Less than two weeks after telling Modern Healthcare he had no plans to step down, the embattled president and CEO of 10-hospital Detroit Medical Center told the system's board today that he would resign effective Sept. 30 from the not-for-profit system he has led since 1999. "Mission accomplished," Arthur Porter told the board, which accepted his resignation. "Now it is time for me to move on. And I think it's the right time." Porter, 47, a radiologist who joined DMC as its head of radiation oncology in 1991, was appointed to its management team as a vice president in January 1998 when the Hunter Group, St. Petersburg, Fla., was hired to turn the money-losing system around. Porter, a native of Freetown, Sierra Leone, and a graduate of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, was named by the DMC board in 1999 as acting president to replace David Coats. Coats was a Hunter consultant who served in that post on an interim basis after former CEO David Campbell resigned. Porter will remain a board consultant and will continue his medical practice there. "I have achieved what I wanted to achieve, and now DMC needs a different sort of a leader, someone who can build bridges and work in a new environment," Porter told Modern Healthcare.
Earlier this year, Porter threatened to close two DMC hospitals and lay off more than 1,000 employees to offset the $130 million the system provides in uncompensated care. Last month, Michigan officials announced a $50 million bailout and the establishment of a public health authority to absorb some of the responsibility for providing indigent care for the area's large uninsured population. DMC has lost nearly $400 million in the last five years. -- by Mark Taylor