Cheesehead confidential: Danner sets MGMA straight
Although he’s only been in office a few days, Forrest “Dean” Danner Jr., the new board chairman of the Medical Group Management Association and the vice president and chief operating officer of Wausau, Wis.-based Aspirus Clinics, has already had an immediate impact on at least one aspect of day-to-day life at the MGMA: How to pronounce his home state.
“Wih-SKAHN-suhn is is out. “WisKÄN-sen” is in. At the MGMA’s recent annual meeting in Denver, the organization’s president and CEO, William Jessee, made a note of the pronunciation in his opening remarks. And, after introducing Danner and mentioning his affiliation with Wis-KÄN-sen-based Aspirus, outgoing Chairwoman Christine Schon quipped “I did say it right.”
No word yet on Danner’s position on the po-ta-to/po-tah-to controversy.
Get me Donna Karan, stat
Nurses worn down by the demands of the job may have a stylish new champion. The Urban Zen Foundation, founded by the fashion designer Donna Karan, has added a two-day nursing workshop to its roster of wellness events.
Karan was praised in the New York Times in September for a pragmatism that may appeal to those in a stressful profession with around-the-clock shifts. (“Ms. Karan … has taken into account that we are living in a mixed-up world, where people may care deeply about fashion but are not going to buy clothes just for the sake of shopping,” Eric Wilson wrote.)
The event, the foundation’s first to focus exclusively on nurses, takes a particularly holistic approach, including aromatherapy, energy healing and yoga. No specially tailored scrubs appear to be part of the weekend package—but continuing education may be. Organizers have applied to the American Holistic Nurses Association for approval.
The workshop, to be held at Urban Zen’s headquarters in Greenwich Village in New York, will feature folks it touts as “pioneers in the fields of holistic nursing and integrative healthcare,” including Barbara Dossey, Susan Luck, Bonney Schaub and Aurora Ocampo.
The case of the missing moola
While the twisting legal saga of Richard Scrushy has had a yard sale air lately, the case took another turn last week when the imprisoned former CEO of HealthSouth Corp. claimed he just didn’t know where many of his assets are located.
Scrushy, who is serving a sentence in federal prison in Texas for a bribery case, has already seen his fleet of automobiles auctioned off. More sales are on the way, with plans to auction a lakefront estate, some boats and other property.
But last week in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Ala., Scrushy told a judge he had no idea what became of the firearms he used to keep at his suburban Birmingham mansion or more than $9 million he made from a stock option sale eight years ago.
“Do you recall what you did with the money? Nine million dollars is a lot of money, Mr. Scrushy,” said attorney John Somerville, representing HealthSouth shareholders trying to collect the verdict. “I don’t recall what I did with it,” said Scrushy. The Birmingham News reported that shareholder’s lawyers worked to bring Scrushy back to court because he wasn’t cooperating with attempts to identify and seize his assets.
In another twist, Scrushy claimed his personal accountant embezzled more than $6 million from him from 2000 to 2002, the News reported. The accountant, Bill Massey committed suicide in 2002. Scrushy says the theft means financial statements prepared by Massey aren’t reliable.
Last month, Scrushy’s 19 cars brought in more than $800,000 during an auction in Birmingham, the town where Scrushy founded and headquartered his rehabilitation chain. The proceeds went toward a $2.9 billion verdict in a shareholder lawsuit over accounting fraud at HealthSouth. In November, there are plans to auction his lakefront estate in Alabama. Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said that Scrushy’s 13,000-square-foot home at Lake Martin will go up for sale Nov. 9. County records say the property is worth $6.2 million. Two of Scrushy’s boats, a golf cart and several personal watercraft will be up for auction on Oct. 19.
“We just finished the first quarter. There are three quarters to play. The bench is worn out. The quarterback keeps getting sacked. And the crowd has about had it, too.”
One of the cars auctioned was a 1947 Nash Super 600. Last week Scrushy told a judge he didn’t know where many of his assets are.