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Brewer appoints UA healthcare task force

Gov. Jan Brewer (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

Gov. Jan Brewer has announced the members of a task force she formed to mediate a dispute between the Legislature and the Board of Regents over control UA Healthcare Inc.

Brewer created the Arizona Medical Education Oversight Task Force by executive order in April after she vetoed HB2067, which would have stripped the Arizona Board of Regents of control of the non-profit corporation that governs the University of Arizona-affiliated University Medical Center and Kino Community Hospital. The Legislature passed the bill in response to the regents’ decision to consolidate control of UA Healthcare, which manages both hospitals, and downsize the board that oversees the corporation.

Today, the governor said the task force will build on the merger of the entities that managed the two hospitals, and its continued partnership between the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

“I established this task force to ensure that policymakers, business and community leaders, and the citizens of Arizona have the opportunity to understand and contribute to the decision-making process surrounding the future of this important community resource,” Brewer said in a written statement.

The task force board consists of:

-Richard Silverman: general manager of the Salt River Project and a board member of the University of Arizona Foundation, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and other groups. Silverman will chair the task force board.

-Rick Myers: chief operating officer of the Critical Path Institute and a member of the Board of Regents.

-Betsey Bayless: former Arizona secretary of state and current president and CEO of Maricopa Integrated Health System.

-Steve Goldschmid: dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, which partners with the two hospitals overseen by UA Healthcare.

-Joe Higgins: a Tucson businessman, radio host and founder of the Catholic Community Services Foundation.

-Chris Monson: principal at the Aberdeen Group, a Tucson warehouse storage company, board member for Junior Achievement of Arizona Inc. and member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

-Granger Vinall: UA Healthcare board chairman and board member at University Physicians Healthcare Inc.

The vetoed legislation would have eliminated the Board of Regents’ control over UA Healthcare for an 18-month “cooling-off period.” In 2010, the board merged University Medical Center Corp. and United Physicians Healthcare, which managed the two hospitals, and Senate Majority Leader Andy Biggs pushed the bill in April after the regents voted to shrink the non-profit’s board from 26 to about nine members.

The regents said the move was aimed at turning UA Healthcare into a national research leader but Biggs and other lawmakers decried it as a power grab by the board.

Despite her stated opposition to the regents’ “surprising eleventh-hour decisions undertaken without input from key policymakers,” Brewer vetoed HB2067 over concerns about removing state oversight from UA Healthcare.

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