250+ physicians call for Summa Health CEO, leadership team to resign

In a meeting Thursday evening, more than 250 physicians from Summa Health System called for President and CEO Thomas Malone, MD, and other leaders to due to a controversial decision to change emergency room staff, the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

The Akron, Ohio-based health system brought in a new physician group to staff the ER on New Year's Day after the contract with Summa Emergency Associates expired. Physicians from US Acute Care Solutions, a national emergency medicine group, took over Jan. 1. Summa Health gave less than a week's notice about the change.

At the Thursday medical staff meeting, physicians voted to reinstate Summa Emergency Associates and voted "no confidence" in Dr. Malone and the health system leadership, according to the report. Some of the physicians present at the meeting signed a letter backing their vote to be delivered to the board of directors. The group also plans to send an online survey to all 1,100 physicians on Summa's medical staff, so those who were not present can vote, Dale Murphy, MD, former president of Summa's medical staff, told the Akron Beacon Journal.

However, not all physicians agreed with the vote, the report notes. Some physicians present supported Dr. Malone and felt the group of physicians against the staffing change was not acting in the best interest of patient care, according to the report.

Summa provided the Akron Beacon Journal with the following statement: "The board supported the need to bring in the new emergency medicine provider. We will do whatever is necessary to ensure quality patient care and solidification of a strong environment during this important transition."

During the meeting, an additional issue with the ER physician switch came up — a potential conflict of interest. The CEO of US Acute Care Solutions, Dominic Bagnoli, MD, is married to Vivian von Gruenigen, MD, Summa Health's CMO, according to the report.

The system said Dr. von Gruenigen was not involved in the decision to bring in USACS.

Read more about the story here.


More articles on integration and physician issues:

Summa Health abruptly changes ER physician staff: 5 things to know
Medical center merges with Centura Health Physician Group
Baylor College of Medicine gains Department of Emergency Medicine



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