The three largest hospitals in Cleveland—MetroHealth, University Hospitals, and the Cleveland Clinic—all have voiced support for legislation the Cleveland City Council passed on Wednesday that declared racism a public health crisis, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Ohio, Utah, and West Virginia.
- Ohio: The three largest hospitals in Cleveland—MetroHealth, University Hospitals, and the Cleveland Clinic—all have voiced support for legislation the Cleveland City Council passed on Wednesday that declared racism a public health crisis. University Hospitals President Cliff Megerian and CEO Thomas Zenty in a statement said, "Our health system sees firsthand how racism disproportionately impacts the health of minority communities, which manifests in higher rates of chronic diseases and infant mortality, and lower life expectancies." Under the legislation, Cleveland officials will form a group aimed at promoting racial equality within the city (Belay, WJW, 6/4; University Hospitals statement, 6/3).
- Utah: Intermountain Healthcare has named Ryan Smith as the health system's VP and CIO, effective June 29. Smith previously served as SVP at Health Catalyst and has also served as SVP and CIO of Banner Health. Smith will succeed Marc Probst, who is retiring from his post at Intermountain (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 6/5).
- West Virginia: West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) this week filed lawsuits against Walgreens and Rite Aid alleging the companies did not monitor and report orders of prescription opioids that were out of the ordinary, leading to an excessive amount of opioids in the state. The suit alleges that, between 2006 and 2014, Walgreens distributed 28 million oxycodone pills in the state, while Rite Aid distributed more than 87 million oxycodone pills in the state, despite West Virginia having a population of fewer than 2 million people. A Walgreens spokesperson told Becker's Hospital Review that the company "never manufactured or marketed opioids and never sold opioids to the pain clinics, internet pharmacies, and pill mills that fueled the opioid crisis." Becker's Hospital Review reports that it has reached out to Rite Aid for comment, but had not received a response by the time of publishing (Anderson, Becker's Hospital Review, 6/5).