February 5, 2020

Around the nation: VA fires deputy secretary

Daily Briefing

    Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie on Monday announced that he had fired James Byrne, deputy secretary at VA, effective immediately, "due to loss of confidence in … Byrne's ability to carry out his duties," in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, the District of Columbia, and New Jersey.

    • California: Children's Hospital Los Angeles has received a $25 million donation from the Margie and Robert E. Petersen Foundation that will create an endowment to support the hospital's cancer and blood disease institute, vision center, and inpatient rehabilitation services. The Petersen Foundation donated $8.5 million to Children's in 2015 to help open a rehabilitation space (Paavola, Becker's Hospital CFO Report, 2/3).

    • District of Columbia: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie on Monday announced that he had fired James Byrne, deputy secretary at VA, effective immediately, "due to loss of confidence in … Byrne's ability to carry out his duties" but offered no further explanation for the dismissal, the New York Times reports. Byrne was asked to resign early Monday but declined, leading to his firing, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal (Steinhauer, New York Times, 2/3; Kesling, Wall Street Journal, 2/3).

    • New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced that he has established a coronavirus task force to work on how the state will respond to the outbreak following an announcement that Newark Liberty International Airport will be accepting flights rerouted from China that need enhanced health screenings. Murphy said the task force will manage the state's preparedness and response to the virus and coordinate with local hospitals to prepare for treating patients (De Avila/Grayce West, Wall Street Journal, 2/3).

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