Stephen Pagliuca resigned from the board of Nashville-based HCA last month in order to run as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Putting aside other private equity investors like Pagliuca, who hails from Bain Capital (which counts former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney among its founders), deciding to jump into politics, several other directors at investor-owned hospital companies have the background, at least, to make similar announcements.
Outliers: Politicos put their stamp on hospital boards
For starters, there are two former U.S. senators serving on the boards of hospital companies. Robert Kerrey was a Democratic senator from Nebraska from 1989 through 2001 before joining the board of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. in 2001. Kerrey also was governor of Nebraska from 1983 to 1987. Universal Health Services, based in King of Prussia, Pa., nabbed a former senator from its home state, Republican Rick Santorum in 2007, a few months after he lost his bid for a third term in the world's greatest deliberative body. Joining Kerrey on Tenet's board is another former governor, Republican Jeb Bush of Florida, who joined Tenet's board in May 2007, a few months after completing two four-year terms as governor.
On the state level, Marcelo Llorente, a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives, served on the board of Pacer Health Corp., Miami Lakes, Fla., from March 2005 till February of this year. Llorente resigned from the board to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, according to a securities filing.
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