Administrators at Kadlec Health System in Richland, Wash., rely on William Moffitt's integrity.
Moffitt, 65, joined the boards of both the Kadlec system and Kadlec Medical Center in 1999, becoming chairman of both boards in 2002.
“He has been a resource to us when we need board involvement and support in difficult issues,” says Rand Wortman, president and chief executive officer at Kadlec Health, which includes 181-bed Kadlec Medical Center, where gross revenue has grown from $8 million per month in 2000 to $30 million per month in 2006.
A retired executive from the nuclear business of Westinghouse Electric Co., Moffitt's unwavering support was particularly important in how the hospital responded to a case in November 2002 in which a young mother, Kim Jones, was left in a permanent vegetative state after a routine tubal ligation at Kadlec, Wortman says. Kadlec officials believe that Robert Lee Berry, who was the anesthesiologist on the case, was impaired during the procedure.
Jones' family sued, leading to an $8.5 million settlement in 2004 against Kadlec Health and Berry.
During the lawsuit, Kadlec officials learned that Berry had been fired from Lakeview Anesthesia Associates in Covington, La., in 2001 as a result of drug abuse. But Wortman says Lakeview Anesthesia provided glowing recommendations on Berry. Lakeview Regional Medical Center, also in Covington, didn't disclose Berry's drug problem either.
Kadlec and its insurer subsequently sued both organizations in federal court in Louisiana, winning a $4.1 million verdict in 2006.
Says Moffitt: “We felt like it was truly the right thing to do, so we decided to stick our neck out and go after them.”
With the lawsuit likely behind them, Moffitt says board members will focus this year on a $71.8 million building project, slated for completion in 2008, and development of two medical group practices, launched in 2006 in response to physicians who don't want to deal with day-to-day business issues.
“We have a very active medical staff development program because we are growing,” Moffitt says. “When somebody comes in, we want to have a menu of opportunities to offer to them.”