A management overhaul at seven-hospital Alegent Health, Omaha, Neb., will result in the Oct. 22 departures of the system's chief financial officer, three vice presidents and two hospital administrators. The reorganization was aimed at improving physician relations and encouraging innovation. Interviews with 80 physicians helped shape the outcome, said Wayne Sensor, Alegent's new chief executive officer. The system's executive leadership, formerly 23 people, is down to nine posts, including the newly created position of chief innovation officer, Sensor said. He said resolving tensions between doctors and management had been his "top priority" since arriving in June to replace retiring CEO Charles Marr.
In complaints filed with state and federal health officials in September 2003, doctors at Alegent's Bergan Mercy Medical Center alleged that Marr and other Alegent leaders had excluded medical staff from decisions affecting patients, according to the Omaha World-Herald. The reorganization was not directly related to the complaints, which have been resolved, Sensor said. A call to an attorney for the physicians had not been returned at deadline. The departing executives are Dwight Youngman, chief financial officer; Robert Azar, vice president for legal services; Mark Thomas, vice president for human resources; John Enright, vice president for cardiovascular services; Mike Tiesi, Bergan Mercy administrator; and Jim Kelly, Midlands Hospital administrator. Youngman and Azar will be replaced, Sensor said. In an e-mail statement, Sensor said, "While I cannot comment on the circumstances surrounding the departure of these individuals, I can tell you that it is with the highest regard for them and their contributions that we are working to make their transition to new opportunities as smooth as possible." -- by Melanie Evans