Los Angeles County DHS Director Resigns
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Director Thomas Garthwaite on Tuesday announced his resignation in a closed-door meeting of the county Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Garthwaite, who became director of the agency in February 2002, faced "regular" criticism from supervisors and "repeated calls for his ouster," the Times reports (Ornstein et al., Los Angeles Times, 11/30). He was criticized particularly for his handling of Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, which has been "racked by allegations of mismanagement and patient deaths blamed on poor nursing," according to the AP/Orange County Register.
During his tenure, Garthwaite supported a proposal to establish an independent health authority to oversee reforms at the hospital. The proposal was rejected by the board, which said the plan was not viable (Prengaman, AP/Orange County Register, 11/30).
Garthwaite has accepted a position as chief medical officer for Pennsylvania-based Catholic Health East, which operates 31 general hospitals along the East Coast (Los Angeles Times, 11/30). He is expected to remain as director of county DHS until early next year and will help the board find a replacement (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 11/29).