JW: That was one of our biggest concerns. The residents [250 residents] within Summa Health System wrote a letter to us, and the Residents Council wrote a letter to the board of directors with a vote of no confidence in the hospital leadership. Our biggest concern was the continued education of our residents. Our residency director and core faculty were willing to continue to educate the residents and even provide a weekly conference without getting paid until a transition was laid out. That was never taken up.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 36 – No 02 – February 2017
KK: We’ve heard that you sent the residents home to take a month off. Can you speak to that decision?
JW: No. The residents are back in the department. Our concern was with the staffing levels and the credentials of the new physicians (never shown to either us or our residency director). The residents (only those on an ED rotation) did not work for two or three days. They were put on administrative elective, basically a study month for their in-service exam. They have since gone back to their normal routine.
KK: Who told them to come back to work?
JW: They were pressured by [two members of Summa Health System’s senior leadership]. They were told that they could potentially lose their jobs if they didn’t come back into work.
KK: Did you have concerns that there was any undue influence over the negotiation process by those who might have had a conflict of interest?
JW: Absolutely that was one of our biggest concerns. The initial hospital contract team was the COO, who was new to her position within the last year or two. The biggest concern was the CMO of the hospital, who is the wife of the USACS CEO. She was directly involved with contract negotiations.
KK: So from your perspective, she was involved with the negotiation? It’s not just that she works there?
JW: No, no, no. She was directly on the hospital’s contract negotiations team. The first conversation we had about the contract took place in November, and included me and the [Summa Health System] CMO and COO, about two to three weeks before we got the contract [Nov. 26]. We turned in our counterproposal on Dec. 12. They reviewed it on Dec. 14, and she was directly involved with that meeting.
US Acute Care Solutions Weighs In