Summa Health board releases statement backing ER staff switch

Akron, Ohio-based Summa Health System's board of directors underscored its support for the decision to switch emergency medicine groups, according to a full statement published in the Akron Beacon Journal Wednesday.

"[W]e take our responsibility seriously to set the organization's vision and then engage with leadership regularly to ensure it is being executed," the statement reads. "Sometimes this work is difficult, as was the case with our recent transition from a long-time partner in emergency medicine to a new one. The board supported the need to bring in the new emergency medicine provider."

Summa Health switched emergency room physician groups on New Year's Day when a contract expired with longtime partner Summa Emergency Associates. The health system began staffing emergency rooms across several locations with physicians from US Acute Care Solutions, a national emergency medicine group. The move was controversial because the health system gave Summa Emergency Associates less than a week's notice.

In the wake of this decision, physicians have voted "no confidence" in leadership and system President and CEO Thomas Malone, MD.

The board statement published Wednesday suggests that the decision to change emergency medicine groups was in the interest of making sure the system remains financially viable.

"At the same time, this situation has brought to light the need for greater engagement with our employees and physicians," the statement reads. "Summa Health will embrace this engagement as a critical goal for the coming year, which the board fully supports."


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Summa Health board releases statement backing ER staff switch

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