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September 03, 1996 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-03

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LOCAL/S

Medical Center
announces plans
to downsize

OWN

The Michigan Daily - Tuesday. September 3, 1996 - 5A
State residents
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end with parade

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Py Jennifer Harvey
and Katie Wang
Daily Staff Reporters
Later this month, the University
Board of Regents will hear a recom-
mendation for restructuring the
University Medical Center and Medical
School, interim President Homer Neal
rid recently.
,"We can adopt one of two strategies:
expand or reduce the Medical Center to
a level at which it is self-sufficient,
Neal said.
"We want to have this done by
September or October," said Regent
Philip Power (D-Ann Arbor). "We
have total confidence in the ability
of our interim president to guide us
through it."
Attorney Geoffrey Shields, who has
Arked on more than 200 hospital
restructuring projects, laid out this sum-
mer the benefits and drawbacks of a
variety of changes the regents could
make to the Medical Center and
Medical School.
"I'm here to offer you a look at struc-
tures that may be able to make the
University able to compete in the fast-
changing medical world," Shields said.
"There is a pressure out there to cram
wn costs"
The move to restructure comes on the
heels of an April announcement by the
Medical Center that it would undergo a
three-year transformation, in which it
plans to trim $200 million from its bud-
get. Most of the monetary cuts will be
made through staff reductions.
The Medical Center has already dis-
tributed 541 reduction-in-staff notices
to its employees, with more to come.
tany of those employees will have an
opportunity to fill 200 open positions in
the hospitals.
"(The University), almost like every
other health institution, is assessing
societal demand to reduce costs of
health care," said Associate Medical
Shool Dean Lloyd Jacobs. "This is an
mgoing attempt to respond to societal
ids, including cost-efficient care."

Jacobs supervised the committee,
which approved departmental plans for
the cuts in its respective workforce.
Jacobs emphasized that the quality of
health care would not be affected by the
shifts in the staff. "We are committed to
diversity in the work force, patient care
and quality" Jacobs said. "I don't think
this is a sad time in health care. We are
learning to do things better."
"We want to be leaner, not meaner,"
he said.
Cheryl Johnson, Professional Nurses
Council chair, said Jacobs was naive for
neglecting how the quality of care
would be affected by the cuts. "We're
very unhappy with (the cuts) because
we don't think they've been made on
any input other than bottom line,"
Johnson said. "They're not looking at
quality."
Shields said the Medical Center
could become a financial risk to the
University if the hospitals are not finan-
cially successful. He said academic
medical centers must respond to the
marketplace. "You cannot sit still," he
told the regents.
Shields said all the viable options
necessitate some downsizing of the work
force. He said half the beds the Medical
Center currently uses will be necessary
in five years. He cited the ever-increas-
ing move to outpatient treatment as a
reason for the drop in bed use and the
resulting work-force downsizing.
Shields said utilization drops as
much as 69 percent in managed-care
markets, and almost 20 percent of the
population of Washtenaw County is
currently enrolled in HMOs. Shields
said increasing HMO enrollment in the
area is another reason to restructure.
"Hospitals will have to be low-cost to
compete," Shields said. "The University
is now the highest cost-per-case
provider in its market. It must become
the lowest-cost provider."
Shields said the University must
decrease business risks and increase
business opportunity for the Medical
Center while maintaining its academic

'Y

r
Ki l : <W' ' l

JONATHANWLRIE/Da I
Linda Weatherbee, a member of Local 1583 and a housekeeper at the Medical
Center, protests job cuts near the Michigan Union in May.

