ON THE MOVE ...

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS MAKERS -

HOS­PI­TALS, SYS­TEMS

Robert Ritz was named pres­i­dent of Mercy Med­i­cal Cen­ter-Des Moines (Iowa). Ritz, 51, is pres­i­dent and CEO of St. John’s Hos­pi­tal in Spring­field, Ill., op­er­ated by Spring­field-based Hos­pi­tal Sis­ters Health Sys­tem. In Des Moines, he takes over lead­er­ship from who has been the hos­pi­tal’s pres­i­dent and Dave Vellinga, CEO for the past 15 years and also serves as a di­vi­sion leader for Mercy’s par­ent, En­gle­wood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Ini­tia­tives. Vellinga, 63, will re­tain that po­si­tion as well as the role of pres­i­dent and CEO of Mercy Health Net­work Iowa, an in­te­grated net­work co-spon­sored by CHI and Trin­ity Health, head­quar­tered in Livo­nia, Mich. Vellinga also will re­main chair­man of the Univer­sity of Iowa Health Al­liance. Ritz is ex­pected to join Mercy Med­i­cal Cen­ter-Des Moines in July. He was named one of Mod­ern Health­care’s Up & Com­ers in 1999.

IN­FOR­MA­TION TECH­NOL­OGY

Vet­eran physi­cian in­for­mati­cist 64, for­mer Dr. Robert Kolod­ner, head of the Of­fice of the National Co­or­di­na­tor for Health In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy at HHS, was named VP and chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer at Vi­Tel Net, McLean, Va., a provider of tele­health soft­ware and ser­vices. Kolod­ner led the ONC as in­terim di­rec­tor in 2006 and then as di­rec­tor from 2007 to April 2009. Af­ter leav­ing govern­ment, he was chief tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer for Open Health Tools. A psy­chi­a­trist, he also served at the Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Depart­ment in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties, in­clud­ing chief med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer, and helped de­velop its VistA elec­tronic health-record sys­tem. He started May 6.

DEATHS

Dr. Otis Bowen, a for­mer In­di­ana gover­nor and the first physi­cian to serve as HHS sec­re­tary, died May 5 at age 95. Bowen died at a nurs­ing home in Don­ald­son, Ind., near his home­town of Bre­men, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from In­di­ana Gov. Mike Pence. Bowen, af­fec­tion­ately known as “Doc” for his pre-pub­lic ser­vice life as a fam­ily doc­tor in Bre­men, was first elected to of­fice in 1952 as Mar­shall County’s coroner. His po­lit­i­cal rise would even­tu­ally lead to the gover­nor’s of­fice, a po­si­tion he held from 1973 un­til 1981. In De­cem­ber 1985, with the Rea­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion fac­ing crit­i­cism over its re­sponse to the AIDS epi­demic, Bowen was ap­pointed HHS sec­re­tary. In that role, Bowen stressed ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic about the dangers of HIV and other sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­eases. Dur­ing a 1987 news con­fer­ence, Bowen of­fered what has be­come oftre­peated safe-sex ad­vice: “Re­mem­ber, when a per­son has sex, they’re not just hav­ing it with that part­ner, they’re hav­ing it with ev­ery­body that part­ner had it with for the past 10 years.”

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