Walter Ettinger has been named president of UMass Memorial Medical Center, which includes three hospital campuses that are part of five-hospital UMass Memorial Health Care based in Worcester. Ettinger, 52, was previously vice president of medical affairs and education at 650-bed Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. The 779-bed UMass Memorial Medical Center, Ettinger says, "is a place that is really on the upswing, but I think that all hospitals need to be focusing a lot of efforts on improving their operations." An internist who has an MBA from the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University, Ettinger says he will continue to practice medicine at least occasionally. "I'm a physician first and foremost, and it's just something I need to do," Ettinger says. "It's a great way to know what's really going on" in the hospital, he said. UMass Memorial Medical Center is the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. ... Gus Valdespino has been named president and CEO of St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles, part of seven-hospital Daughters of Charity Health System, Los Altos Hills, Calif. Valdespino, 44, who takes over Feb. 2 from the retiring William Parente, comes to the facility from Tenet Healthcare Corp., where he has spent his entire career, most recently as senior vice president of operations for the Southern California region. Valdespino was a 1998 Modern Healthcare "Up & Comer." ... Richard Celiberti is the new president and CEO of Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center in New York. Celiberti, 58, will also serve as a senior vice president at parent company Catholic Health Care Network, which has 10 hospitals in New York. Celiberti most recently was acting COO at Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was involved in a major financial turnaround of the facility. "Financial pressures have caused Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center to look at its operations and the way it delivers its services to the community," says hospital board Chairman Chris Conley. "Mr. Celiberti's expertise will lead the hospital in its efforts to address those pressures." ... Irma Goertzen is retiring as president and CEO of Magee-Womens Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, effective March 1. Goertzen, 71, will continue as president and CEO of Magee-Womens Health Corp., the parent of Magee-Womens Research Institute, Magee-Womens Health Foundation, and Magee Womancare International. At the hospital, she is being replaced on an interim basis by Deborah Linhart, 49, Magee-Womens' vice president of ambulatory care and strategic development.
Three new members took their seats on the expanded board of Joint Commission Resources, the not-for-profit consulting subsidiary of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, as part of the accrediting agency's plan to eliminate a voting majority of JCR board directors who double as members of the JCAHO's board of commissioners. The new JCR directors are Gordon Sprenger, former president and CEO of Allina Health System, Minneapolis, and a past chairman of the American Hospital Association; Jack Bailey, vice president of business-to-business operations for Eli Lilly and Co.; and Marc Smith, president and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association. Two other board seats have not been filled. The JCR board in December 2002 voted to increase its size to 17 members from 12, seven of whom also serve on the 29-member JCAHO board. ... Robert Parsons, a trustee at Intermountain Health Care, Salt Lake City, was named chairman of the American Hospital Association's 2004 Committee on Governance. Ernest Sutton, 56, the past chairman of the Albemarle Hospital Board of Trustees and Building Committee in Elizabeth City, N.C., will join Parsons on the board in the position of chairman-elect. The committee is responsible for the oversight of the AHA's trustee programs and initiatives in advocacy, community leadership, education and policy. Sutton is the administrator of Pasquotank Correctional Institution, Elizabeth City.