ALAMEDA COUNTY: Medical System Head to Leave Position
The Contra Costa Times reports that Mike Smart, CEO of the "embattled" Alameda County Medical Center, announced Friday that in six months he will leave the position he has held since 1995, citing recent management upheavals and the "enormous pressures of the job." Last year, the county Board of Supervisors g ave control over the county's medical system to the Alameda County Medical Center Hospital Authority Board, hoping to help the center survive marketplace competition (Brewer, 3/13). The Alameda Times-Star reports that in recent years the "medical system has been in turmoil, facing multimillion-dollar budget cuts and complaints about inefficiencies in service." For example, the board has argued over whether to hire Arthur Andersen for $1.1 million to improve operations at the medical center, and the center is about to break ground on an $83 million addition to Highland Hospital. Robert Strawn, president of the county hospital authority board, said that the board did not ask for Smart's resignation, but Vice President Dick Warren said Smart "had problems with the board" (Horowitz, 3/12). "We hope to find someone who understands the model we're trying to work with -- more of a business model than a county hospital model," said Strawn, "It's not something (Smart) was opposed to, but it was not something he's experienced with. We have a hard time getting out of the government-funding box -- Medi-Cal, Medicare, going to the state Legislature and county for money" (Contra Costa Times, 3/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.