Posts Tagged ‘University Medical Center’

15th April
2011
written by madge

UofA President Robert Shelton is making a big dollar power play to gain control of over $150 million sitting on the balance sheet in the University Medical Center. After running the medical operations to the brink of disaster, the medical operations were spun off to run more like a private sector operation. University Medical re-calibrated and became a successful part of our community and a leading teaching hospital that graduated thousands of pharmacist, nurses and doctors.

Now UofA President, Robert Shelton, wants to take hundreds of millions of cash reserves and all future profits from UMC out of Health Sciences and use them to make up his own black hole deficits at the UofA. This is wrong.

Shelton’s dash for our cash is a political play dictated by the Arizona Board of Regents and encouraged by Fred DuVal to curry favor amongst the academics so he can run for office in 2012.

Regent Rick Meyer is the CEO of C-Path which is in the medical research industry.  Meyer is seeking the good favor of Shelton and the potential research business it could mean to his company. If you remember c-path has been supported by Oro Valley (Explorer News 2009), Marana, Tucson, Pima County and of course The University of Arizona (funding sources HERE).  Guess where c-path built their first medical lab with all the financial support from Southern Arizona?  If you answered Tucson, Oro Valley or Marana you would be wrong – the $2.2 million grant opened a $2.2 million lab in Phoenix.  How’s that for a return on investment?

The only public source of funding mentioned on their web site with a Phoenix presence is……you guessed it, the UofA.  Shelton sites more medical research if he’s in control of UMC, cpath works in the medical research field, coincidence?

Is Rick Meyers deeply embroiled in the middle of a big fat conflict of interest?

If I were a taxpayer of Marana I’d be upset.  If I were a taxpayer of Tucson I’d be upset. If were a taxpayer of Pima County I’d be upset.  As a taxpayer from Oro Valley…..I’m down right pissed off.  We may have tax increases to pay for cops while we’ve invested for years  in c-path only to see them open a lab and create jobs in Phoenix! Loomis and KC, thanks.

Meyer and DuVal are all over this mess and someone needs to reign them in or kick them off the board. Shelton has overstepped his authority and should be ousted as the President. How does the legislature real in or hold Shelton accountable? Through none other than the Board of Regents.

Would a freedom of information request show any email trails between any of these players?

What grants or contracts does c-path and the UofA have in the hopper?  Follow the money and drop a line over to The Goldwater Institute for me  would you.

Call your legislator at the Capitol today and tell them to support community based medicine at UMC — not Shelton’s money grab.

Don’t allow Robert Shelton soil our community with his bad policy.

Here’s the story and Meyer’s quote;

…….

It makes sense, Myers said, to step back, talk and figure out how to move forward together, as opposed to continuing with a potentially harmful power struggle.

He had a “cordial discussion” with UA Healthcare’s board chairman, Granger Vinall, on Thursday, Myers said. Vinall did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.

But the regents’ repeal may not be enough to stop legislators from pursuing their own plan.

“So as soon as we back down, they’ll do it the day after?” asked Sen. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert. It was Biggs who successfully engineered a vote Wednesday to statutorily override the regents’ plan.

That’s also the concern of Rep. David Stevens, R-Sierra Vista.

“They (regents) could come right back after we’re out of session,” he said, noting lawmakers hope to adjourn by the end of the month. “And then we’ve got eight months where we couldn’t do anything.”

Regent Myers said that’s not the intent.

But he said that doesn’t mean the regents are scrapping the idea of ever approving a plan just like the one that caused the legislative dust-up in the first place.

“Nothing is precluded,” Myers said. “But nothing is preordained.”

Everyone in state government has a role to play in the future of the hospital and medical school, Myers said. “Our role is to do what’s best for the university and the people of Arizona.”

But regents Chair Fred DuVal said the concerns of Biggs and Stevens are unwarranted and that the regents won’t try to pull a fast one on legislators.

“Having just taken $198 million in cuts, we do not in any measure underestimate the power of the Legislature to express themselves in ways that matter to us,” said DuVal, referring to the just-approved state budget for the coming fiscal year.

Stevens remains skeptical of both the board and its president.

“Fred DuVal’s trying to run for the U.S. Senate,” Stevens said. “This is a ploy to get his name out in the press, to get him notoriety so he can run for (retiring Sen. Jon) Kyl’s seat.”

DuVal said he’s not looking for publicity and not running for the Senate. He also said the changes being considered are not partisan, noting they date to when a Republican was regents president.

What won’t happen, DuVal said, is what many interpreted as a last-minute and secretive process about the change.

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