- Published on Tuesday, 26 April 2011 17:00
- Written by Mary Beth Hislop - Staff Writerfirstname.lastname@example.org
As El Camino Hospital prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday next month and continues its search for a new CEO to replace Ken Graham, the board of directors voted at its March 19 meeting to ease those transitions by assigning new leadership for the board.
Normally scheduled for July in the new fiscal year, the board voted to appoint John Zoglin as chairman, replacing Wesley Alles. Other new officers are directors Uwe Kladde, vice chairman, and Dr. Patricia Einarson, secretary-treasurer.
Zoglin and Einarson will oversee the executive-officer search as sole members of the CEO search committee, which appointed the firm Russell Reynolds last month to conduct a national search for a new hospital leader. Without citing specific reason, the board voted 3-2 in February not to renew Graham’s contract, which expires in June.
Russell Reynolds is not a new name for El Camino. In the past few years, the company found the hospital’s chief medical and information officers, Eric Pifer, M.D., and Greg Walton, respectively. The executive search company has more than 300 consultants in 39 offices around the world and is the sixth largest health-care executive search firm in the United States.
“Our Russell Reynolds team has made some outstanding placements,” Einarson said. “As we move forward, we will be soliciting input from stakeholders about the qualities and experiences they see as most valuable for the next CEO.”
At the board’s April 12 meeting, the group recognized Alles for his contributions to the hospital, particularly during an era of health-care reform and a difficult economy, El Camino’s own financial crisis and its two campus openings, the new hospital in Mountain View and the Los Gatos facility.
“In a year when the challenges just seemed to keep coming, as chairperson, he demonstrated not only strategic thinking, but also vision and integrity,” a resolution honoring Alles’ service reads.
In the meantime, the search continues for a chief financial officer to replace Marla Marlow, who abruptly retired in May 2010, two months after the hospital announced a $11.3 million shortfall.
For several months, Robert Dvorak acted as interim chief financial officer, but he recently stepped down from those responsibilities. The board recognized his service with a resolution last month.
Moving forward, the board approved Ned Borgstrom as interim CFO. Borgstrom brings hospital financial experience from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Exempla Healthcare in Denver and Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.
And the hospital’s overall finances are in the black, with year-to-date profits posting at more than $21 million through January.
In other key metrics for the hospital, quality care and hospital growth, Graham said there are areas of concern.
“Overall, the hospital is not quite achieving its volume objectives year-to-date because of lingering recession effects, but there are positive signs of volume improvements across the major service lines,” he said in a March report.
In a corporate scorecard measuring quality, finances, growth and employees in the second fiscal-year quarter, October-December 2010, the orthopedics, urology, cyberknife and infusion center departments surpassed their goals.
But in assessing hospital care, Graham said the hospital must improve patients’ overall length of stay, a high C. Difficile infection rate – Clostridium Difficile, an opportunistic bacterium that flourishes in patients on antibiotics – and nursing staff’s responsiveness.
In the patient safety/nursing sensitive indicators assessment, the scorecard rated nursing staff’s responsiveness at 63 percent – the goal was 70 percent.
The second fiscal-year quarter followed a large reduction in force in the nursing staff, accomplished through early retirements, voluntary leaves and job reorganization in October.
In the scorecard’s final metric – employees rating El Camino Hospital as a place to work – 25.3 percent of its employees gave it a thumbs-up. The goal was 55.1 percent.