Fallout From All Children’s Scandal Claims Three More Executives
Since the Tampa Bay Times has run an exposé on the scandal at All Children’s Hospital that claimed the lives of some pediatric heart patients, several executives under whose watch those lives were lost have resigned. To date, local health officials have cited the hospital for failing to disclose adverse medical events arising from the negligence of its staff, but have yet to fine the hospital for the apparent cover-up.
As of January 2nd, six senior officials resigned as a result of this information coming to light. The list includes the hospital’s CEO, three vice presidents, and two of the hospital’s prominent surgeons.
The hospital, which was highly regarded for its pediatric heart program, partnered with Johns Hopkins, which is renowned throughout the world. That move was aimed at raising the program’s stature in the U.S. but there were reports of surgeons who left the hospital because they were uncomfortable with the changes being made. The department hired two new surgeons, and patient fatality rates were reported to have risen to unprecedented levels.
Heart Institute’s Director and Chief among Casualties
Dr. Gerhard Ziemer was among those who resigned amid the scandal. While it is not clear what his role was in perpetuating the problem, he was reportedly forced out of the position by the hospital. Handling the media was not a spokesperson for All Children’s but the Johns Hopkins Health System President, Kevin Sowers. Ziemer confirmed that the move was “not his idea”. Sowers has taken over for CEO Jonathan Ellen who resigned after the scandal had been made public.
The pediatric heart department at All Children’s began to experience problems when Johns Hopkins took over in 2012. According to Dr. James Quintessenza, who had a great reputation and an excellent rate of success, Johns Hopkins began replacing hospital staff with their own people and made other key changes to the department. This included allowing other surgeons to handle complex surgeries that were previously performed by Quintessenza.
As casualties of that decision began to pile up, Quintessenza left the department reportedly questioning why Johns Hopkins had replaced the entire staff and enacted changes that clearly were not working. Directly thereafter, the department posted the worst numbers it had in over a decade.
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