Swedish Health Services CEO Tony Armada resigns following investigation into medical practices

Anthony Armada, the CEO of Seattle-based Swedish Health Services, resigned Monday, just days after a Seattle Times report prompted state regulators to investigate the Swedish Neuroscience Institute on the Cherry Hill campus in Seattle.

According to Swedish, Mr. Armada's decision to step down was a personal one, and he told the board he felt it was in the best interest of the organization.

Swedish was in hot water with state regulators after a Seattle Times report, published Feb. 10, uncovered patient care concerns at the neuroscience institute stemming from what the paper called an "aggressive pursuit" for increased patient volumes.

The report found the drive to increase volume left nurses with high caseloads and led to surgeons using a concurrent surgery model. The paper also said many physicians had problems with Johnny Delashaw, MD, being chairman of neurosurgery at SNI because he had allegations against him of high complication rates.

State regulators launched an investigation into practices at NSI following the Seattle Times report. Mr. Armada had issued a statement Feb. 10 disputing the Seattle Times report, saying in part,"It was implied our priorities are misplaced. Our number one priority is quality care and patient safety, and caring for all patients who need us."

In an open letter to Swedish patients issued by Mr. Armada Feb. 17, he wrote, "We recognize that there is a loss of trust, and appreciate your patience and partnership as we work to repair that trust through as much transparency as possible."

The system's board of trustees named R. Guy Hudson, MD, as interim CEO on Tuesday. Dr. Hudson, a pediatric urologic surgeon with an MBA, most recently served as chief of physician services for western Washington with Swedish.

"We believe this is an important time to return to physician leadership," Teresa Bigelow, the chairwoman of the board, said in a statement.

Mr. Armada had led Swedish since 2013.

Scott Becker, publisher of Becker's Healthcare, says of Mr. Armada, "While not familiar with the situation at Swedish, Tony Armada is a smart, gifted leader and we personally hope he resurfaces soon in healthcare leadership."

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