April 16, 1999

Spitzer, Jones set to fill Metro General leadership positions

Spitzer, Jones set to fill Metro General leadership positions

The leadership team that will guide Nashville's Metropolitan General Hospital is beginning to take shape with the naming of Roxane B. Spitzer, Ph.D., as chief executive officer and Philip Jones as chief financial officer by the Hospital Authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

"We are thrilled with these appointments," said Shelly Krizelman, chairman of the Hospital Authority. "Both Dr. Spitzer and Mr. Jones are extraordinarily talented and both are committed to the future of General Hospital."

The appointments come as part of the recent alliance agreement between the city, Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Vanderbilt will contract to provide the three top managers for Metro General Hospital. The post of chief operating officer has yet to be filled, and a national search is under way.

Meharry Medical College will continue to provide staff physicians and will maintain leadership over the clinical and educational programs at the hospital. Officials say the new relationship is a progressive move to not only have Metro General continue as an excellent public hospital, but also ensure it is an outstanding community hospital.

Spitzer and Jones will assume their duties May 1.

"Metro General is a remarkable institution," Spitzer said. "Its history, its staff and its care have long been part of this community and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to become a part of it."

Both Spitzer and Jones bring a host of skills and a wealth of experiences to their new positions.

Spitzer is currently chief operating officer at Vanderbilt Medical Group Network, and is professor and associate dean for Practice Management at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, professor of the Practice of Management at the Owen graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt, and executive director of University Community Health Services. She was formerly the chief executive officer of managed care systems for Medicus, corporate vice president of St. Joseph Health System in Orange, Calif., and executive vice president of the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.

Jones is currently financial manager for Vanderbilt's Patient Care Centers. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt Jones was assistant vice president of operations for Community Health Systems Inc. and previously served as chief financial officer of Barstow Community Hospital, OrNda's St. Luke Medical Center and Tenet Healthcare Corp.'s Doctors' Hospital of Montclair & Ontario Community Hospital.

"I felt this would be an exciting opportunity," Jones said. "It gives me the chance to get back to doing what I've done in the past and I look forward to the many challenges to come."

The landmark alliance between Vanderbilt and Meharry is a commitment to a cooperative relationship based on a mutual respect for each institutions respective differences and strengths. The language of the agreement specifically ensures that both entities will remain independent with their unique missions intact. Furthermore, the agreement will help both institutions achieve a higher degree of excellence in their total programs through the complementary management and utilization of programs and resources, officials with both institutions say.

The two institutions will develop innovative approaches to medical education, address the challenges of the new health care delivery environment, capitalize on existing positive relations between each institution, enhance diversity at each institution, and produce positive effects on the Nashville community.

Officials noted that Meharry's strengths are in family medicine and primary care, and that Vanderbilt's strengths are in specialty and subspecialty care, making a complementary match.

One of the goals of the alliance is to promote cooperative agreements with other organizations, agencies and institutions in the health field, both public and private, for the purpose of providing, maintaining and coordinating health services.

The alliance will also facilitate the partnership of both Meharry and Vanderbilt with local Veterans Administration hospitals in Nashville and Murfreesboro, as a reorganization of those facilities and others in the region are being considered.

The agreement outlines other specific goals that also include:

o collaborative clinical science program arrangements;

o shared information technology and library capabilities;

o increased collaborative research and research training projects;

o making available educational and training programs to students from both institutions;

o sharing teaching and research facilities;

o creating joint continuing education programs;

o and greater interaction of faculty and students to enhance opportunities for increased diversity at both institutions.

An Alliance Steering Committee has been created to provide implementation and oversight of the agreement. Dr. John E. Maupin Jr., president of Meharry Medical College, and Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt, will co-chair the committee, which will have an equal number of representatives from each institution, including the deans of both institutions' medical schools.

The major areas of focus for the alliance will be clinical sciences, academic support infrastructure, biomedical research collaboration, health services and a Meharry-Vanderbilt Institute for Primary Care Medicine.