Loretto board is ducking its responsibility to hold wayward execs accountable to community it serves

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The longer the top executives at Loretto Hospital hang on, the more negative stories are going to come out about how this safety-net hospital is being run.

State Rep. La Shawn Ford knows this.

He resigned from the hospital’s board of directors Tuesday, citing his disappointment with the “reprimands” handed down to CEO George Miller and COO Dr. Anosh Amed, for the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination scandal.

“The reason I stepped away was to make sure the hospital regains its confidence that may have been lost, and focus on the community,” Ford told me in a telephone conversation.

“I’m very concerned about the fact that the first doses have been taken away and there are thousands of people that got their first dose and are waiting on their second dose. People are now confused,” he said.

Block Club Chicago was fist to break the news that Amed took a caravan to Trump Tower to vaccinate hotel workers at the posh hotel, even joking that he had vaccinated the former president’s son, Eric Trump.

It’s been a feeding frenzy ever since with daily revelations about how the hospital handled the vaccinations.

And Loretto isn’t the only one accused of mishandling the vaccine.

City officials claim a Lincoln Park clinic misallocated 6,000 CPS vaccines, prompting officials to confiscate the remaining doses.

In Loretto’s case, vaccines that were supposed to go in the arms of residents in under-served neighborhoods went in the arms of employees at a luxury watch boutique on the Gold Coast where the COO apparently likes to shop, and in the arms of employees at a swanky restaurant where he likes to eat.

Miller tweeted out a prayer for redemption after it was exposed that he provided vaccinations for 200 worshippers at the megachurch he attends in Oak Forest, and that some Cook County judges and their spouses were vaccinated at Loretto even though it wasn’t their turn.

Ford would not disclose the punishments Miller and Ahmed received, and thus far the board has refused to say how they are holding these two executives accountable.

It is as if the community that the hospital serves has no right to be at the front of the line.

“I know the president is still on the job, I can’t say for sure about the COO,” Ford told me.

A spokesman for Loretto did not respond to my inquiry about this matter.

But a source with knowledge of the board’s deliberations said Miller got a two-week suspension without pay and Ahmed got 60 days without pay.

The financial hit is a slap on the wrist given that these executives are highly compensated, according to the hospital’s IRS Form 990 filed for the tax year beginning 7/01/2017 and ending 6/30/2018.

For instance, Loretto’s former CEO was paid $840,000 plus an additional $29,000 in other compensation.

The CEO compensation for a hospital with revenues up to $49.9 million is about $274,300 according to the Healthcare Finance website.

Ford is still trying to rationalize the thinking that led to this fiasco.

“I cannot answer why the COO thought it would be OK [to vaccinate] people at some of those institutions. But when they went to do the workers at Trump Towers, 68 of the 70 people were Black and one was Latino, and one was unidentified,” Ford explained.

“The city approved them to go to the 200 senior citizens 65 years old, but they needed to stay focused on Austin. We know on the board that no person in the Austin area on the West Side has ever been rejected or denied for a shot,” he added.

“What is disappointing is what Mr. Miller has done over there has been great. He was excited that Loretto was on the map,” Ford said.

Unfortunately, when they got on the map, these executives acted like high school kids trying to impress the in-crowd.

They simply weren’t ready for the responsibility they were handed.

But for the board to give them a pass is an insult to the very people they are supposed to serve.

Feeds,News,Chi ST 2

via Chicago Sun-Times – All

March 24, 2021 at 09:27PM

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