relationship with the Medical School.
Some options Shields outlined
include downsizing the Medical Center,
expanding the Medical Center, expand-
ing through a merger with some corpo-
rate entity or leasing to a proprietary
company.
Shields said the University could
merge with other health care systems,
elect to restructure the Medical Center
as a not-for-profit corporation or public
authority, or sell the Medical Center.
Shields did not recommend one spe-
cific course of action to the regents.
However, he said the prevailing trend
for restructuring of academic teaching
hospitals involves administrators set-
ting up a system for spinning off their
hospitals to corporate joint-venturing,
and that such a corporate system would
probably be the best option for the
University.
"The options are manifold. At some
point we are going to have to make a
choice,' said Regent Rebecca McGowan
(D-Ann Arbor). "We wanted to assure
ourselves that we've looked at every

aspect and are prepared to make a (ee
sion in the best interests of the hospital.
Shields said the University is in a
much better position to initiate restruc-
turing because, unlike many other insti-
tutions, the University Medical Center
is still fiscally sound.
Neal said the executive officers
would spend the next weeks weighing
all the options to determine the ideal
solution. Neal said they would "look at
all the models as tihey apply to Ann
Arbor."
Neal did not indicate a preference for
any particular restrucuring option, but
did say that the Medical Center could
not continue to operate under its current
structure.
"It's hard to imagine maitaining the
current structure when our costs are
much higher than other hospitals',"
Neal said.
"We have to ask ours e! 'Should
universities be in the busness of oper-
ating huge hospitals far larger than
needed to operate a medical school?"'
Neal said.

Thousands take to the
streets to celebrate
Labor Day
DETROIT (AP) - Thousands of
workers took to the streets wearing
emblems, chanting slogans and waving
flags in the city's annual Labor Day
Parade.
"Today is our day," said Laurie
LeBlanc, an electrician from Plymouth.
"We are the people who build
America."
LeBlanc, like many watching the
parade, said striking newspaper
reporters were on her mind. "There's
too many strong people here;" she said.
"They won't give up."
Across Michigan, people took
advantage of pleasant weather to cele-
brate the holiday that marks the unoffi-
cial end of summer.
Republican Gov. John Engler led
thousands in what he said was the
warmest Mackinac Bridge walk he
could remember. His wife, Michelle,
and their triplets joined him in the
annual tradition.
Another Republican leader, vice
presidential candidate Jack Kemp,
made a late-afternoon Labor Day visit
to Flint for a barbecue at the home of a
supporter. He said it was a natural place
to campaign on Labor Day.
"We wanted to be in the heart of
labor country U.S.A., Flint, Michigan,
to give our message of growth, jobs,
opportunity, higher wages, lower taxes
and a chance to own and prosper in
America, the land of the free"
An estimated 2 million
Michiganians were on the roadways
this holiday weekend to squeeze in one
last vacation yesterday. Several thou-
sand went to the last day- of the
Michigan State Fair.
State Fair General Manager John
Hertel said he would not have atten-
dance figures until today, but he pro-
nounced the fair a safe, clean, suc-
cess. "We haven't had a stolen car,"

he said.
Hertel predicted attendance would
be slightly down from last year's
425,000 because of two rainy nights.
The pleasant weather may have
brought a larger-than-usual crowd to
the Labor Day parade. Officer
Garrettt Ochalek, the Detroit police
coordinator of the event, said a crowd
estimate was difficult, but he said the
parade "keeps getting bigger every
year."
Most parade marchers wore union
members who proudly displayed the
name of their organization on signs and
T-shirts. Some walked silently while
others chanted slogans like "We are the
steel workers, the mighty, mighty, steel
workers."
Parade marchers often outnumbered
spectators. Tyrone Thomas of Detroit
said he had one thing on his mind:
"Unemployment. That's what we need
- jobs, more jobs," he said.
He said a 90-cent increase in the
minimum wage approved by President
Clinton and Congress will help, but "it
needs to go further."
Several speakers led the crowd in
chants such as "No scab papers!"
"We're going to gather at these build-
ings here to make sure they get the mes-
sage - that it's wrong to hire replace-
ment workers to steal jobs" said the
Rev. Thomas Gumbleton, a Roman
Catholic Bishop from Detroit, speaking,
to the crowd from the back of a flatbed
truck.
U.S. Rep. John Conyers; who was
one of 21 strike supporters arrested
Friday after blocking a News build-
ing entrance, told the crowd that "I
want to win this damn strike soon. I
want everybody back to work so'on'."
The strike began in July 1995 when
2,500 workers represented by six union
locals walked out.
The newspapers have continued to
publish using replacement workers and
workers who have crossed the picket
line. Sporadic negotiations have gone
nowhere.

