Robert G. Newman, M.D., 59, is stepping down as president and chief executive officer of New York's Beth Israel Medical Center to devote more time to his duties as CEO of Greater Metropolitan Health System. Beth Israel last month signed a letter of intent to form a regional management services organization with West Palm Beach, Fla.-based PhyMatrix (April 28, p. 8). Greater Metropolitan is the parent of a new partnership between Beth Israel and New York's St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center. Matthew E. Fink, M.D., 46, chairman of Beth Israel's department of neurology, has been tapped to replace Newman as head of the 1,392-bed teaching hospital.
Longtime Tenet Healthcare Corp. executive Michael H. Ford announced his retirement last month to pursue a career in international business. Ford, 55, Tenet's senior vice president for project development, will leave the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company to work as a board member and consultant at Vista Health Care, based in Singapore. Ford also will work with Chase Capital Partners, the investment branch of Chase Manhattan Bank. During Ford's 16 years with Tenet and its predecessor National Medical Enterprises, he served as president and chief operating officer of Tenet's former international division, which was sold in 1995. Ford then took his latest position with Tenet, helping expand its domestic operations.
John Lucas, M.D., is leaving Lovelace Health Systems in Albuquerque, N.M., to become president and chief executive officer of St. Francis Health System in Tulsa, Okla. Lucas has run Lovelace as chief medical officer and CEO since 1992. Lovelace, a fully integrated health delivery system owned by Cigna, also operates a statewide HMO with 162,000 enrollees. St. Francis Health System, which Lucas will join after June, operates 591-bed Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa. Lucas said he wanted to "go back to being more focused on the provider aspect of healthcare-back to direct services to patients."
The top executive at Buffalo, N.Y.-based Millard Fillmore Health System, which is merging with two other Buffalo hospitals, is leaving his post for a new job. Charles Van Vorst, 54, has accepted a job as president and chief executive officer of 477-bed Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago. Mercy's current CEO, Winkle Lee, is retiring in June. Van Vorst will assume his new responsibilities July 1. Millard Fillmore expects to sign a definitive merger agreement with its two new partners by Aug. 1. Van Vorst has spent much of his career in Illinois. From 1979 to 1990, he was president and CEO of the Carle Foundation, which operates a 540-bed hospital in Urbana, Ill.
Wayne M. Lerner has officially been named the new president and chief executive officer of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Lerner, 47, succeeds Henry Betts, M.D., 68, who shepherded the institute for more than 30 years. Lerner takes over the institute in the middle of major efforts to upgrade the rehabilitation hospital's information systems and streamline its administrative and clinical operations. "We need to continue to expand our clinical influence while we commit to improving our systems, so that all who utilize our services experience the `benchmark' care that others try to emulate," Lerner told employees. Lerner has been vice president of the Lash Group, a Bannockburn, Ill.-based healthcare consulting firm for the past year. Previously, he was president of Jewish Hospital in St. Louis from January 1991 to March 1996. Following Jewish Hospital's merger with Barnes Hospital and Christian Health Services to form BJC Health System, he served as executive vice president of the system from July 1993 to March 1996. Betts will now serve as chairman of the foundation for the institute and will focus on fund raising and advocacy work on behalf of people with disabilities.