Wednesday, May 03, 2000

Alliance seeks new blood

Execs leaving hospital group

By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Jack Cook, chief executive of the Tristate's biggest hospital group and the region's fifth-largest employer, has announced plans to resign from the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati.

Jack Cook
        Also departing: Phil Tempel, the alliance's executive vice president and chief financial officer.

        After five turbulent years since forming in January 1995, Health Alliance officials said it was time for new leadership.

        “While we have accomplished a lot, it is clear that we must transform ourselves to a more cohesive system in order to continue to serve our community for the long term,” said alliance board chairman Robert Kanter.

        The Health Alliance includes six hospitals (Christ, University, Jewish, St. Luke East and West, and Fort Hamilton), a large doctor group and more than 13,000 employees.

        Under Mr. Cook, the alliance has closed Jewish Hospital in Avondale, converted University Hospital into a private nonprofit, and made more than $90 million in budget cuts. After two years of heavy losses, officials say the alliance's financial health has improved in the past nine months.

        “This organization has worked hard and I am proud of what we've achieved over the past five years,” Mr. Cook said. “I believe it is now best for new leadership to take the Health Alliance to the next level.”

        Mr. Cook has agreed to stay on until a new CEO is hired; the national search could stretch into 2001. Mr. Tempel leaves July 1.

- Alliance seeks new blood
   Resignation signals change for hospitals
    The evolution of an alliance

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