After little more than two years in his post, George Belsey, the second highest-ranking executive at the American Hospital Association, resigned last week to pursue unspecified new opportunities in the healthcare industry.
"I do plan to explore opportunities on the delivery side of things, either in a hands-on position or in the area of network development," Mr. Belsey told MODERN HEALTHCARE last week.
Mr. Belsey, 54, said his pending departure was unrelated to the shift of many key association functions to the AHA's Washington office that began with the hiring of Richard Davidson as AHA's president in July 1991. Mr. Davidson relocated the office of AHA president to Washington from Chicago and later brought the AHA's policy and communications staff there as well.
Because of national healthcare reform and the AHA's own reform and lobbying initiatives, the spotlight frequently fell on the association's executives in Washington rather than on those running the Chicago office.
In a March 25 letter to Mr. Davidson, Mr. Belsey said, "After evaluating personal and family goals, I've concluded the current needs of the association at the Chicago executive vice president level are not consistent with my interests and skills."
An AHA spokesman said Mr. Belsey will be replaced, and the Chicago office will have an executive vice president. But the responsibilities of the post may be changed, he said.
Mr. Belsey was paid $233,000 in 1992, the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Belsey, who joined the AHA as executive vice president of professional affairs in January 1992, was in charge of the AHA's Chicago office, which employs about 475 people, excluding its subsidiaries and regional offices. He also served as AHA's president in the absence of Mr. Davidson, oversaw the AHA's 15 personal membership societies and served as the AHA's liaison to other national healthcare organizations.
Mr. Belsey's resignation followed by one week the resignation of William Jessee, M.D., as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' vice president for performance measures and research (March 28, p. 4). The pending departures of both Mr. Belsey and Dr. Jessee mean key posts will be temporarily vacant at a critical time in the evolution of JCAHO's hospital and network accreditation standards.
Before joining the AHA, Mr. Belsey was chief executive officer and executive director of the University of Utah Hospital and Clinics in Salt Lake City.
Mr. Belsey said he will stay with the AHA to oversee the relocation of its Chicago office to the Loop section of downtown Chicago from its two-building complex on the city's lakefront. AHA sources confirmed last week that the new site is located at One North Franklin in the Loop. The sources said the AHA soon will sign a lease on about 150,000 square feet in the 36-story building. The value of the lease wasn't available.