Health Care Checkup: MU makes HIV breakthrough, Siteman earns top rating

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


Checking the Pulse

The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis earned the top quality rating from the federal government's agency for cancer research and training in 2015. | Courtesy of Siteman Cancer Center/Facebook
The Siteman Cancer Center earned the top rating for cancer research and training. | Courtesy of Siteman Cancer Center/Facebook

Barnes-Jewish Hospital cancer center earns top rating

The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital has received an “exceptional” rating from the National Cancer Institute, which is the federal government’s principal agency for cancer research and training. Dr. Timothy Eberlein, director of the Siteman Cancer Center, arributed the highest quality rating to both research and patient care conducted in the hospital.

Overland Park Regional Medical Center opens new cancer facility

Overland Park Regional Medical Center has officially opened the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, a new cancer treatment facility. The facility, which is on the hospital’s campus and adjacent to Midwest Breast Care, will provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services including specialized oncology and outpatient cancer therapies.

Stefan Sarafinos, University of Missouri School of Medicine | Courtesy of the MU School of Medicine
Stefan Sarafinos| Courtesy of the MU School of Medicine

MU researchers makes breakthrough in HIV study

Scientists at the University of Missouri have successfully determined the structure of a key protein in HIV. The discovery, which could lead to new and more effective medications to treat the virus, has earned the university a $2.28 million grant to continue the development of drugs, which are needed to fight the virus’ resistance to medication. Stefan Sarafianos, faculty member at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, said AIDS-related deaths have been greatly reduced by drugs used today.

Saint Luke’s Hospital names new CEO

Saint Luke’s Hospital has tapped Jani Johnson as the new top leader of its flagship hospital near the Country Club Plaza, effective July 27. Johnson has been serving as the CEO of Saint Luke’s South Hospital since 2012. She will succeed Julie Quirin, who was promoted to senior vice president of hospital operations for Saint Luke’s Health System, a newly created position.

While the hospital is searching for Johnson’s successor at Saint Luke’s South, Quirin will oversee operations there in her new role.

St. Louis University Hospital CEO steps down

St. Louis University Hospital CEO Phil Sowa has announced he plans to step down as the hospital undergoes an ownership transition. It will first be sold back to the St. Louis University from Tenet Healthcare Corp., its current owner; then, the university will “contribute” the hospital to SSM Health in a separate deal.

Sowa, who has served as the head of the medical center since 2011, will leave office once the sale to St. Louis University closes. He’ll be succeeded by Kate Becker, who has a tie to both SSM and the university hospital. Becker is currently the president of SSM’s St. Mary’s Medical Center in Richmond Heights and the interim leader of Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. Her previous experience includes serving as CEO of SLUCare before joining SSM.

St. Anthony’s Medical Center gets new CEO

St. Anthony’s Medical Center has named its board chair David Sindelar to replace Michael Rindler as CEO. Sindelar was previously the CEO of Viasystems Group Inc, a technology company acquired by TTM Technologies in May. Although he lacks an extensive background in hospital management, Sindelar said he brings years of executive leadership experience to the job. He will become the fourth member of the office of the president at St. Anthony’s, which is led by a mix of physicians and administrators. The appointment is effective Sept. 1.

Washington University names new medical dean

David H. Perlmutter, a former faculty member at Washington University, was named to replace Larry Shapiro as the new dean of the university’s medical school, effective Dec. 1. Perlmutter currently serves as the Vira I. Heinz Endowed Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and is the physician-in-chief and scientific director of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Before his time in Pittsburgh, he had spent 15 years at Washington University, and was the first to hold the Donald Strominger Professorship of Pediatrics.

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital CEO resigns

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital’s CEO Maryann Reese has resigned after winning the battle of relocating the hospital from Belleville, Ill., to O’Fallon, Ill. Reese will leave at the end of the month to become the COO of the St. Francis Healthcare System in Cape Girardeau. Reese and her administration led the contentious relocation of the hospital, which was approved in April. Construction on the 144-bed, $253 million hospital in O’Fallon started in June.


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