Tenet California said Debbie Walsh, 51, has been named chief executive officer of USC University Hospital, Los Angeles, and USC Norris Cancer Hospital, effective immediately.
Walsh succeeds Ted Schreck, who left Tenet in June 2006, according to Teresa Wolke, a company spokeswoman.
A registered nurse, Walsh has served as the hospitals interim CEO since June 2006 and has been the chief operating officer since 2003. She has a bachelors degree in nursing from California State University, Los Angeles, and a masters degree in nursing from Azusa (Calif.) Pacific University.
Tenet California is a regional division of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp., and it includes 17 acute-care hospitals in California and Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb.
In December 2006, a California judge denied a request by Tenet to take a lawsuit from state court involving the ownership of USC University Hospital and submit the case to an arbitrator. Earlier in 2006, the University of Southern California had sued Tenet, claiming government investigations and financial problems at the company had compromised its ability to operate the hospital properly. The university asked the court to grant it the right to buy the hospital from Tenet if the company defaults on its obligations.
The lawsuit is still pending, Wolke said. -- by Jessica Zigmond