Longtime Goldman, Sachs & Co. investment banker Ed Shapoff made a bold career change in January when he took a job as chief financial officer of Continuum Health Partners, a New York-based system with four hospitals, including 1,275-bed Beth Israel Medical Center.
But it didn't take long for Shapoff to realize the job wasn't for him. In October, he was back behind a desk at Goldman, Sachs, after resigning from Continuum in July.
"After all these years, serving the capital side of healthcare is what I do best," says Shapoff, who turned 55 on Nov. 1. Shapoff returned to the position of vice president in Goldman, Sach's municipal bond division, where he focuses on healthcare and higher education. He's been an investment banker for 25 years, including 20 at Goldman, Sachs in New York.
Continuum did not return calls from Outliers seeking comment last week. The system has not named a replacement.
Shapoff says the experience of overseeing an array of operations, from payroll to managed-care negotiations, gave him a higher regard for healthcare managers. "I'm not sure that investment bankers understand the real complexity of running hospitals and healthcare systems," he says.
Office move. Where did the federal Office for the Advancement of Telehealth go? That's what one member of Congress wants to know.
The office, formerly in the office of the administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, is being merged with the HRSA's HIV/AIDS bureau. But Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.) objects to that move, saying it will dilute the focus of the telemedicine office, which he believes is even more important to keep open in the wake of bioterrorism attacks in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Washington.
"The large federal investment already made in establishing a network of programs providing telemedicine services can be used to educate rural medical professionals on how to diagnose, report and respond to the effects of terrorism," Bereuter says.
The telehealth office, which HHS oversees, awarded $34.7 million in grants in fiscal 2001. HHS officials did not return calls seeking an explanation for the move.
Stealing from the sick. Maybe the giveaway was when the 'N Sync and Britney Spears compact discs were mistakenly shipped to a nursing home. But now residents of such homes have something else to worry about besides being sick, injured or frail: identity theft.
A Detroit woman and a nurse's aide from Bay City, Mich., were charged late last month in two separate incidents with applying for credit cards and ordering merchandise without the knowledge or consent of the cardholders-residents of southeast Michigan nursing homes. Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm charged Carlito Williams, 26, and Ashley Lynn Logan, 24-also known as Ashley Neal-with a single count each of felony criminal receipt of property under false pretenses.
Williams was accused of fraudulently opening a credit-card account in the name of a 94-year-old dementia patient at the Sisters of Bon Secours Nursing Care Center in St. Clair Shores. Logan was a nurse's aide at Brittany Manor Nursing Home in Midland who was accused of using information from an 89-year-old dementia patient there to apply for a credit card, which she used at stores in the area. If convicted, the two face $10,000 fines and as many as five years in prison.
Cause to celebrate? We've got surprise parties, costume parties, office parties. But chickenpox parties?
Yes, it seems a growing number of parents leery of the relatively new chickenpox vaccine are throwing "chickenpox parties," inviting healthy children to play with infected ones in hopes that the youngsters will catch the disease and gain lifetime immunity, according to the Associated Press.
Such gatherings apparently have been around for years-even before the chickenpox vaccine-and for childhood diseases such as mumps and measles, too. Parents knew their kids would eventually catch such infections and simply wanted to get the ordeal over with at their convenience.
But now that some states are considering making the chickenpox vaccine mandatory for children first entering school, more parents are opting for this "natural" immunization method.
Some parents say they are uncertain of the safety and effectiveness of the 6-year-old vaccine, called Varivax, and aren't willing to risk their children's coming down with side effects. Others are taking a political stand against Varivax because it's grown from a culture of human diploid cells, which are derived from aborted fetuses.
Health officials, however, discourage chickenpox parties, arguing that the disease isn't as benign as it seems. Before Varivax, 100 people died from chickenpox each year and 5,000 to 9,000 were hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.