* The American Medical Association and its former CEO, E. Ratcliffe Anderson Jr., settled a lawsuit filed by Anderson in June 2001 charging breach of contract and defamation of character. Terms were not disclosed. Anderson was seeking at least $15 million from the AMA, which fired him 11 days after he filed the lawsuit.
As the organization's CEO, Anderson was paid about $650,000 per year in salary and benefits. The settlement averted a trial scheduled to begin in mid-October. Anderson charged that the AMA board of trustees prevented him from firing a staff attorney who allegedly sold AMA-owned land in Chicago for about $13.5 million below market value. Anderson alleged that the organization's top leaders protected the attorney because he shielded them from blame in an embarrassing, short-lived and costly endorsement deal with manufacturer Sunbeam Corp. in 1997.
The AMA vacated the deal and paid Sunbeam $10 million to settle the resulting breach-of-contract lawsuit.
Anderson "remains steadfast in his belief as to the integrity of his actions as the CEO of the AMA," the parties said in a joint statement. "The AMA remains steadfast in its belief as to the appropriateness of actions taken by its board of trustees."
* HHS reassigned former CMS Chief Medical Officer Sean Tunis to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in light of a probe of Tunis' actions regarding his continuing medical education credits.
Tunis had his medical license suspended for one year by the Maryland Board of Physicians four months ago and was fined $20,000 after the board determined he falsified records to meet CME requirements.
In a statement, Tunis wrote: "I regret having made mistakes in handling my CME records, but I am now pleased to be moving forward into a new phase of my career."
* Kaiser Family Foundation named Sheila Burke, deputy secretary at the Smithsonian Institution and once chief of staff for former Sen. Bob Dole, as its new board chairwoman.
Burke, 54, replaces Gerald Rosberg, vice president for business development at the Washington Post Co. Rosberg is leaving the foundation's board after two four-year terms, the maximum allowed. Burke, an active member of the foundation's board since 2000, was trained as a registered nurse. She is a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, and is currently chairing an Institute of Medicine committee charged with assessing how well the Food and Drug Administration tracks drug safety.
* Christopher Carney, former CEO at Bon Secours Health System, Marriottsville, Md., joined executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, Oak Brook, Ill., as a recruiter and shareholder. Carney, 58, retired as Bon Secours' CEO in March after 24 years at the system and was replaced by Richard Statuto. He began work at Witt/Kieffer's office in Bethesda, Md., on Sept. 12.
* Richard Klausner is resigning after three years as executive director of global health with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, officials said. He will leave at the end of the year.
Klausner, a physician, is the subject of a congressional conflict-of-interest investigation into a $40 million federal contract awarded to Harvard University by the National Cancer Institute while he was director of the institute and a candidate for Harvard's presidency. He has said he recused himself from involvement in that contract, and has described the allegations as "baseless."
* Leonard Walsh, 50, will add the post of executive director of 274-bed St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan, part of the St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers system in New York, to his duties as the senior executive of sister hospital 149-bed St. Vincent's Midtown Hospital.
The last permanent top executive at St. Vincent Manhattan was Jane Connorton, who stepped down in April 2004 when the system announced a major turnaround effort. The seven-hospital system is seeking protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York from $1.1 billion in liabilities against $971 million in assets while it reorganizes under Chapter 11.