Winfield M. Kelly, chairman of the private, nonprofit corporation that runs Prince George's County's three public health institutions, formally appointed six new members yesterday to a streamlined board of directors.
Following disclosures this year of management problems and financial losses, Kelly in October dismantled the 24-member board that had run the corporation, Community Hospital and Health Care Systems Inc., since 1983. The move was designed to pave the way for a wholesale restructuring of the hospitals' administration and an agreement was reached with county officials allowing them representatives on the board.
In addition to the previously announced appointments of Kelly, Prince George's Chief Administrative Officer John Wesley White and County Council administrator Samuel Wynkoop, Kelly named the other representatives of the county's health care community to serve. Two more slots remained to be filled.
"These are high quality, noncontroversial people who just want to roll up their sleeves and work," Kelly said.
Kelly, a former county executive who was appointed to oversee the system in July, has said he is optimistic about the hospital system's ability to rebound from an estimated $10 million loss last year to break-even status next year.
"We're well on our way," he said. "We have some financial problems left over that have to be fixed."
Under the terms of an amendment to the CHHCS lease with the county approved by the council Oct. 1, the new board will adhere to new conflict-of-interest rules and delegate a greater portion of its responsibilities to the three health care facilities.
"They are committed among other things to making sure that system is open, which has been one of the big, big problems there in the past," County Executive Parris Glendening said yesterday.
The previous board's effectiveness, he said, was hampered by personality conflicts rooted in part in the political nature of their appointments.
New directors include representatives from each of the three affected health care facilities: Dr. Thomas A. Maclean from Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital, Stephen Merchant from the Bowie Health Center and John Ware, a pharmacist from Landover who will represent the Prince George's General Hospital board. Also appointed by Kelly were Dr. Benjamin Pecson, a physician from District Heights, and M. Frances Newman, a social worker from Landover. Dr. George S. Malouf will represent the county medical society.
Prince George's General chief medical officer James T. Estes also will serve as a nonvoting board member, and attorney Wayne Curry will continue as general counsel.