James Eastham, senior vice president and CEO of 724-bed Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, resigned today. Eastham, 56, was unavailable for comment, and hospital officials were working on a news release. The 1997 merger of Memorial Hospital Southwest and Hermann Hospital, which Eastham oversaw, is considered one of the more successful hospital consolidations, said John Self, president and managing director of JohnMarch CX Partners, an executive recruitment firm. It was part of a larger merger between two systems that produced 10-hospital Memorial Hermann Healthcare System. "This is a surprising announcement," Self said of Eastham's resignation. "This is a hospital that has flourished under his leadership." Eastham was in charge of Memorial Hermann when the hospital shut down in 2001 following Tropical Storm Allison, which disrupted power, water and telephone service. Physicians, employees and volunteers evacuated 570 patients by carrying them down darkened stairwells. -- by Patrick Reilly
Memorial Hermann Hospital CEO resigns
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