Contracting News January/February 2008

Medison America, Attainia sign multi-year agreement
Cypress, Calif.-based Medison America, which provides a comprehensive range of state-of-the-art ultrasound products, and San Jose, Calif.-based Attainia Inc entered into a multi-year agreement under which Attainia will house the full line of Medison’s ultrasound equipment used within the OB/GYN, radiology and cardiology departments. Attainia is dedicated to improving the management of the healthcare capital equipment lifecycle, and supplies a broad array of capital equipment management systems. Additional information was not disclosed

Greater Southeast gets new officers
Portsmouth, N.H.-based Specialty Hospitals of America has named Gary L Rowe as CEO and Barry L Hardings as CFO at Greater Southeast Community Hospital (Washington, D.C.). Prior to joining Greater Southeast, Hardings worked for Triad Hospitals where he was responsible for the financial operations of several facilities. Rowe has experience working with distressed hospitals and has been CEO at several hospitals.

CIGNA HealthCare names new Midwest president
Philadelphia, Pa.-based CIGNA Healthcare Inc named Sue Podbielski as the new president and general manager for its health care operations in IL, IN, WI and MN. Based in Chicago, Podbielski is responsible for the Midwest region, where she will lead sales, new business development, producer relations and product and service innovation for the area that includes 700,000 medical and specialty products. Prior to joining CIGNA, Podbielski was VP for Indianapolis, Ind.-based WellPoint Inc.

NC Baptist funds WSSU accelerated BSN program
Winston-Salem, N.C.-based North Carolina Baptist Hospital will give Winston-Salem State University $5.4 million to renew a five-year collaboration designed to help fill the increasing demand for nurses in the Triad. The agreement will pay for an Accelerated BSN Option program between WSSU and NC Baptist that will allow students to receive a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 13 months. The partnership was originally established in 2003.

Saint Joseph’s to acquire Madrona Medical Group
Bellingham, Wa.-based Saint Joseph Hospital began negotiations to acquire Madrona Medical Group (Bellingham, Wa.) with plans to complete the deal as soon as late January 2008. Madrona doctors would become part of what is now Saint Joseph Medical Group. They would also earn a salary from PeaceHealth (Bellevue, Wa.), the hospital’s parent organization.

BryanLGH chooses McKesson’s Enterprise PACS
Lincoln, Neb.-based BryanLGH Health System launched implementation of the Horizon Medical Imaging picture archiving and communication system (PACS) from McKesson Corp (Bloomington, Minn.) to improve efficiency in managing images generated from 150,000 radiology exams conducted yearly at its two hospitals and two imaging centers. The McKesson PACS, which replaces the hospital’s legacy PACS, was selected based on its compatibility with multiple modalities, ability to generate integrated reports, 3D image viewing capabilities, strong ultrasound capabilities and technical know-how and support. The system’s user-friendly dictation features will streamline the dictation process for the radiologists. Implementation is slated for completion in March.

VHA appoints director of business development, supplier diversity
VHA Inc (Irving, TX) appointed Lamont Robinson as director of business development and supplier diversity to enhance the company’s efforts to contract with companies owned by women, minorities, veterans and service-disabled veterans. Robinson formerly served as corporate director of supplier diversity for Cardinal Health Inc (Dublin, Ohio), where he led contracting and supplier diversity activities for all 21 of its businesses. He also worked as a senior purchasing agent for Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, Ill.), followed by employment at Abbott’s spin-off company, Hospira Inc (Lake Forest, Ill.).

Fitch affirms rating on Essentia Health
Fitch Ratings affirmed its underlying rating on $326.4 million of outstanding debt issued by Essentia Health (Duluth, Minn.). The rating is affected by Essentia’s plans to issue approximately $385 million of new debt in early 2008 that would refund approximately $242 million of outstanding debt and to fund approximately $144 million of costs related to the pending acquisition of Dakota Clinic (Fargo, N.D.) and Innovis Health (Fargo, N.D.). A rating has not been assigned to the series 2008 bonds. The outlook is stable. The rating reflects Essentia’s strong market position and stable operating performance and Fitch’s positive view of Essentia’s strategy to more toward acute care operations and away from long-term care. Credit concerns include Essentia’s light liquidity and the potential problems and extra managerial time from restructuring after the acquisition takes place.

POH Medical center names COB
POH Medical Center’s (Pontiac, Mich.) board of trustees named the Honorable Leo Bowman as chairman, effective Nov. 1, 2007. He has served on the board of directors for more than four years.

Easton Hospital gets new president and CEO
Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems (CHS) appointed Angela Marchi as president and CEO of Easton Hospital (Easton, Pa.), succeeding Cornelio Catena, who accepted a corporate promotion to assist CHS with new acquisitions. Marchi formerly served as CEO at Springs Memorial Hospital (Lancaster, S.C.) and prior to that, she was CEO at Memorial Hospital of Salem County (Salem, N.J.), serving about a year in each location. She began her career as a registered nurse.

SC Dept of Insurance approves Humana’s KMG America Corp acquisition
Louisville, K.Y.-based Humana Inc’s acquisition of Minnetonka, Minn.-based KMG America Corp, a group of voluntary insurance benefits and third-party administration company, received approval from the South Carolina Department of Insurance.

Memorial Hospital establishes construction time line
Memorial Hospital (Craig, Colo.) established a construction time line for the opening of its new 84,475-square-foot facility. The new hospital design phase, currently underway, has a March 2008 completion date. Construction of the building would begin in August 2008, be completed in September 2009 and open in October 2009. In 2007, voters approved a proposed $3 million tax package to fund a portion of the $42.6 million new hospital cost.

Court Ruling hampers Crawford’s relocation plans
Polk County District Judge Robert Hanson passed a ruling that requires Crawford County Memorial Hospital’s (Denison, Iowa) board to submit a CON before a new hospital can be built to replace the current one. The CON was due by Jan. 15, 2008, a 13-page application by Feb. 15, 2008 and a public hearing is scheduled for April 15, 2008. The hospital board will have to show that the new construction is necessary, financially prudent and more efficient and appropriate than other available alternatives, such as remodeling the current structure. The new hospital would be smaller, but would offer more private rooms for patients, new specialty clinics and additional surgical options. Opponents say those features could be obtained through renovating.

Univ of Texas, Cancer Therapy and Research agree to merge
Cancer Therapy and Research Center (CTRC) (San Antonio, Texas) will merge with University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (San Antonio, Texas), pending approval by the University of Texas Hospitals (Austin, Texas) Board of Regents.

Centerre Healthcare to move headquarters
St. Louis, Mo.-based Centerre Healthcare Corp plans to move its corporate headquarters, which includes a staff of 15, to Brentwood, Tenn., from St. Louis by spring 2008. Patrick Foster, CEO of Centerre, says the area is a flourishing environment for healthcare companies.

UMC gets $15 million for new children’s hospital
Tucson, Ariz.-based University Medical Center announced that it will open Tucson’s first children’s hospital, starting with a $15 million gift from developer Donald Diamond and his wife, Joan. The $55 million children’s hospital, scheduled to open in the spring of 2010, will be called Diamond Children’s Medical Center and will occupy the top three floors – about 100,000 square feet – of a six-floor building under construction at UMC. The building also will house UMC’s new trauma center and emergency department. UMC plans to launch a fundraising campaign for the remaining $40 million.

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