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All Children's Hospital Top Leaders Resign After Investigation

Julio Ochoa/WUSF News

There's been a big shakeup at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.

The CEO and two other administrators resigned today after a Tampa Bay Times investigation showed that the mortality rate at the hospital’s Heart Institute tripled between 2015 and 2017.

The paper also reported that at least eight hospital employees had warned supervisors about problems with the program’s surgeries.

CEO Jonathan Ellen has resigned, along with several leaders of the cardiovascular program. Kevin Sowers, president of the Johns Hopkins Health System, will step in until new leadership is announced.

The board of Johns Hopkins Medicine has also asked for an external review, saying in its statement that, "The events described in recent news reports are unacceptable."

Full statement:

Effective immediately, and in consultation with the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital board leadership, we have accepted the resignation of Dr. Jonathan Ellen, president, vice dean and physician-in-chief. We have also accepted the resignations, effective immediately, of Dr. Jeffrey Jacobs, chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery and director of the Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program, and Jackie Crain, vice president, chief of staff and until recently lead risk-management executive. Dr. Paul Colombani has resigned as chair of the surgery department. Kevin W. Sowers, M.S.N., R.N., F.A.A.N., president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine, will step in and lead the hospital in a temporary capacity while a plan for interim leadership is put into place. Dr. George Jallo, current medical director of the Institute for Brain Protection Sciences and chief of pediatric neurosurgery, will serve as interim vice dean and physician-in-chief. Dr. Paul Danielson, current chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, will serve as interim chair of the surgery department. The board of Johns Hopkins Medicine has commissioned a comprehensive external review of the issues within the program. We will share the lessons learned from that review to ensure that Johns Hopkins, Johns Hopkins All Children’s and other hospitals around the country can learn from and avoid the mistakes that were made. The leadership transition announced today marks a new chapter as we work to earn back the trust of the children, families and community we serve. We are devastated when children suffer. Losing a child is something no family should have to endure, and we are committed to learning everything we can about what happened at the Heart Institute, including a top-to-bottom evaluation of its leadership and key processes. The events described in recent news reports are unacceptable.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.
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