Providence CEO Rod Hochman apologizes for troubles at Swedish

In a message to the community, Dr. Rod Hochman writes: “You deserved better from us — and from me.”

The CEO who oversees Swedish Health and dozens of other hospital campuses around the West has issued an apology for Swedish’s recent troubles, which have resulted in resignations and investigations.

Dr. Rod Hochman, the president and CEO of umbrella organization Providence St. Joseph Health, said in a full-page advertisement in The Seattle Times that he is “ultimately accountable for the successes and mistakes of the hospitals in our system.”

“I apologize to the caregivers, physicians, patients and community for the pain the current situation has caused,” Hochman said in the Sunday ad (embedded below). “You deserved better from us — and from me.”

The message was Hochman’s first public comment since a Seattle Times investigation exposed problems at Swedish’s acclaimed neuroscience institute. Hochman has declined requests for an in-person or telephone interview.

The Times explored a range of internal concerns about patient care, and frustrations among staffers that their concerns weren’t being addressed — particularly when it came to the institute’s top surgeon, Dr. Johnny Delashaw. Swedish embraced contracts that incentivized doctors to pursue a high volume of procedures, and some doctors managed their workload by running multiple surgeries at the same time. The number of cases and overall billings grew dramatically over the past several years.

Swedish CEO Tony Armada resigned in the wake of The Times’ investigation. Delashaw also resigned. The state Department of Health and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have also launched investigations.

In a message to staff last week, Hochman distanced himself from the turmoil. The Times had reported how Delashaw was initially hired by Providence and placed at Swedish’s Cherry Hill…

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