Raymond Beck has taken over as interim president and chief executive officer of Aliquippa (Pa.) Community Hospital in the wake of the mass exit of the bankrupt hospital's top brass.
Aliquippa's three top officials resigned earlier this month when it became clear that they did not have crucial support from the hospital's physicians. In a memo that was sent to hospital managers, former President and CEO Fred Hyde said a review of September finances revealed "the dramatic impact of physician discontent on our finances." Although financial recovery would be possible if physicians brought patients back to the troubled hospital, it would be impossible if they did not, Hyde said. Accordingly, Hyde, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ted Dzura and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Carol Wind submitted their resignations.
Perhaps this is just the "other opportunity" Beck was searching for when he resigned as president and CEO last April from UPMC Passavant in the North Hills section of Pittsburgh. For a time, Aliquippa and UPMC Passavant shared a common enemy: Pittsburgh-based UPMC Health System. But the unhappy siblings' fates with the academic health system turned out markedly different. Aliquippa filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, barely 18 months after the community won the financially beleaguered hospital from 17-hospital UPMC (Sept. 16, p. 17). On the other hand, under Beck's leadership, UPMC Passavant unsuccessfully tried to pull out of its 1997 merger with UPMC, complaining that UPMC was ruling with an iron fist. A three-member arbitration panel ruled in November 2001 that the financially strong but disgruntled hospital had to stay in the system.
Contacted by Modern Healthcare, Beck declined to comment, saying he was too busy with pressing hospital affairs to talk. But in a written statement, hospital officials said with Beck in place, Aliquippa is now in a position to focus on its reorganization.
"Unfortunately we've been through this situation before, but once again, Aliquippa Community Hospital has a new beginning," said George Ehringer, Aliquippa's chairman of the board.