St. Clares Health System, a four-hospital system based in northwest New Jersey, said it will become a member organization of Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives in June pending regulatory approval and due diligence. The decision to join the multistate CHI came after intensive discussions with a number of leading national organizations, St. Clares officials said in a news release. The health system announced its new strategic initiatives last summer and worked with Chicago-based consulting firm Juniper Advisory to structure the best possible solution, officials said. CHI recognized the highly regulated and dynamic business environment facing hospitals in New Jersey, but saw the long-term potential of partnering with us to serve the community with the care and compassion inherent in quality, faith-based healthcare, said Gary Blan, St. Clares president and chief executive officer, in the news release. St. Clares will become CHIs first New Jersey-based regional health system. CHI is made up of 71 hospitals in 19 states with total revenue of $7.6 billion.
At deadline, the board for the Joint Commission, meeting last week, had not voted on who should replace retiring Joint Commission President Dennis OLeary, although a discussion of the subject was said to be on the agenda. The board has decided not to take any action this weekend, said Joint Commission spokeswoman Charlene Hill. Theres no decision, and they dont intend to make one this weekend. The board was scheduled to continue its meeting on March 10. OLeary, who took the helm of the Joint Commission in 1986 at the age of 48, had said on March 8 that the choice had been narrowed to three individuals who he described as very seasoned healthcare people. He also said that the selection committee had made a recommendation for one of these candidates. Named the 25th most-powerful person in healthcare by Modern Healthcare readers in 2006, OLeary announced last June that he will retire at the end of 2007.
Spencer Foreman, 71, president of 1,002-bed Montefiore Medical Center in New York, said he will retire after 20 years with the academic medical center, but a retirement date has not been set pending the formation of a search committee and selection of a successor. Officials said in a news release that his retirement is part of a planned leadership transition that began last year with the retirement of Montefiores longtime board chairman, Jay Langner, and the election of his successor, David Tanner.
The AFL-CIOs executive council cleared the way for the California Nurses Association to join the labor federation by May 1. The Oakland, Calif.-based unions bid to join the AFL-CIO moved a step closer to completion after the AFL-CIOs executive council granted AFL-CIO President John Sweeney authorization to issue a charter to the CNA. Joining the labor federation will boost resources for CNA organizing and health policy priorities, including a single-payer system, said Rose Ann DeMoro, the CNAs executive director. No one is an island in this juncture in history, and we really have to pull together and make a difference on healthcare, DeMoro said. The CNA and its national organizing arm, the National Nurses Organizing Committee, represent about 71,000 registered nurses. The AFL-CIOs 54 unions, including the 104,000-member United American Nurses, represent 325,000 RNs, the CNA said. The CNA, which split from the American Nurses Association in 1995, voted to seek AFL-CIO affiliation in September 2005.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, filed a $125 million lawsuit against Los Angeles County for allegedly undermining its long-standing affiliation with 204-bed Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, Los Angeles. The medical school had contracted with the county to supply medical interns and residents in exchange for monthly payments. But county officials last year agreed to transfer control of the problem-plagued teaching hospital to 322-bed Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, converting the former King/Drew into a 42-bed community inpatient facility. According to the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the county breached its contract and sabotaged the partnership between the two. The suit also alleges that the radical and draconian downsizing of the hospital forced the medical school to voluntarily withdraw its accreditation for its residency programs. Calls to the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, which oversees the renamed MLK/Harbor Hospital, were not returned by deadline.
Physician office employment rebounded in February, adding 7,600 workers, a one-month increase of about 0.3% to 2.19 million employees, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in preliminary seasonally adjusted data. The uptick follows Januarys figures in which there was nearly no change to physician office payrolls. For the 12 months ended in February, physician offices hired 67,200 workers, an increase of about 3.2%. Hospitals, meanwhile, added 3,700 workers in February, for an increase of approximately 0.1%.
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