* St. Luke's Episcopal Health System, Houston, has recruited veteran academic health system leader David Fine to be its CEO, one month after a new affiliation with Baylor College of Medicine. Fine, 53, has been CEO at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System since 1999. Fine will replace Michael Jhin, who retired at the end of 2003, this summer. Jack Lynch, who has been serving as interim CEO and president of the St. Luke's system, will return to his previous job as system COO and CEO of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, the system's flagship. St. Luke's announced in April that it had become the primary private adult-teaching affiliate of Baylor.
* HCA, Nashville, promoted Charles Evans to president of the company's Eastern Group of about 100 hospitals. Evans, 57, replaces Jay Grinney, who left HCA to become CEO of HealthSouth Corp.
Evans joined the then-Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. in 1995 and has held executive roles overseeing HCA's hospitals in the Jacksonville, Fla., area and in North Carolina. Evans became president of the Mid America Division in 1998 and was promoted to president of the Southeast Division, which includes 18 hospitals in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, in 2001.
* In another of the continuing shake-ups among healthcare law firms, Chicago-based Gardner Carton & Douglas, announced that five lawyers from Stickler & Nelson will join its 240 lawyers and beef up its healthcare practice. Stickler & Nelson, also based in Chicago, specializes in labor and employment law representing healthcare industry employers. Founding partner Bruce Stickler has practiced employment and labor law for 30 years and is a former counsel to the American Hospital Association and past chairman and counsel of the Illinois Hospital Association. Mark Nelson, also a founding partner, has practiced contract and labor law for 18 years.
"Stickler & Nelson are a tremendous addition to both our healthcare and human resource law practices," says Harold Kaplan, chairman of Gardner Carton & Douglas. "Their labor and union expertise and extensive background in collective bargaining will be a great asset to our labor and employment group as well."
* Sandra Priddy, who served as president of Stokes-Reynolds Memorial Hospital, Danbury, N.C., for more than 25 years, has died at age 64 of lung cancer. Priddy joined Stokes-Reynolds in 1974 as nursing director, having already spent five years working for the Stokes County mental health and education departments.
Priddy will be remembered as someone who was as good a friend as she was a leader, someone Stokes-Reynolds employees turned to for advice, says Ann Blaylock, Priddy's administrative assistant since 1978. "She cared as much about our personal lives as our professional lives," Blaylock says. Priddy was not only intelligent but also had "a big dose of common sense and people skills. She always thought tomorrow would be better," Blaylock says.