As a leader of one of 15 community groups invited to attend the Institute of Medicine's summit meeting on quality, it was discouraging to read the statement, "But galvanizing a community to act and invest may be much easier said than done, especially when short-term interests can compromise long-term progress," in your Washington View column ("Who will take charge of quality?" Jan. 26, p. 30).
The Greater Flint (Mich.) Health Coalition has been aggressively pursuing its partnership since 1996. We are not a business or purchaser coalition. General Motors and the United Auto Workers are partners, but three health systems-Genesys Health System, Hurley Medical Center and McLaren Regional Medical Center-are equal partners in the coalition.
Two years ago, I encouraged Modern Healthcare to highlight coalitions working in partnership with hospitals on quality projects, to no avail. Last November, U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona and the Michigan surgeon general kicked off the coalition's diabetes initiative. In December, we were invited to the IOM summit. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm highlighted our workforce program in her January State of the State speech and this month the governor will come to Flint to learn more about the coalition. Modern Healthcare needs to do the same.
President and CEO
Greater Flint (Mich.) Health Coalition
The chief quality officer
I agree with Walter Ettinger, president of UMass Memorial Medical Center, when he says, there is a "convergence of forces demanding ... quality and safety for patients," (Jan. 26, p. 30).
In the past several years, our firm and other search firms have seen an increasing number of client hospitals and healthcare systems asking us to conduct chief quality officer searches. In many cases this position takes the place of chief medical officer.
The "leadership void" that Donald Berwick sees is now being filled by these physician executive chief quality officers, who have considerable accomplishments and achievements in quality, safety and performance improvement. We should have great expectations of them.
Physician Executive Management Center
Clarifying a ruling
Contrary to the description in your regional news item (Feb. 2, p. 18), the arbitrator who presided over the dispute between former merger partners Provena Hospitals and Vista Health denied the relief Provena had requested.
Not only was the ruling against Provena on each of the three issues it had submitted to arbitration, but Provena was also ordered to pay attorneys' fees and expenses of Vista in defending the arbitration. At Vista, we regret the contentious nature of the unwinding of the affiliation and look forward to the future and focusing on our mission.
President and chief executive officer