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Provident Hospital Letter

July 26, 2005

Commissioner Jerry Butler
Chairman, Health and Hospitals Committee
118 N. Clark St.
Rm 567
Chicago, IL 60602

Dear Chairman Butler:

We are writing to ask that the Health and Hospitals Committee and the Provident Hospital Committee meet as soon as possible to hold hearings on Mondayís revelations of the deplorable safety and sanitary practices at Provident Hospital, and the threat to Medicaid funding posed by the Illinois Department of Public Healthís investigation.

We would also ask that the committee hold hearings on President John Strogerís appointment of John Fairman to oversee the hospital.

The choice of Mr. Fairman to lead Provident Hospital would appear to be a case of hiring the fox to watch the chicken coop.Mr. Fairman has left a trail of disaster in each of the two cities in which he has administered a public hospital.

Mr. Fairman was fired as chief of Denverís health system for mismanagement and fiscal improprieties.Among the many allegations against him, Mr. Fairman diverted more than $5,000 in funds earmarked for science and education to pay for meals, travel and entertainment expenses for friends and acquaintances.

Before that, prosecutors in Houston accused him of conspiring to defraud the health system of more than $1 million.

In 2000, Mr. Fairman was fired by Public Benefit Corp., which oversaw Washington, D.C.ís public hospital and health system.He was accused of mismanagement and fraud.†† According to the the District of Columbiaís inspector general, Fairmanís staff routinely steered contracts to favored companies and hired firms without ensuring that authorized funds were available.

Public Benefit Corp. was disbanded in 2001 after amassing $109 million in deficits during Fairmanís last three years as CEO.More than 1,600 employees lost their jobs in the financial debacle.

In light of these many accusations about Mr. Fairman and his track record as a public hospital administrator, we believe public hearings are necessary to determine the facts, as well as allow the Board of Commissioners to play a greater oversight role at Provident Hospital and in the health bureau as a whole.


Forrest Claypool and Larry Suffredin


Cc:Board of Commissioners

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