DENVER-Denver Health and Hospitals, which runs the city's health service, will become an independent governmental authority on Jan. 1. Colorado approved the creation of a hospital authority two years ago. Denver officials argue that the restructuring will lead to a more efficient system by freeing it of cumbersome city rules (Aug. 21, 1995, p. 96). As part of the transformation, 313-bed Denver General Hospital was renamed Denver Health Medical Center. Most of the department's functions will be transferred to the new authority, but the coroner's office and several public health activities will remain with the city.
FORT WORTH, Texas-Harris Methodist Fort Worth's emergency department won the RIT/USA Today Quality Cup Competition, a fifth annual contest sponsored by the Rochester Institute of Technology and USA Today. The competition, which attracted 122 entries, recognizes quality improvement efforts in different industries. Through a 21/2-year continuous improvement process, the hospital deleted 65% of the steps that patients go through in receiving emergency department treatment. The process increased patient satisfaction, decreased length of stay and reduced the number of patients who left the emergency room against medical advice, officials said.
DALLAS-The Perot Foundation made a $23.3 million pledge to University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center that officials said was one of the largest ever made to a medical school. The pledge follows a grant of $20 million to the medical center in 1988. "This grant reflects my confidence in UT Southwestern," said Ross Perot, Dallas businessman and on-again-off-again presidential candidate. "It has become clear that an investment in UT Southwestern produces major progress." The funding goes toward training of medical scientists and biomedical research in the laboratories of Nobel laureates and their colleagues. For example, the foundation's funding supports the Erik Jonsson Center for Research in Molecular Genetics and Human Disease, which targets heart and vascular disease, brain function and cancer.