Health Care Checkup: Healthy KC lifts off, Wash U loses top surgeons

The Health Care Checkup is a weekly rundown of the state’s top health care headlines.

Checking the Pulse

KC Chamber, Blue Cross launch health improvement campaign

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce launched a metro-wide health and wellness initiative called “Healthy KC.” The goal is to “get off the list of ‘fattest cities in America’ and get on the list of ‘fittest cities in America,” said Jim Heeter, the chamber’s president and CEO.

The program, a collaborative effort between the chamber and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, was devised with the input of more than 100 leaders from the business, government, health care and nonprofit sectors. The effort to create a culture of health and wellness will focus on five key areas: Active living, healthy eating, behavioral health, tobacco use and cessation and workplace wellness.

St. Louis University hospital is one of the two hospitals operated by Tenet Healthcare in St. Louis area | Courtesy of USNews
St. Louis University hospital is one of two hospitals operated by Tenet Healthcare in the St. Louis area. | Courtesy of USNews

Tenet aims to boost market share, pushes partnerships

Tenet Healthcare, the operator of St. Louis University and Des Peres hospitals, has announced the new goal of becoming the No. 1 or No. 2 hospital system in its markets. The country’s third-largest for-profit hospital operator plans to boost its market share through partnerships with nonprofit hospitals. Tenet also plans to exit the markets where it hasn’t been able to grow.

Menorah names new CEO

Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park, Kan., a part of HCA Midwest Health system, has named Charles Laird as its new CEO. Laird succeeds Steven Wilkinson, who retired earlier this year.

Laird, whose appointment is effective May 4, has been serving as COO at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, an HCA-affiliated hospital in Webster, Tex. Before that, Laird was COO at West Houston Medical Center, also part of HCA.

Des Peres Hospital names new COO

Des Peres Hospital announced that Alexander J. Lovshin has become its new COO. Lovshin, who previously served as executive director of ambulatory care at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, will be responsible for overseeing the hospital’s day-to-day operations and long-term strategy. Lovshin started his new role on March 16.

Washington University loses top spinal surgeons

Three Washington University surgeons, Drs. Lawrence Lenke, Daniel Riew and Ronald Lehman Jr., will be leaving for New York-Presbyterian Hospital to run a spine hospital. The surgeons, who currently treat patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and other BJC HealthCare facilities, will also serve as faculty members at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. The move is effective July 1.

St. Anthony’s ends ER deal with SSM Health

St. Anthony’s Medical Center has announced that it’s ending its pediatric emergency-room contract with SSM Health after 12 years. The pediatric ER will no longer bear the name Cardinal Glennon Pediatric Emergency Room and will no longer be staffed by SSM Health physicians. St. Anthony’s says it is switching to ER contractor CEP America, which already staffs St. Anthony’s adult emergency room. The change will not result in job losses.

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