies, based in Tulsa, Okla. Before that, he had senior management positions with American Hospital Supply, the giant healthcare supplier that merged with Baxter International.
Ameritech Health Connections helped develop the Wisconsin Health Information Network in Milwaukee, which began operating last year. It's developing similar networks in Nashville, Tenn., and the Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio, area.-John Morrissey