Gray drops nom­i­nee with ties to city con­trac­tors

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro - BY JIM MCELHATTON

Mayor Vin­cent C. Gray has with­drawn his nom­i­na­tion of a health care con­sul­tant with ties to at least two city con­trac­tors to serve as an in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tor on the board of the United Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

Of­fi­cials gave no rea­son, nor did they an­nounce the decision to drop Mr. Gray’s Jan. 25 nom­i­na­tion of Elaine Crider. Records show her name was with­drawn March 5. Pe­dro Ribeiro, a spokesman for Mr. Gray, said she had re­moved her name from con­sid­er­a­tion weeks ear­lier, how­ever.

Ms. Crider’s public client list in­cludes Unity Health Care, which con­tracts with the Dis­trict and op­er­ates health cen­ters across the city, as well as D.C. Char­tered Health Plan, the city’s big­gest Med­i­caid contractor. A public client list, avail­able on the web­site of Ms. Crider’s con­sult­ing com­pany, doesn’t say when she worked for ei­ther com­pany.

D.C. Char­tered is owned by Jef­frey E. Thompson, whose home and off ice were raided this month as part of an on­go­ing cam­paign­fi­nance in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice in Washington. Her name has not sur­faced in con­nec­tion with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

D.C. Coun­cil mem­ber David A. Cata­nia, who chairs the coun­cil’s health com­mit­tee, was not dis­ap­pointed that Ms. Crider’s name had been with­drawn.

“The coun­cil mem­ber expressed some con­cerns about the nom­i­na­tion and weighed in, and we’re pleased with the out­come,” said Bren­dan Wil­liams-kief, a spokesman for Mr. Cata­nia.

Ms. Crid­ers’ re­sume, sent to the coun­cil along with her nom­i­na­tion, refers to her as an “ac­com­plished health­care ex­ec­u­tive with Med­i­caid, be­hav­ioral health HMO and man­aged care ex­per­tise.” She had a long his­tory with United Med­i­cal Cen­ter dat­ing back a decade ago, when it was known as Greater South­east Com­mu­nity Hospi­tal.

She also had served on an in­de­pen­dent com­mit­tee ap­pointed by city of­fi­cials to re­view pro­pos­als for a plan to pro­vide health ser­vices for low-in­come res­i­dents.

The com­mit­tee chose be­tween pro­pos­als from D.C. Gen­eral Hospi­tal, the city’s public hospi­tal, and Greater South­east, owned at the time by Doc­tors Com­mu­nity Health­care Corp., an Ari­zona com­pany that was a ma­jor donor to city politi­cians.

The com­mit­tee chose Greater South­east, which led to the shut­down of D.C. Gen­eral Hospi­tal, a move Mr. Gray sharply crit­i­cized when he took of­fice as a newly elected Ward 7 coun­cil mem­ber in 2005.

David A. Cata­nia

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