Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Chief Executive to Step Down
Irwin Hansen, CEO and president of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, "unexpected[ly]" announced his resignation yesterday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Hansen had been president of hospitals in Denver and Los Angeles prior to taking the job with Summit in 1993, when the hospital was "on the brink of bankruptcy." Dr. Frank Staggers, president of the California Medical Association and a urologist at Alta Bates, credited Hansen with improving the hospital's financial picture. Staggers said, "If you look at where Summit was when he first came to where it is now, you can see he's made tremendous strides." Still, the announcement comes less than a month after the hospital announced it would reduce its square footage and eliminate 300 jobs due to "unexpected costs" incurred from the 1999 merger between Summit Medical Center and Alta Bates Medical Center. The hospitals have lost $19 million so far this year, and by year's end losses could total $40 million. In addition to merger-related costs, the Chronicle reports that "increased expenses" associated with labor and nursing services contributed to the losses. Hansen will step down on Sept. 1. The hospital's board will meet early next month to discuss a replacement, but until one is found, the hospital's COO, Warren Kirk, will serve as interim CEO. Hansen was unavailable for comment yesterday, but said in a statement he wanted to spend more time with his family (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/15).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.