California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Community Medical Centers will spend about $5 million in one-time adjustments under a proposal to increase nurses' salaries at its hospitals and health care clinics, the Fresno Bee reports. About 1,250 nurses will receive pay increases.
The pay increases, which are based in part on experience levels, will take effect in May for nurses at Fresno Regional Medical Center and Community Medical Center-Clovis. However, California Nurses Association members at University Medical Center must first approve the proposal before it takes effect there.
Don Nielsen, central San Joaquin Valley representative for CNA, said he does not know whether he will recommend approval of the proposal or whether the union should make a counteroffer (Correa, Fresno Bee, 4/25).
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital plans to hire 30 additional pediatric nurses by July 2007 for the hospital's new bone marrow transplant program, the San Bernardino Business Press reports.
The hospital will use a $156,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to work with the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board to hire an educator and develop a two-year curriculum to train pediatric nurses in treating bone marrow transplant patients.
The training will take place within the hospital's 20-week nurse residency program, which began in 2002.
Katy Dalke, manager of the pediatric nurse residency program at the hospital, said the new nurse attrition rate has declined by about 10% since the program was started.
The hospital plans to hire 10 nursing graduates for the training by July, and an additional 20 by July 2007 (Tucker, San Bernardino Business Press, 4/24).
St. Vincent Medical Center on Monday gave 97 employees 60-day layoff notices, hospital officials acknowledged this week, the Los Angeles Times reports. The layoffs, which included managers and support staff but no nurses, represent about 8% of the hospital's workforce.
Hospital officials also said they are "fully complying" with a subpoena received earlier this year that is related to a federal investigation of its liver transplant program (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 4/27).
The liver transplant program closed in November 2005 after the hospital admitted to improperly performing a liver transplant. Last month the United Network for Organ Sharing designated St. Vincent Medical Center as a "member not in good standing" (California Healthline, 3/3).
A doctor's $250,000 donation to the radiology department at University of California-Irvine Medical Center that was made shortly after his son was hired as a resident represents a conflict of interest but did not play a role in his son gaining the position, according to a UCI investigation, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Times reported in January that a resident was hired at the UCI Medical Center during the same month his father pledged the donation. The son's position was newly created and he was paid from a different fund than other residents in the department. In addition, the son was not originally placed at UCI by the process that governs where most medical school graduates will complete their residencies.
The report, by the school's Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, said the conflict of interest was not realized by those involved and recommended that the medical school impose stricter policies for hiring residents.
The office said there was "no evidence" that the donation and hiring were connected. The office also found that relatives of hospital administrators often were hired out of large pools of applicants and administrators sometime were involved in the employment of relatives (Berthelsen, Los Angeles Times, 4/27).