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June 15, 2022

Around the nation: HHS Secretary tests positive for the coronavirus twice in one month

Daily Briefing

    HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive for the coronavirus for the second time in a month, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, the District of Columbia, and New Jersey.

    • California: Cedars-Sinai Health System on Monday named David Wrigley as its new EVP and CFO, effective July 1. In addition, Wrigley will serve as the health system's treasurer and secretary of the finance and investment committees of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center board of directors. Wrigley, who joined Cedars-Sinai in 2014 as VP of finance, succeeds Edward Prunchunas, who is retiring after 41 years with the health system. "Today's post-COVID-19 economy presents unique challenges to all health systems," Wrigley said. "I look forward to meeting those demands and working to continue the history of excellence for which Cedars-Sinai is known." (Plescia, Becker's Hospital Review, 6/13)
    • District of Columbia: HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on Monday tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the second time he has been infected in under a month. "This morning in Sacramento, [HHS] Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive for COVID-19 after taking an antigen test," HHS spokesperson Sarah Lovenheim said in a statement. "He is fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, and is experiencing mild symptoms. He will continue to perform his duties as HHS Secretary, working in isolation." Previously, Becerra tested positive for the virus on May 18 while he was traveling in Berlin. Last week, he participated in the Summit of the Americas with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. While he is not considered a close contact of either, the White House acknowledged that it is possible President Biden could be infected. (Weixel, The Hill, 6/13)
    • New Jersey: Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center (CBMC) on Monday named Michael Loftus SVP and chief medical and quality officer. Most recently, Loftus served as SVP and CMO of Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC). Notably, both CBMC and JCMC are part of RWJBarnabas Health (RWJ). Loftus succeeds Gregory Rokosz, who is taking over as SVP of clinical affairs research, and academics and chief academic officer of RWJ after serving as CBMC's CMO for 21 years. (Bean, Becker's Hospital Review, 6/13)

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