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Methodist Le Bonheur Moving Quickly Following the End of Partnership Since its partnership with West Cancer Center officially ended last month, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) has wasted little time in starting to build its own cancer treatment organization. With little fanfare – not even a news conference – MLH already has launched the Methodist Cancer Institute, a comprehensive cancer center in partnership with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). In addition, MLH this month won approval to bring precision MRI-guided radiation therapy treatment to Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital. And while no announcement has yet been made, one might well expect a portion of the newly dedicated 450,000-square-foot Shorb Tower to be devoted to MLH’s newly formed Cancer Institute. The nine-story tower, named for its longtime CEO Gary Shorb, was part of MLH’s $275-million modernization plan in 2016. Before the dissolution of the partnership, the top four floors of the tower at Bellevue and Eastmoreland were designated for West’s cancer endeavors. Understandably, there is speculation on what now will be done with those four floors that still are not finished out, but there is no word from Methodist Le Bonheur president and CEO Michael Ugwueke. However he did address the Methodist Cancer Institute in a recent news release. “As MLH pursues its vision of building a National Cancer organization-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – one of only 49 in the country – it will be built on a strong foundation to elevate education, research and clinical services in partnership with UTHSC,” Ugwueke was quoted in the release. “I am excited about the direction we are headed as we continue our work to bring world-class academic physicians and community physicians together to serve our entire community.” MLH, a 100 year old institution that provided care through nearly 2.2 million patient encounters last year, already has been able to regain some of the funds it most likely lost when the partnership dissolved. On February 22, shortly after the sevenyear partnership officially ended, MLH sold its 198,000-square-foot medical facility at 7945 Wolf River Blvd. to West Cancer Center for $51 million. Seven years earlier, in 2013, MLH purchased the building from the UT Medical Group for $22.5 million. This month, MLH ‘s approval to bring precision MRI-guided radiation therapy treatment to Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital will allow it to initiate the addition of an MRI/RT Linear Accelerator to be added to the hospital’s megavoltage radiation therapy services. “We’re incredibly excited to receive this approval as we continue our work to create a comprehensive cancer program focused on providing expert cancer care across all of the communities we serve,” said Ugwueke said. “Adding a linear accelerator to our Germantown Hospital will enable memphismedicalnews


Le Bonheur Selects Michael Wiggins President Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital has selected Michael Wiggins, MBA, FACHE, as its next president. He will begin his tenure April 8, 2019. Wiggins comes to Le Bonheur from Children’s Health in Dallas, Texas, where he served as senior vice president of Clinical Operations and the Northern Market and administrator of the Children’s Medical Center Plano. Wiggins was selected through a national search process that included candidates from throughout the country. The search committee was composed of members from the community, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, donors and physicians. He succeeds Meri Armour, who is retiring after 12 years at Le Bonheur. Under her tenure, Le Bonheur was consistently named one of the country’s ‘Best Children’s Hospitals’ by U.S. News & World Report and was awarded Magnet status by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center. The hospital was also verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 Trauma Center, awarded a three-star rating for Le Bonheur’s Heart Institute by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and received designation for FedEx Neuroscience Institute as a Level IV Center by The National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Under her guidance, Le Bonheur was also named a Top Children’s Hospital Michael Wiggins in 2017 by the Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization. Armour also opened a $340 million state-of-the art hospital addition, led a $100 million capital campaign and established a $100 million hospital endowment. “The search committee was impressed with Michael’s experience and commitment to safety and quality for children’s health,” said Michael Ugwueke, president and CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. “He has great passion for caring for children in their communities and I believe he will continue Le Bonheur’s trajectory as a top-tier children’s hospital. I am confident that he will build on the momentum that Meri Armour has begun.” Wiggins holds a master’s of business administration and a bachelor’s of science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). He and his wife, Robin, have three children.

us to bring advanced treatment options out East and continue to elevate care in Germantown and surrounding areas just as we have done for more than 20 years.” Hospital officials say with the addition of the MRI/RT Linear Accelerator, MHT MLH becomes the first to bring this innovative technology to Tennessee, Linear Accelerators are a type of external beam radiation therapy that delivers a beam of high energy x-rays directly to the location of a tumor or other tissue being irradiated. The technology images soft tissue, not just the bone and air that conventional technology captures to improve treatment accuracy and reduce the amount of radiation to which a patient is exposed. This approval marks an important milestone as MLH works to create the new Methodist Cancer Institute in partnership with The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). As, MLH is well positioned to elevate Education, Research and Clinical services and achieve its vision of building a National Cancer Institutedesignated Comprehensive Cancer Center – one of only 49 in the country. As for West, the hospital made its intentions clear last year. In September in announcing its termination of the partnership, West officials cited its “40-year legacy of innovation,” and said it will begin 2019 on a new course, with a new partner, OneOncology a Nashville-based cancer care startup. A West release stated it is “evolving into a new model – one, that will be a patient-centric, physician-driven and technology-powered center with a mission to improve the lives of those living with and beyond cancer.”

The MidSouth MGMA Invites MEDICAL PRACTICE MANAGERS To Join Our Organization in 2019. We invite you to attend our next executive-level educational luncheon.

MAY 16


Chickasaw Country Club 3395 Galloway Ave, Memphis



MARCH 2019



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