In the wake of the resignations of two chief executives within weeks of each other, Central DuPage Hospital has turned to a staff physician to try to stem months of turmoil at the 326-bed facility in suburban Chicago.
Anthony Tedeschi, M.D., took over last week as interim president of the hospital after the sudden departure of at least four top officials-including Donald Sibery, president and chief executive officer of Central DuPage Health, the hospital's parent company.
In recent months, several doctors have replaced lay administrators as the chief executives of hospitals or health systems, fueling a notion they are well-equipped to deal with their peers in the medical community-especially when troubles flare (Sept. 30, p. 6). In another recent example, 416-bed Cooper Health System in Camden, N.J., recently hired the ophthalmologist who serves as the head of its faculty practice of physicians as its new president and CEO, after conducting a nationwide search (See related story, p. 34). Sibery's resignation late last month came only about a month after his appointment as interim president of Central DuPage Hospital as the replacement for David Fox, a 25-year veteran who abruptly resigned Oct. 24.
In late September, two other top hospital staff members turned in their resignations-Vincent Sackett, M.D., vice president of medical administration, and Barbara Lockwood, vice president of nursing.
David Brooks, the system's chief operating officer, said he expects Tedeschi's professional background to give him a big boost in his new role. Brooks will work closely with Tedeschi as co-executive of the hospital's parent company while the board begins a national search for a new hospital president.
"He's very well-respected, and he's also a practicing physician, so he's going to understand much better than a lay person the needs of physicians," Brooks said.
The flurry of resignations at Central DuPage Hospital comes in the middle of an ambitious expansion plan at the hospital, which is located about 30 miles west of Chicago in Winfield, Ill. Central DuPage Hospital's big plans were announced about a month after a February survey by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations gave the hospital five Type I recommendations, which are aimed to force healthcare facilities to rectify problems within a certain time frame. The hospital won full accreditation about eight months later, according to the JCAHO's Web site and hospital officials. Brooks said the deficiencies involved minor concerns about documentation and paperwork.
Brooks said the upheaval in the hospital's top administration had nothing to do with the survey.