Committee Recommends Unified Leadership for King/Drew Medical Center, Drew University
A committee this week was expected to recommend that Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science have a single CEO to help address issues at the hospital and the medical school, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Steering Committee on the Future of King/Drew was created by the California Endowment to propose strategies to improve operations at the hospital.
The committee said the appointment of a single chief executive officer would facilitate communications and coordination between Los Angeles County, which owns King/Drew, and the medical school. According to the report, the new executive should be appointed jointly by the county and board of trustees of Drew University.
Currently, physicians and other health care providers at the hospital are managed by both county supervisors and university administrators, a structure that some health officials say can send conflicting messages.
The committee's nonbinding recommendation received varied reactions, and county officials said it is too early to determine if the proposal would be implemented.
Cornelius Hopper, chair of the steering committee, said, "A single executive can bring together the two institutions and break down this barrier that has built up over time."
County Department of Health Services Director Thomas Garthwaite, who is a steering committee member, said he would not recommend the proposal to the county Board of Supervisors until Drew University addressed its own operational issues.
Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California, said the proposal was "like saying the best way to repair a relationship is to force the people to get married -- and that's not the way to fix any relationship." He added, "They need a time out, and both sides need to get their own egos in check and see what they can do together."
Also on Tuesday, county supervisors appointed the final four members of a 15-person task force to advise the county in making decisions on King/Drew. The group is separate from the steering committee that issued the report.
According to the Times, supervisors on Tuesday also "criticized" Navigant Consulting's request for an increase in funds to hire a temporary management team for King/Drew.
The board is expected to consider the request formally next week (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 3/30).
KPCC's "KPCC News" on Tuesday reported on the delayed funding request vote. The segment includes comments from Supervisor Mike Antonovich; Garthwaite; David Jansen, chief administrative officer for Los Angeles County; and Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky (Rabe, "KPCC News," KPCC, 3/29). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.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.