Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Client News: Dr. Michael Choo Named CMH President and CEO

Dr. Choo named CMH president, CEO by Rose Cooper, County Editor

Source: posted
8/2/2010 7:15:00 PM Wilmington News Journal

Dr. Michael Choo has been named president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Clinton Memorial Hospital (CMH) Regional Health System.

Choo has served as CMH’s interim president and CEO since Dec. 1, 2009 when he replaced Andy Riddell who retired Dec. 31, 2009.

The selection of Dr. Choo to the position was decided by a unanimous vote by the board of trustees on July 28, said Bob Wagenseller, chairman of the CMH board.

“The board felt it was time to reward Dr. Choo for all his hard work and dedication over the past half-year, Wagenseller said. “He hit the ground running and has made patient safety and quality, customer service and physician relations top priorities. That emphasis is already being felt across the organization.”

Choo has been a member of the CMH medical staff since 1992 and served as president since January 2007. He has more than 19 years of clinical, business and hospital experience in his past role as president and CEO of Professional Emergency Specialists of Southern Ohio (PESSO), the physician provider for Emergency Services at Clinton Memorial Hospital.

He also served as medical director of Dayton Heart and Vascular Hospital’s Heart Emergency Center. He served as the chairman of the Performance Improvement Committee at the Dayton Heart Hospital and was a board member for the hospital from 2005 through 2008. In addition, he served as a board member for EPIC Insurance Company, a national insurance company providing malpractice and risk management services to physicians.

Choo earned his medical degree (MD) from Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass. and his masters of business administration (MBA) degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

He will continue to lead the hospital’s management team to deliver the highest quality care to patients, collaborate with the medical staff and provide a great work environment for all.

Work is ongoing for the sale of the assets and operation of the county-owned hospital to RegionalCare Hospital Partners of Brentwood, Tenn. Wagenseller said Marty Rash, chairman and CEO of RegionalCare, is also in support of the hospital board’s decision.

During the negotiations for the sale of the hospital, Rash and other RegionalCare officials said they were in support of the continuation of Choo as the hospital’s CEO. All other executive staff positions will be the decision of the CEO, Rash said.

Choo provided the leadership to CMH physicians, executive staff, managers and employees who were all involved in providing input that was considered in the selection process for a buyer for the hospital.

Five bids were submitted to Clinton County commissioners and RegionalCare was recommended by the CMH board of trustees to purchase the hospital. Clinton County commissioners Mike Curry, Randy Riley and David Stewart also unanimously approved a resolution for the sale to RegionalCare.

CMH has operated as a county-owned hospital since 1951.

“We are getting closer to the end of this very historic process and remain firm in the belief that this is going to be in the best interest of CMH physicians, employees and all the patients we serve throughout southwestern Ohio,” Choo said.

Sale of the hospital to RegionalCare is expected to be completed in late September.

RegionalCare will pay $82 million, the highest amount of cash offered by any of the four bidders interested in purchasing the hospital. The county is expected to receive a cash payment of $54,560,707 after hospital debt is paid.

In addition to the cash payment, RegionalCare has committed minimum capital expenditures of $60 million over a period of 10 years; minimum physician recruitment expenditures of $15 million over 10 years; $500,000 to the YMCA; $500,000 for community development; will pay property taxes estimated at $1 million per year; will pay sales taxes estimated at $1 million per year; and $200,000 per year was committed to provide care to uninsured prisoners in Clinton County.

Financial stability and resources of RegionalCare, experience in hospital management and commitments to ensure the long-term future of CMH as a community hospital, commitments made to CMH employees, the commitment for quality of life of the community and as a corporate citizen and the contractual assurances which RegionalCare is willing to provide in its proposed asset purchase agreement were all part of the decision to sell CMH to RegionalCare.

RegionalCare also committed to continue and expand upon the health care services provided by CMH and for the hospital to continue as a full-service community care hospital and to hiring all CMH employees.

In its bid proposal, RegionalCare proposed construction of a new medical office building, designed with extensive physician and board input and which would include a minimum of 15,000 square feet at a cost of $3 million. The building would be constructed to accommodate a second phase when physician recruitment makes it necessary. Phase 2 would add an additional 15,000 square feet at an estimated cost of an additional $3 million.

At the time of the announcement, Rash said he was excited for his company to be chosen to purchase the hospital and its assets. “We’re humbled by the decision to get to carry forward the 59-year tradition the hospital has in this community,” he said. “We see ourselves as kind of an accelerator of the hospital board’s vision. We bring some management expertise and capital. We’re just humbled to have been chosen and to be a part of your community.”

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