Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

CEO Bloem Resigns Post

CEO Bloem Resigns Post

By Tim Haggerty Hoya Staff Writer

Medical Center CEO Kenneth D. Bloem resigned April 1, less than a week after the financially troubled Medical Center announced it was entering exclusive negotiations toward a partnership with edStar Health, a health-care management company. Medical Center and university officials have decided that his position will not be filled.

Bloem served as the Medical Center CEO for two and a half years, beginning in 1996. During fiscal year 1996, the Medical Center had an income of $13.5 million, but it has lost $57 million and $62.4 million in the next two years, respectively.

In his letter of resignation, Bloem said that the stabilizing and strengthening of the Medical Center was one of the primary goals of his tenure.

Bloem said in his letter, “One of my primary responsibilities was to forge a long-term strategic alliance with another health care institution that would help secure the financial health and institutional viability of the Medical Center.”

He said that the letter of commitment between MedStar and Georgetown “lays the foundation ” for a more solid Medical Center. With this foundation in place, this is a good time for him “to pursue new professional challenges,” he wrote.

Bloem has not announced his plans for the future.

In a letter to Medical Center faculty, University President Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J., said that negotiations with MedStar could not have been reached without Bloem’s “leadership and commitment.”

Paul Donovan, Medical Center spokesman, said that Bloem’s resignation did not come as a surprise, because “his objective was to set up a partnership.”

Donovan said that if the MedStar partnership is finalized, there will be a distinction between the clinical operations of the edical Center and the research and academic operations. The clinical operations will be handled by MedStar Health and the research and academic aspects will remain under the direction of the Medical Center faculty.

Sam Wiesel, the Medical Center’s executive vice president for health sciences, also wrote a letter to Medical Center faculty. In it, he thanked Bloem for his dedication and accomplishments.

Over the last two years, the Medical Center has seen record levels of fundraising. Over Bloem’s tenure, biomedical research grants increased, totaling around $100 million a year. Bloem has also worked to pass funding through various governmental agencies while at Georgetown. Donovan said that the Medical Center received funding for projects including neuroscience and Gulf War Syndrome research through the congressional appropriations process.

Wiesel said that he, O’Donovan and the board of directors have decided not to fill the CEO position. Instead, he will manage the Medical Center with the assistance of Paul Katz, the chief operating officer.

Katz has been instrumental in the design and institution of a performance improvement plan, which aims to increase revenue while controlling costs, said Wiesel.

The continued implementation and management of this plan will be a chief responsibility of the Medical Center’s new leadership team.

The plan sets performance goals, establishes accountability among faculty and improves billing and collection procedures. The relations between the Medical Center and managed care companies and staff recruitment and retention are another goal, Wiesel said. Finally, the plan calls for a focus on improving information systems at the Medical Center, with a particular emphasis on the Year 2000 problem.

A team from PricewaterhouseCoopers and Medical Center managers are assisting with the plan, Wiesel said.

Wiesel said that he and Katz are responsible for reporting progress to a special committee of Board members on a biweekly basis.

Wiesel also said that the Medical Center leadership will focus on the negotiations with MedStar over the next few months. He said that the “signing of the letter of commitment is reason for optimism. It demonstrates that we … are moving in the right direction.”

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