Saint John’s Health Center Appoint Three New Administrative Leaders

Saturday, 1 Dec 2012, 1:09:00 AM

Mitch James

Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica has announced the appointment of several new leaders who are touted to bring "a track record of quality and operational improvement that will help position Saint John’s for long-term sustainability in a uniquely competitive market."

According to the LA Times, CEO Lou Lazatin, Chief Operating Officer Eleanor Ramirez, and 15 members of the hospital's 17-person board were dismissed effective Thursday.

The Times reports that Lazatin was fired and escorted out of the building Thursday and that hospital board members were then fired by email.

Mike Wall has been appointed acting president and chief executive officer, Ken Meehan as acting chief operating officer, and Patrick Lash as acting senior financial administrator of the hospital.

The 266-bed hospital reported a loss of $21.9 million for 2010 and $12.8 million for 2011, records show while patient revenue last year was $891.3 million, down 8 percent from a year earlier, according to The Times.

Wall has worked in hospital administration at facilities across California for the past 35 years.

Most recently, Wall spent more than a decade as the president and CEO of Northridge Hospital Medical Center, a 411‐bed facility in Northridge, California.

During his time at Northridge, Wall increased the hospital’s operating income and cash flow, improved employee satisfaction by nearly 40 percent, and led the hospital to being named “The Best Place to Work in Los Angeles” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Prior to his leadership post at Northridge, Wall was CEO at two other California medical centers.

Wall is a fellow with the American College of Health Care Executives as well as a current board member for the Economic Alliance of San Fernando Valley and the Valley Industry Commerce Association. In 1997, he was honored as the American Heart Association Man of the Year.

Meehan joined Saint John’s Health Center as the acting chief operating officer in 2012 after spending more than 30 years working in operations and finance for California‐based John Muir Health.

Most recently, Meehan was the executive vice president of John Muir Health’s hospital division, which is comprised of three inpatient medical centers, a lab and four outpatient ancillary centers.

During his time as executive vice president, Meehan developed a ten‐year strategic plan and implemented a successful performance improvement infrastructure.

Prior to that, Meehan was the president of John Muir Medical Center, a 425‐bed acute care facility in Walnut Creek, California.

In addition to being an expert in hospital finance and operations, Meehan is a current board member of the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California, the Voluntary Hospitals of America and the BETA Healthcare Group.

Lash brings extensive experience in hospital finance to his role as acting senior financial administrator of Saint John’s Health Center.

After excelling as the chief financial officer at several medical centers in California and Hawaii, Lash shifted into the world of consulting where he has acted as interim chief financial officer for multiple hospitals and health systems in transition and managed several successful turnarounds of hospitals across the nation.

In addition to being a certified public accountant, Lash is a fellow with the Healthcare Financial Management Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

He is also a member of the American Institute of CPA’s and a finisher of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

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