returns to football
tem ater guilty plea

By Jennifer Harvey
Daily Staff ReporterY
Michigan punter Brian Griese plead-
ed guilty to a reduced misdemeanor
charge of malicious destruction of
property in May, at what was supposed
to be a preliminary hearing for a felony
charge.
Griese, an LSA senior, had been
charged with a felony for breaking
the main front window of
Scorekeepers after he had been
thrown out of the Ann Arbor sports
bar on April 7. A bouncer at the bar
on the night of the incident said
Griese was visibly intoxicated while
inside the bar.
"He was almost to the point where he
couldn't talk or stand," the bouncer
said.
The bouner fn that Ann
Arbor Polc Dcarnt ofers then
arrested G rec iite parking structure
south of the bar.
"I was wrong an at's it," Griese
said last month. "The inciden is behind
me."
"I damaged property that did not
belong to rae G riese told 15th
District Cort Jud Maton at

the preliminary hearing. "I broke a
window."
"It was not an accident," he said. "I
was just angry."
With the felony charge, Griese faced
a possible sentence of four years in
prison and a $2,000 fine.
Griese's attorney, Paul Gallagher,
said the prosecu-
tor independent-
ly reduced the 1 was
charge and the
decision was not and that
the result of a
plea agreement.
M a t t s o n Michiga
ordered Griese to
pay restitution for the window, valued at
$889.
Griese said he had already paid the
amount to Scorekeepers.
Mattson also ordered Griese to sub-
mit to a substance-abuse evaluation at
University Health Services and to fol-
low the recommendations of that evalu-
ation.
Griese was suspended from the foot-
ball team April 9, in accordance with
the athletic department's policies on
alcohol.

'
n C

In an official statement released the
same day, Michigan football coach
Lloyd Carr said, "You have to realize an
incident such as this one has an effect
on the entire program and not just an
individual."
Bruce Madej, a spokesperson for
the Athletic Department, said Griese
was reinstated
to the team
wrong early in the
summer and
it. participated in
all preseason
- Brian Griese workouts.
football player Griese is the
son of Pro
Football Hall of Fame quarterback and
ABC Sports announcer Bob Griese. He
took over as the Wolverines' starting
quarterback for the injured Scott
Dreisbach in last season's fifth game
and guided Michigan to a 5-4 finish in
a 9-4 season.
Saturday, Griese returned to
Michigan Stadium as a pooch punter,
punting twice for 71 yards.
- Daily Sports Editor Barry
Sollen berger contributed to this report.

MARGARET MYERS/Daily

Happy birthday, Mr. Preside t
Democrats around the area, including state Sen. Alma WheerSmith (D-SaIem Township), celebrated President
Clinton's birthday Sunday at the local Democratic offices on Church street in Ann Arbor. Many Democrats who are run-
ning for local offices were also at the celebration.
Engler, Blanchard accompany
thousands in adgal

MACKINAW CITY (AP) - Buck
McPhee may have had the state's tough-
"st job yesterday - driving the minivan
Lnat trailed Gov. John Engler on his
Labor Day trek across the Mackinac
Bridge.
"Woah!" McPhee gasped, slamming
the brakes. Another impatient walker
had dodged in front of the vehicle, trying
to pass the bottleneck created by Engler,

brating his 0, birhday.
"I'm use d to waliking? he said. "I
spent four years in the infantry in World
War II."
People received a certificate as they
completed the walk. The atmosphere in
Mackinaw City was festiv Vendors
sold coffee, sweet rolls and Polish
sausages; street preachers souted from
the sidewalks

"They changed the route (after the
mistake was discovered) and got a better
one - going over the bridge," he said.
Engler spokesperson John Truscott
last week frowned at Blanchard's plans
to show up, saying the walk traditional-
ly was a nonpartisan event led by the
governor.
But Engler said yesterday the
Democrats were welcome. "It's for

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