Mayor Walter E. Washington has nominated 11 persons to the D.C. General Hospital Commission, an independent body that is to begin governing the hospital when it is severed from the department of human resources Oct. 1.
The mayor, who fought legislation effecting the transfer, named former City Council chairman Gilbert Hahn Jr. and a banker, a realtor, and two local university officials among his choices.
If approved by the City Coucil when it reconvenes in September, the group will take over a facility that has been without accreditation for nearly two years. D.C. General, the city's only public general hospital, is under a continuing court order to improve the quality of its medical care.
In addition, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare is currently investigating the hospital's level of compliance with federal standards for Medicaid reimbursement, according to a DHR official.
When council chairman Sterling Tucker introduced the bill to sever D.C. General last year, he cited "the inefficiencies, the understaffing and serious maintenance problems" it has had "for years."
Yesterday, Tucker said he was "generally pleased" with the mayor's nominees and hopes for early council confirmation of them.
Margaret Kohn, an attorney with the Center for Law and Social Polciy and principal counsel in the 1974 federal suit against D.C. General, said she was "a little disappointed that none of the nominees apparently uses the hospital for health care."
Mayor Washington vetoed the bill giving the hospital independent status last January, but was overridden in a Council vote on Feb. 8. The bill became law on May 13, after Congress failed to uphold the mayor.
Members of Washington's administration and DHR officials had argued that severing the $42 million a year hospital from DHR would make it more costly and difficult to operate, and would interrupt a "continuum of care" that they said DHR control of all city health facilities afforded.
Dr. William J. Washington, a former D.C. General director, and now assistant for health services to DHR director Albert P. Russo, said he still believes "that there will be problems in transferring (patients) from one part of the health system to D.C. General . . . but not insurmountable" difficulties.
Russo praised the mayor's choices as "excellent" and "well qualified." In spite of DHR objections to the transfer, the agency "is determined to do our part in making sure this law is fully implemented."
In addition to Hahn, the mayor nominated Thomas M. Walsh, vice-chairman and senior loan officer for National Permanent Federal Savings and Loan Association, and James Williams, owner of a real estate firm.
Other nominees are Dr. Carlton P. Alexix, Howard University vice-president for health affairs, Dr. John P. Utz, dean of the Georgetown University Medical School; Donna L. Brown, health programs director for the Coalition for Children and Youth, and Natalie Davis Spingarn, director of the National Commission on Confidentiality of Health Records.
The mayor also named attorney James L. Hudson, an urban affairs expert, the Rev. Andrew Fowler, chairman of the Committee of 100 Ministers; Mamie S. Barber, former head nurse of Freedmen's Hospital, and Charles Shelton, owner of a landscaping business.
What happens when the City Council meets until 3 a.m. to pass a flurry of last-minute legislation before going on vacation for a month? The council staff becomes exhausted and swamped with work. And, some things get lost in the shuffle.
One example of that is an emergency 90-day moratorium on evictions from city-owned buildings. The moratorium bill was passed at the July 26 marathon meeting with the express purpose of stopping the eviction of Martha Brown, whose ouster from her house at 809 O St. NW had become rallying point for some local housing activists and community groups.
The legislation reached Mayor Washington's desk for action on Aug. 3 - two days after a bulldozer had taken 20 minutes to reduce Mrs. Brown's home to rubble in order to make way for the O Street Market.