* Detroit's Henry Ford Health System, a year into a search to replace retiring President and CEO Gail Warden, may be closing in on a candidate after narrowing the field to six candidates, executive recruiters told Crain's Detroit Business, a sister publication of Modern Healthcare.
Three of the candidates are internal and may include system Executive Vice President and COO Nancy Schlichting; Cleve Killingsworth Jr., president and CEO of the system's Health Alliance Plan; and Mark Kelley, executive vice president and chief medical officer for the health system and CEO of its 900-physician group practice, Henry Ford Medical Group.
Warden, who will turn 65 in May, plans to stay on for several months after the selection to assist with the transition.
* Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, Pa., has released two letters from former CFO Kirk Gorman in an attempt to shed light on his dismissal last week (Feb. 17, p. 13).
Both letters were addressed to the Philadelphia office of KPMG, Universal's new auditing firm, and they describe what Gorman last week referred to as "philosophical differences." Universal hired KPMG last year after it dismissed former auditor Arthur Andersen. In the first letter, dated Dec. 12, 2002, Gorman noted that he is "neither a certified public accountant nor a securities lawyer" and that leads him to "rely upon KPMG to ensure that our financial statements ... are in compliance with (generally accepted accounting principles) and securities regulations."
In a letter dated Feb. 10, Gorman sought to clarify his position. He wrote that he had not intended to leave the impression that he doubted the veracity of the company's financial statements or that he wanted to shift responsibility for the statements' accuracy to KPMG. Nevertheless, KPMG expressed sufficient qualms about relying on Gorman, who joined UHS in 1987, that the board decided to dismiss him, UHS said.