The midweek line: Death Row, Romney, abortion, German, UAMS | Arkansas Blog

The midweek line: Death Row, Romney, abortion, German, UAMS



We're done, other than checking in on the Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board meeting this afternoon. Until then, some final words:

* LAWYERS STRUGGLE WITH A MAN'S LIFE IN THE BALANCE: Mara Leveritt provides an in-depth update on further developments in the unprecedented state of legal affairs for Death Row inmate Tim Howard. The federal public defender wants to withdraw from his case, a desire apparently related to a private attorney's effort to join the case to assist at Howard's request and reporting earlier by Leveritt.

* WHEN YOU USE A FIGHTING MAN KILLED DEFENDING HIS COUNTRY FOR POLITICAL GAIN: just might bite you in the butt. See: Mitt Romney. Mother of dead former SEAL says stop using his death for political agenda. ANOTHER ROMNEY MOMENT: Great video of Romney "debating" himself with sharp contradictions.

* ABORTION POLITICS: Powerful ad for Claire McCaskill above, thanks to Raw Story, which also reports on a Republican pro-life legislator who ordered his mistress to get an abortion.

* OXFORD AMERICAN/UCA AGREEMENT: I wrote earlier about a draft agreement on a continuing relationship between the Oxford American magazine and the University of Central Arkansas. It will be considered Friday by the UCA Board of Trustees. Log Cabin Democrat reporting today says a few details remain to be worked out, but it sounds as if it retains generally the same shape I reported earlier on some continued UCA support, but more UCA student and faculty involvement, plus a commitment to debt repayment.

* DEUTSCHLAND UBER ALLES: I just got a copy of the state's report on foreign investment in Arkansas. Far and away, Germany leads the way (CLARIFICATION: in the number of foreign-owned businesses in Arkansas), you can see from a quick look. UALR just decided to drop its German studies program at the end of this school year, I can't help but mention. Friend the UALR German Club.

  • RAHN
* AGAIN WITH THE ASSURANCES FROM UAMS: UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn has sent a note to the institution's huge staff elaborating a bit on what he told us after a friend supplied a tape recording of Dr. Dean Kumpuris, city director and St. Vincent-practicing physician, telling a neighborhood group that a potential alliance between UAMS and St. Vincent would have St. Vincent operating University Hospital. Needless to say, the pope wouldn't approve of some medical procedures and practices currently followed at UAMS.

This is also interesting. Merger critic Joann Coleman sends a copy of the justification made by UAMS for hiring Deloitte Consulting without competitive bids to study the combination. It provides some background. St. Vincent hired Deloitte to find a partner. It found UAMS. Now UAMS wants Deloitte to study for them. Think they might conclude it's a match made in, dare I say it, heaven? Rahn's letter to staff follows:

Dear UAMS Family,

Over the last few days, public comments have been made by individuals outside of UAMS about our exploration of a possible affiliation with St. Vincent Health. I want to take this opportunity to reinforce with you that we are not considering a merger or any scenario that would put UAMS under the control of another entity. We’re still in the very early stages of this process and have made no decisions about what an affiliation with St. Vincent might include or even if it is feasible. In fact, we are still in the process of seeking legislative approval to hire consultants who will assist us in the exploration of an affiliation.

As I’ve told you before, an affiliation with St. Vincent will not affect the delivery of women’s health or reproductive services. What we hope to explore is how we can create efficiencies by collaborating in certain areas while still retaining our separate identities and values. We don’t know what will come of our discussions and we shouldn’t speculate on the outcome before we have even begun.

Any decisions regarding an affiliation will require the approval of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees. As a public institution, UAMS will also seek the concurrence of the attorney general, Governor Beebe and the General Assembly. Our goal is to promote patient centeredness, coordinated care across locations and time, team-based care, patient safety and quality, efficiency, and the advancement of our academic and our research missions.

Also this week, we are nearing the end of our search for a new chief executive officer for UAMS Medical Center, succeeding Dick Pierson, who has announced his intent to retire at the end of the calendar year. The new CEO, who will report to me, will have responsibility for overseeing the hospital and clinical areas of UAMS. I will keep you updated on progress in the search for a new hospital CEO as well as discussions with St. Vincent.

Thank you for your dedication to UAMS as we work together to improve the health and health care of Arkansans.


Dan Rahn, M.D.

UAMS Chancellor

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