DENVER-Primera Healthcare, a primary-care delivery system being developed by two local hospitals, is searching for a leader after the January departure of its president. James Willard, longtime president of 339-bed Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge, had announced plans to retire from healthcare in 1994 when he agreed to a one-year stint at Primera. The network is being developed by Lutheran and 437-bed Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver. David Cooke, Primera's chief operating officer, and Eric Book, M.D., its medical director, are filling a temporary office of the president. Willard, 50, said he planned to take a few months off and then work with community organizations. He has been a director of several organizations, including Samaritan Institute, which provides Christian counseling services nationwide.
FORT WORTH, Texas-Tarrant County Hospital District has changed its name to JPS Health Network. The tax-supported hospital district will bear the initials of its flagship facility, 260-bed John Peter Smith Hospital. The system also includes eight ambulatory-care centers in the county.