Tenet Healthcare Corporation (NYSE:THC) announced today that Stephen L. Newman, M.D., will become chief operating officer of the company, effective Jan. 1, 2007. He will succeed Reynold J. Jennings, who will take the title of vice chairman on Jan. 1, 2007 to serve during a management transition period until he begins retirement in mid-2007. Dr. Newman will report to Trevor Fetter, Tenet’s president and chief executive officer.
Dr. Newman, 56, is a pediatric gastroenterologist, who taught and practiced medicine for 12 years before becoming a hospital administrator and then a corporate executive beginning in 1990. He joined Tenet in 1999, and since March 2003, has led a significant turnaround of Tenet’s California operations. He has been responsible for Tenet’s 17 hospitals in that state as well as one teaching hospital in Omaha, Neb.
During his tenure as executive in charge of Tenet’s California hospitals, Dr. Newman led an operational transformation built around innovative, fact-based decision-making at the hospital level. Under his leadership, Tenet’s California hospitals were the first to implement the company’s Targeted Growth Initiative, in which a hospital’s service offerings and growth plans are matched against anticipated future changes in the health care needs of its community. Based on its early success in California, the Targeted Growth Initiative has since been rolled out to Tenet hospitals nationwide.
In addition, Dr. Newman has been a strong champion of Tenet’s Commitment to Quality patient care enhancement initiatives. Over the past two years, the company’s hospitals in California and across the nation have shown steady improvement on various metrics for quality of patient care, as reported by independent surveys.
He also led a significant financial turnaround of Tenet’s California region. Under his leadership, Tenet’s California operations focused on building a successful, profitable core of hospitals in a highly competitive but attractive market.
“Dr. Newman is a clinician and a roll-up-your-sleeves hospital executive who has a keen understanding of the needs of our physicians, nurses, patients, communities and financial stakeholders,” Fetter said. “He is committed to Tenet’s strategy of differentiating our hospitals based on excellence in clinical quality and service. In our California region, he has proven that innovative thinking and superior, fact-based decision-making can create a significant improvement in performance. And I’m very pleased to have a physician leading our hospital operations, especially given our emphasis on strengthening our relationships with doctors.”
Dr. Newman said, “Tenet and our industry face very big challenges today. Great new ideas in health care have almost always begun at the patient’s bedside. I intend to encourage innovation throughout our company and foster ideas that will create more effective, cost-efficient care for our patients.”
Dr. Newman and his wife plan to move their home from Southern California to Dallas, where Tenet has its headquarters, early in 2007.
Jennings, 60, was named Tenet’s chief operating officer in February 2004, at a difficult moment in the company’s history, as it faced numerous government investigations and litigation arising out of a failed pricing strategy pursued by former management, government scrutiny of some financial relationships with physicians, and questions about the quality of patient care at two of its hospitals. During his tenure, he led initiatives to stabilize the company’s operations, establish a platform for future growth and build a more collaborative corporate culture.
“For quite awhile, I have wanted to spend much more of my time at my home in Atlanta with my family, especially my four grandchildren,” Jennings said. “I feel confident I can retire in 2007, knowing that our operations are now stabilized and that we are on our way toward recovery.”
Fetter said, “Reynold Jennings has led our hospital operations through the most difficult period in Tenet’s history. He has helped to change our culture, made difficult decisions to divest many hospitals and launched the initiatives that will shape our operations in the future. His goal was to retire at age 60, and I am grateful that he has agreed to stay with us long enough to assure a seamless management transition.”
During the transition period, Jennings will assist Dr. Newman and will continue to actively be involved in Tenet’s various growth initiatives, including its physician sales and service program and its physician alignment efforts.
Before assuming the leadership of Tenet’s California region, Dr. Newman served first as vice president and then as senior vice president, operations, for Tenet’s former three-state Gulf States region, based in New Orleans, from 1999 to 2003. From 1997 to 1999, he worked for HCA Inc. (NYSE: HCA) as chief executive officer of HCA’s Louisville HealthCare Network in Kentucky. Before that, he was senior vice president and chief medical officer of Touro Infirmary, a 350-bed medical center in New Orleans.
From 1979 to 1990, Dr. Newman was associate professor of pediatrics and medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. In that position, he was responsible for developing and operating the school’s division of pediatric gastroenterology and nutritional support.
Dr. Newman holds a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, a medical doctorate from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in business administration from Tulane University. He has also attended the advanced management program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Tenet Healthcare Corporation, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates acute care hospitals and related health care services. Tenet’s hospitals aim to provide the best possible care to every patient who comes through their doors, with a clear focus on quality and service. Tenet can be found on the World Wide Web at www.tenethealth.com.
Some of the statements in this release may constitute forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on our current expectations and could be affected by numerous factors and are subject to various risks and uncertainties discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and periodic reports on Form 8-K. Do not rely on any forward-looking statement, as we cannot predict or control many of the factors that ultimately may affect our ability to achieve the results estimated. We make no promise to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of changes in underlying factors, new information, future events or otherwise.
[NOTE TO EDITORS: A digital photograph of Dr. Newman is available by email on request. Please call Valeria Wilkes in Tenet’s Corporate Communications department at (469) 893-6114.]