Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

CHICAGO— Former Illi­nois Gov. Rod Blago­je­vich was sen­tenced to 14 years in prison to pay for a va­ri­ety of crimes com­mit­ted while in of­fice, in­clud­ing a kick­back scheme in­volv­ing the state’s hos­pi­tal plan­ning board and what pros­e­cu­tors de­scribed as the shake­down of a chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal ex­ec­u­tive for a $50,000 cam­paign con­tri­bu­tion. Blago­je­vich also was con­victed of at­tempt­ing to per­son­ally ben­e­fit from his au­thor­ity to fill the U.S. Se­nate seat left open when Barack Obama be­came pres­i­dent, at one point en­vi­sion­ing an ap­point­ment as HHS sec­re­tary in ex­change for nam­ing Obama’s pick. Dur­ing a two-day sen­tenc­ing hear­ing last week, Dr. Deanna Mon­roe, a Chicago pe­di­a­tri­cian, praised Blago­je­vich for cre­at­ing All Kids, which ex­panded health cov­er­age to unin­sured chil­dren not el­i­gi­ble for Med­i­caid. The two-term Demo­crat told Judge James Zagel he had made “ter­ri­ble mis­takes.” Zagel, how­ever, gave the 55-year-old a sen­tence close to the 15 to 20 years pros­e­cu­tors had sought. “What­ever good things you did for peo­ple as gov­er­nor, and you did some, I am more con­cerned with the oc­ca­sions when you wanted to use your pow­ers ... to do things that were only good for your­self,” Zagel said. Blago­je­vich was or­dered to be­gin serv­ing his sen­tence Feb. 16. An ex­pected ap­peal is un­likely to af­fect when he re­ports to prison. Ac­cord­ing to fed­eral rules, felons must serve at least 85% of the sen­tence a judge im­poses, so Blago­je­vich wouldn’t be el­i­gi­ble for early re­lease un­til he serves nearly 12 years. CLEVE­LAND— A former World War II pi­lot and Case Western Re­serve Univer­sity alumna pledged $2 mil­lion to her alma mater be­fore her death last month, Modern Health­care sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion Crain’s Cleve­land Busi­ness re­ported. The gift from Dorothy Ebers­bach will es­tab­lish a cen­ter bear­ing her name that will ex­pand a pro­gram that trains grad­u­atelevel nurs­ing stu­dents in how to care for pa­tients be­ing trans­ported by air­craft to med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties dur­ing emer­gen­cies. “In­stead of just trans­port­ing pa­tients to the hos­pi­tal for treat­ment, acute-care nurse prac­ti­tion­ers take the hos­pi­tal to the pa­tients for im­me­di­ate in­ter­ven­tion,” Christo­pher Manacci, clin­i­cal di­rec­tor of CWRU’S flight pro­gram, said in a news re­lease. “They work at 15,000 to 30,000 feet above the tra­di­tional clin­i­cal environment and have to think in non­tra­di­tional ways, which is some­thing that Dorothy Ebers­bach did through­out her life.” Ebers­bach, a na­tive of Pomeroy, Ohio, was one of more than 1,000 women se­lected to fly mil­i­tary air­craft for non-com­bat mis­sions dur­ing the war. The mis­sions in­cluded trans­port­ing new planes from fac­to­ries to mil­i­tary bases. Ebers­bach grad­u­ated in 1954 from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nurs­ing, which is part of Case Western Re­serve, and worked for the Hills­bor­ough County Health Depart­ment in Tampa, Fla., un­til her re­tire­ment in 1975. OM­AHA, Neb.— Doc­tors par­tic­i­pat­ing in Ne­braska’s statewide health in­for­ma­tion ex­change now can elec­tron­i­cally share data with the state’s im­mu­niza­tion in­for­ma­tion sys­tem. The Ne­braska State Im­mu­niza­tion In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem is a Web-based sys­tem used for shar­ing im­mu­niza­tion data among pub­lic clin­ics, pri­vate physi­cian of­fices, hos­pi­tals and other health­care fa­cil­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the Ne­braska Health In­for­ma­tion Ini­tia­tive. In­te­grat­ing the NESIIS into the NEHII ex­change will help providers main­tain more ac­cu­rate and upto-date records and could help re­duce the rates of missed im­mu­niza­tions and over­im­mu­niza­tion, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. “This is not only a step in prov­ing the value of elec­tronic in­for­ma­tion shar­ing, but it is go­ing to im­prove our vac­ci­na­tion rates and save more lives over time,” Dr. Joann Schae­fer, chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer for the state’s pub­lic health depart­ment, said in the re­lease. NEHII, founded in 2008, is a not-for-profit pub­licpri­vate col­lab­o­ra­tive that reaches more than 85% of Ne­braskans. BOL­ING­BROOK, Ill.— The state board that reg­u­lates health­care con­struc­tion de­nied pro­pos­als from two hos­pi­tals to build new fa­cil­i­ties in Chicago’s north­west sub­urbs, Modern Health­care sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion Crain’s Chicago Busi­ness re­ported. By a 6-2 vote, the Illi­nois Health Fa­cil­i­ties and Ser­vices Re­view Board turned down a plan by Janesville, Wis.-based Mercy Al­liance to build a 70-bed hos­pi­tal in Crys­tal Lake, and by a 4-4 vote re­jected a pro­posal by Mchenry, Ill.-based Cen­te­gra Health Sys­tem to build a 128-bed hos­pi­tal in Hunt­ley. The board needed five votes to ap­prove the project. In June, it voted to is­sue pre­lim­i­nary de­nials to both pro­pos­als. A re­cent re­port by the board’s staff said there was not a need for an­other hos­pi­tal in the north­west sub­urbs. Six ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties within 30 to 45 min­utes of the pro­posed site now oper­ate be­low the state board’s tar­get oc­cu­pancy for surgery, ob­stet­ric and in­ten­sive-care ser­vices, the re­port said. Sev­eral nearby hos­pi­tals cam­paigned against Mercy’s pro­posal, in­clud­ing Sher­man Hos­pi­tal in El­gin and Oak Brook-based Ad­vo­cate Health Care, which in­cludes Ad­vo­cate Good Shep­herd in Bar­ring­ton, a sub­urb near both the pro­posed hos­pi­tal sites.


Blago­je­vich was con­victed of what pros­e­cu­tors call a shake­down of a chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal ex­ec­u­tive.

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