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February 21, 1992 - Image 46

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-02-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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46

41

AARON HALABE

Special to The Jewish News

I

n an age when the fi-
nances of many city and
community hospitals are
in critical condition, Botsford
General Hospital in Farm-
ington Hills is expanding —
thanks to long-time CEO Ger-
son Cooper.
Under the leadership of its
president and CEO Mr.
cooper, the 336-bed
osteopathic teaching hospital
is in the midst of a $35
million construction and
renovation program. The pro-
ject includes the expansion of
emergency and maternity
services and a new surgical
department.
The expansion, Mr. Cooper
says, is an effort for Botsford
to stay competitive in an era
of declining Medicare and
Medicaid payments. Botsford
lost over $2 million in 1991 on
Medicaid and Medicare.
Despite the challenges fac-
ing the health care industry,
Botsford is one of only a few
local hospitals to continually
record increases in net profits.
But, Mr. Cooper says, the
hospital hurdled many
obstacles before it enjoyed its
current success.
He says a harbinger of
future challenges came in
1987, when Botsford's net in-
come fell to $530,000. Patient
admissions began declining
that year and Botsford closed
medical/surgical units and
cut capacity.
With the memories of past
struggles indelibly etched in
his mind, Mr. Cooper says the
hospital began its turnaround
in 1988 by adding a 25-bed in-
patient geriatric-psychiatric
facility.
Other new inpatient pro-
grams include an . acute
rehabilitation unit for stroke
patients and a cardiac
catheterization laboratory
that provides diagnosis of cor-
onary artery disease and
heart valve misfunction. Cost
to build the three units was
about $3.3 million.

lb keep pace with the de-
mand for more outpatient ser-
vices, Mr. Cooper added out-
patient programs in or-
thopedic rehabilitation and
ambulatory surgery.
"We read the handwriting
on the wall," he says. "And it
told us that we had to reduce
inpatient hospitalization."

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Botsford CEO Cooper Brings
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Gerson Cooper is credited with heading Botsford General Hospital in
Farmington toward success.

Botsford's community
outreach programs include
the ElderMed and Health
Development Network pro-
grams. Eldermed sponsors
educational classes focusing
on the health concerns of the
elderly and Health Develop-
ment Network offers work-
site health programs.
Botsford is located on
Grand River south of Eight
Mile Road; over 20 percent of
Botsford's patients live in
Detroit. lb serve the poor and
provide its resident physi-
cians with a complete educa-
tion, Mr. Cooper says the in-
stitution mantained a long af-
filiation with Northwest
General Hospital in Detroit.
Botsford provided $11 mill-
tion to Northwest General
during the 1980s. The funds
proved inadequate, however;
Northwest General closed in
1990.
Botsford is a principal
teaching affiliate of Michigan
State University's College of
Osteopathic Medicine. Con-
sidered a respected
osteopathic teaching hospital,
it employs nearly 2,000 peo-
ple — including 375 staff
physicians. The hospital

trains residents in 20 medical
specialties and
sub-specialities.
Dr. Eugene Oliveri, presi-
dent of the Michigan Associa-
tion of Osteopathic Physi-
cians and Surgeons and a
Botsford staff physician, says
Mr. Cooper is an influential
leader in hospital and
osteopathic education.
"He is a very strong ad-
ministrator of what is con-
sidered to be one of the most
successful and influential
osteopathic teaching
hospitals in the country," Dr.
Oliveri says.
"He gives us a lynch pin to
hang on to. We know that we
can trust the fact that he has
the profession close to his
heart and in mind when he
makes decisions regarding
the hospital," Dr. Oliveri says.
Mr. Cooper boasts of the
hospital's low turnover rate.
Botsford employs 340 nurses,
and Mr. Cooper adds, the
nurse vacancy rate is only 1.7
percent. "It gives you some
sense of the family rapport we
have here," he says.
Donald Potter, president of
the Southeast Michigan
Hospital Council, attributes

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