Louisiana State University has agreed to pay $190,000 to Donald Smithburg, the head of LSUs Health Care Services Division since 2004, to avoid the cost of future litigation concerning Smithburgs employment. About 70% of the sumwhich Smithburg said reflects about half of his annual salaryrelates to compensation, while the remainder is for other claims, the settlement said.
In August 2006, LSU notified Smithburg that his employment would end on Aug. 30, 2007. He was reassigned elsewhere within the system earlier this summer. Saying that the settlement completely exonerated me, Smithburg, 46, declined to comment on earlier reports that he had received cash advances from an LSU business credit card.
Although he referred to his recent experience at LSU as an unfortunate, intense political situation, Smithburg said he would not change a thing in terms of what we did and cited a medical-home model for the region and plans for a joint hospital with the Veterans Affairs Department as the systems biggest accomplishments during his tenure. He also said he is excited to begin his new job as senior director with Phase 2 Consulting, a consulting firm in Austin, Texas, which starts today. In that role, he will advise major healthcare systems on operational and financial activities.
For its part, LSU said the situation was an internal matter and referred to the settlement agreement as its only official comment, according to Charles Zewe, a spokesman for the LSU system.
Smithburg was named a Modern Healthcare Up & Comer in 1995. -- by Jessica Zigmond