August 12, 2020

Sonia Angell, former director of the California Department of Public Health, on Sunday announced she was resigning, effective immediately, as state officials faced questions regarding the accuracy of the number of reported coronavirus cases in the state, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Florida, and Massachusetts.

  • California: Sonia Angell, former director of the California Department of Public Health on Sunday announced she was resigning, effective immediately, but gave no specific reason for her departure. Angell's resignation came as state officials over the past week faced questions regarding the accuracy of the number of reported coronavirus cases in the state, following reports that glitches with the state's data systems delayed the processing of about 300,000 records related to potential coronavirus cases. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said he will appoint Sandra Shewry, a senior executive at the California Health Care Foundation, as acting director of the department (Wilson, The Hill, 8/10; Yamamura/Colliver, Politico, 8/10; AP/Modern Healthcare, 8/10).

  • Florida: Florida reported 3,355 coronavirus-related hospital admissions from Aug. 2 to Aug. 9, marking the highest amount of coronavirus-linked hospitalizations that the state has reported in a single week all year. From Aug. 4 to Aug. 8, the state reported more than 500 new coronavirus-related hospitalizations each day, including a single-day high of 621 new coronavirus-linked hospitalizations on Wednesday. In total, 30,785 people in Florida have been hospitalized because of the novel coronavirus since the start of America's epidemic (Kelley, "Changing America," The Hill, 8/10; Murphy/Siemaszko, NBC News, 8/10).

  • Massachusetts: Carmen Blandin Tarleton last month became the second person in the world and the first person in the United States to have a second face transplant. Tarleton underwent her first transplant about seven years ago, but the transplant started to fail in year six. Tarleton wanted to try the procedure again, and she underwent a second face transplant in July at Brigham and Women's Hospital. The second transplant involved an anonymous donor considered to be a more precise tissue match for Tarleton, who is recovering from the surgery at home and is expected to resume normal activities soon. Bohdan Pomahac, a surgeon who led both of Tarleton's face transplants, expressed optimism that the latest transplant "will last a lot longer than the first" (Casey, Associated Press, 8/7).

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