- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The two top executives of the parent company of financially troubled Prince George’s Hospital Center are being replaced as part of a $45 million bailout.

Dimensions Healthcare System, which runs the medical center and Laurel Regional Hospital, said it has accepted the resignations of Chief Executive Officer Patrick Mutch and Chief Financial Officer Noel Cervino.

Prince George’s County officials said yesterday the resignations were recommended by Cambio Health Solutions, a Tennessee-based company recently hired to oversee management operations at Dimensions. The same company was hired to run Greater Southeast Community Hospital in the District during its bankruptcy last year.

Dimensions hired Cambio for $2 million this past summer as a condition for accepting the $45 million state-and-county bailout.

Officials at the Cheverly-based hospital declined to comment yesterday on the shake-up, but provided a statement by Calvin Brown, chairman of Dimensions’ board of directors.

“The Board of Directors and the current management team views this measure as a necessary step for improving the financial strength of the organization and building toward a successful future,” he said.

It was not disclosed whether Mr. Brown and other board members have approved separation packages for Mr. Mutch and Mr. Cervino.

The changes come about a year after the retirement of Winfield Kelly, Dimensions’ former chief executive officer.

According to 2002 tax forms, Mr. Kelly earned nearly $500,000 in salary and benefits in the year before his departure, even as officials grew increasingly concerned about the nonprofit health system’s mounting losses.

Michael Herman, chief of staff for Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson, who also is Mr. Johnson’s appointment on Dimensions’ board of directors, said yesterday the management changes were not a surprise.

“Certainly there was the expectation of some changes in the direction of Dimensions,” Mr. Herman said.

He also said Mr. Johnson sent a letter to hospital employees stating the resignations were not “engineered or orchestrated by the county executive’s office.”

Dimensions’ financial health has been a concern among county officials for years.

The health system lost about $43 million from 1999 to 2003, according to a county study last year. The study also found that salaries and wages at Dimensions were 5 percent to 10 percent higher than those at other health care facilities.

Prince George’s County Council members said Friday they supported the recent changes and “look forward” to learning who will be named interim replacements.

The council also hinted that more changes are possible.

“The actions of the turnaround team represent the beginning of the substantive changes the council supports to enhance the efficiency of the hospital system and the effectiveness of service to the community,” the council stated.

The council has a scheduled Oct. 26 meeting at which members plan to discuss the changes and possible replacements for Mr. Mutch and Mr. Cervino.

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