August 14, 2009

UCMC head to resign

The Trib reports that James Madara, CEO of the U of C Medical Center as well as dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine, will resign on October 1. He will remain on the University's faculty, though it is not clear if he will keep his position as Vice President for Medical Affairs.

In all likelihood, the departure of Madara, who arrived in 2002 to much fanfare, owes something to the recent institutional changes at UCMC and the controversy that those changes have inspired, both on the South Side and within the larger medical community. As increasingly touted by Bachmann-style conservatives as the crux of "Obamacare" - usually in the same breath as the phrase "death panels" - UCMC announced plans earlier this year to increase the Center's focus on research, which led to allegations of patient dumping and neglecting poor or uninsured patients.

Whoever replaces Madara will no doubt be an interesting character: someone handpicked by the University to shepherd in the new mission, whatever the protests. Madara's letter to UCMC colleagues announcing his resiganation describes the need for someone "who will inject fresh energy and ideas into our work and ensure our momentum and pace of accomplishment can continue unabated."

EDIT: News Office press release here, with Madara's and Zimmer's own personal messages linked at the bottom. Sounds not like Madara will not be keeping the VP job.