Irwin Hansen said last week that he plans to resign as president and chief executive officer of financially troubled Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Oakland, Calif., effective Sept. 1.
Hansen, 58, headed Summit Medical Center at the time of its 1999 merger with Alta Bates Medical Center, Berkeley, Calif., and its affiliation with Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health.
His unexpected resignation comes less than a month after the two-hospital system said it would cut 300 jobs and take other actions to stem mounting losses (Aug. 13, p. 38).
Warren Kirk, the organization's chief operating officer, will serve as interim CEO; the Alta Bates Summit board will meet early next month to discuss its next step. Kirk was president of Alta Bates at the time of the merger.
The system has acknowledged that its controversial merger, which was the subject of an antitrust lawsuit later thrown out by a federal judge, cost more than expected. The system's loss, at $19 million in the first half of 2001, may top $40 million by year-end, with increased labor costs contributing. The Hunter Group, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based turnaround firm, has been hired to get the system back on track.
In a written statement, Hansen said he looks forward to spending more time with his family after working in urban hospitals for several years.