* A fourth official has been reassigned in the wake of a flawed $472 million test computer system that was supposed to streamline accounting, billing and supply tracking within the Veterans Affairs hospital network but instead may never see the light of day. Elwood Headley was removed as the VA's director of hospitals in the region that includes Florida, south Georgia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, making him the fourth person connected to the test project to lose a job or be reassigned. Testing of the system took place at Bay Pines VA Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fla.
A spokesman for the VA did not have details on where Headley has been reassigned.
Earlier in the year, Robert Roswell, the undersecretary for health, resigned. John O'Connor, the Washington-based director of the computer system, and Pramod Mohanty, the chief of staff at Bay Pines, were reassigned in the wake of the computer system problems. Among the problems were employees who weren't properly trained. The VA's inspector general's office also cited poor leadership among Bay Pines management.
* Washington health-policy lobbyist Dan Boston is teaming up with Capitol Hill veteran Monica Tencate to open his own shop. At the end of the month Boston, 39, plans to leave the firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, where he has been representing hospitals and other industry clients since August 2002, after he left the top lobbying post at the Federation of American Hospitals.
Among the clients Boston brings to the new enterprise--which has been named Health Policy Source--are the American Association for Homecare, the American Medical Group Association, Catholic Healthcare Partners and the Florida Hospital Association. Tencate brings the disease-management company American Healthways, the medical-device trade group AdvaMed and biotech firms Biogen and Genentech.
Boston, who once worked as an aide to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Tencate, who has experience with the Senate Finance Committee, have skills and contacts "that really mesh nicely," Boston says.
* Kathleen Murray, president and CEO of Northwestern Memorial Foundation, the fund-raising arm of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, will retire at the end of August.
Murray, 54, who has held a number of senior posts at the hospital over 18 years, is leaving to pursue interests such as travel and fiction-writing.
Gary Mecklenburg, president and CEO of the hospital's parent company, will serve as interim chief of the foundation, which is in the midst of a $150 million fund-raising drive. Murray raised a record $39 million toward the goal. The money will be used to build the new Prentice Women's Hospital and to fund research, education and community service.