Providence St. Joseph Health CEO Dr. Rod Hochman apologizes for issues at Swedish in full-page ad

Renton, Wash.-based Providence St. Joseph Health President and CEO Rod Hochman, MD, took out a full-page advertisement in The Seattle Times to apologize for the patient care issues unearthed at Seattle-based Swedish Health Services, a part of Providence.

In the ad, Dr. Hochman states that as "the leader of Providence St. Joseph Health … I am ultimately accountable for the successes and mistakes of the hospitals in our system."

"I apologize to the caregivers, physicians, patients and community for the pain the current situation has caused. You deserved better from us — and from me," he wrote.

Dr. Hochman also notes his own long-standing relationship with Swedish, which he headed from 2007 to 2012. This is the first public comment from Dr. Hochman addressing the issues at Swedish, according to The Seattle Times.

It was a Seattle Times report that led state regulators to investigate the Swedish Neuroscience Institute on the Cherry Hill campus in Seattle. The report claimed that Swedish pursued an increase in patient volumes aggressively, which led some surgeons there to use a concurrent surgery model. Additionally, the report noted that many Swedish clinicians had complained about Johnny Delashaw, MD, chairman of neurosurgery at SNI, and that their concerns were not addressed by leadership.

Both Swedish CEO Anthony Armada and Dr. Delashaw stepped down from their roles shortly after the Seattle Times report was published. R. Guy Hudson, MD, has taken over as Swedish CEO on an interim basis.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is also heading a new investigation into Swedish and its clinical practices. It is not yet known if the investigation is civil or criminal, a Swedish spokesperson told the Seattle Times.

In the ad, Dr. Hochman also notes he will ensure interim CEO Dr. Hudson has all the support he needs from Providence St. Joseph Health to rebuild the trust and culture at Swedish.

"Together, we will continue to make sure that the Swedish commitment to high quality, safe care remains strong and unwavering," Dr. Hochman wrote in the ad, which ran on March 19.

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