CEO named at Md. General

Former Hopkins executive to take over at hospital

Daniel to begin next month

Predecessor's departure prompted by lab scandal

July 27, 2004|By Erika Niedowski and Julie Bell | Erika Niedowski and Julie Bell,SUN STAFF

Colene Y. Daniel, a former Johns Hopkins Health System executive who also served six years on the Baltimore school board, has been named head of Maryland General Hospital, three months after a laboratory scandal prompted the resignation of the hospital's former chief executive.

Daniel will take over as president and chief executive of the 243-bed community hospital the middle of next month. Her predecessor, Timothy D. Miller, stepped down in April after state regulators discovered that the hospital lab had given potentially faulty HIV and hepatitis test results to hundreds of people.

The disclosure spurred congressional hearings, as well as state and federal investigations.

"Maryland General Hospital's most immediate and critical need is to ensure that its patients have confidence in its healthcare services now and in the future," U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who called the hearings and has been critical of the hospital's past operations, said in a statement yesterday.

Reached later as he arrived at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Cummings said he has known Daniel for years in her capacities at Hopkins and on the school board.

"I know she's a strong administrator," he said. "She will not be reluctant to make changes that need to be made to get the hospital where the hospital needs to be."

In Daniel, Maryland General will get an experienced administrator who had long expressed the desire to run a hospital.

"Not only does Colene have exceptional leadership abilities and a wealth of health care experience in urban settings, she cares a great deal about Baltimore city and is passionate about providing quality health services," Edmond F. Notebaert, president of the hospital's parent company, the University of Maryland Medical System, said in a statement yesterday.

Neither Notebaert nor Daniel was available for comment, according to Joan S. Shnipper, a spokeswoman for the medical system.

Daniel said in a prepared statement that she was "excited about joining Maryland General Hospital because it will be a great opportunity to provide premier quality health care to residents of Baltimore City."

The 50-year-old administrator, who holds master's degrees in both public health and health care administration, is president of the KSP Healthcare Group, a management-consulting firm in Washington.

Before that, she worked briefly as chief executive officer of the D.C. Healthcare Alliance, a network of hospitals, clinics and physicians that provides health services to low-income District residents but has been financially troubled in recent years.

But most of Daniel's top-level experience came at Hopkins, where she was vice president of corporate services, community health and services from 1991 to 2002.

In that role, she was responsible for several corporate divisions - including community grants, purchasing and materials management - with a combined budget of more than $300 million, the University of Maryland said.

While in that position, she also led the Office of Community Health and Community Services at Hopkins and was co-chairwoman of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute.

Ronald R. Peterson, president of Hopkins Hospital, called Daniel's hiring a "remarkably smart appointment" and said that she is "absolutely committed" to quality health care for inner-city patients.

He said that taking over Maryland General, even at a difficult time, shouldn't faze her. "She's a seasoned veteran and will be a calming influence and is quite adept at not allowing major challenges to cause her to be flapped," he said.

Before she left Hopkins, Daniel had been looking for "upward mobility" and the chance to run a hospital, Peterson said, but each of Hopkins' medical centers had an entrenched leader.

Daniel was appointed to the school board in 1997 and served until last year. During her time in that volunteer role, she was chairwoman of the facilities committee.

J. Tyson Tildon, the former Baltimore school board chairman who served for six years with her on that panel, said he had one thought when he heard the news of her appointment: "Wow."

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