Optima Healthcare, Manchester, N.H., took an important step toward dissolution, with the appointments of executives to head the soon-to-be separated Catholic Medical Center and Elliot Hospital.
The system's former president and chief executive officer, Douglas Dean, 46, was named president and CEO of 238-bed Elliot Hospital, effective immediately.
Alyson Pitman Giles, 45, was named president and CEO of 242-bed Catholic Medical Center, also effective immediately. Giles had been executive vice president and chief operating officer there since November 1998.
In a companion move, Patrick Duffy, chairman of the Optima board, assumed Dean's management responsibilities at the corporate level through the completion of the disaffiliation, which could take up to a year to complete.
Dean predicted the hospitals will have resolved most of the administrative and clinical issues needed to operate separately during the next three to six months.
Under Optima's corporate umbrella, the two hospitals had centralized many departments and services, including billing and purchasing. Untangling information systems will present the most challenges and will take longer than six months to finish, Dean said.
Elliot and CMC, the only acute-care hospitals in Manchester, merged to form Optima in 1994. In February, Optima decided to dissolve in response to community opposition to the consolidation of acute-care services at Elliot and a finding by the New Hampshire attorney general last year that consolidation violated the charitable missions of the hospitals.