Saturday, July 29, 2000

Health Alliance names new managers

Hospital group's reorganization consolidates responsibility

By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati has taken another step in its ongoing management reorganization by naming executives to lead six core service lines.

        The Health Alliance includes Christ, University, Jewish, St. Luke and Fort Hamilton hospitals. The organization announced plans to convert to a service line approach in 1998. The idea was to organize care at all facilities along broad types of illness rather than having departments at each hospital.

        The service lines and leaders:

        • Behavioral health services: Paul Hackman, vice president; Dr. Randolph Hillard, medical director.

        • Cardiovascular services: Mark McDonald, vice president; Dr. Creighton Wright, medical director.

        • Emergency services: Carol King, vice president; Dr. Brian Gibler, medical director.

        • Neuroscience services: Dennis Robb, vice president; Dr. Lee Greiner, medical director.

        • Oncology services: Jeffrey Brewster, vice president; Dr. Richard Levy, medical director.

        • Orthopedic services: Dennis Mueller, vice president; Dr. Daniel Funk, medical director.

        With the leaders in place, the Health Alliance expects to begin acting on its goals for the various services within months, said Stephanie Byrd, senior vice president of communications. The overall plan is to provide more consistent care from hospital to hospital, a streamlining effort that could save money and improve quality, she said.

        The service line approach is the latest of many recent changes for the Health Alliance. Last year, the alliance faced a financial crisis that required adopting a two-year turnaround plan. In May, chief executive Jack Cook and chief financial officer Phil Tempel announced plans to resign.

        Some have speculated that the service line approach would lead to a new wave of consolidations, such as one or two hospitals providing a type of care rather than five or six. However, alliance officials say such drastic steps are not likely soon.

        “Consolidation is not the focus of what they're doing right now,” Ms. Byrd said.

        Instead, the changes will focus on streamlining and unifying care by setting system-wide instead of hospital-focused goals, Ms. Byrd said.


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