CHICAGO-Unionized nurses held a rally earlier this month to protest rumored additional staff layoffs at 437-bed University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center. Since July 1999, when the troubled hospital was taken over by the Hunter Group, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based hospital turnaround firm, the medical center has trimmed 400 of its 2,250 positions. Most of the cuts were accomplished through attrition and job-shifting; 50 were nursing positions. Meanwhile, UIC Medical Center named John DeNardo, 51, former director and chief executive officer of 957-bed Veterans Affairs Edward Hines Jr. Hospital, as its new executive director, effective Feb. 14. The hospital's board voted to end the Hunter Group's stint as of April 30, three months beyond its initial six-month contract. UIC Medical Center also is discussing some form of corporate collaboration with neighboring 719-bed Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center and 591-bed Cook County Medical Center.
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