12/12/08 — Cherry Hospital director to step down

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Cherry Hospital director to step down

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on December 12, 2008 2:23 PM

Dr. Jack St. Clair, director of Cherry Hospital, will step down from his post, effective Dec. 31, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

In a news release issued Friday afternoon, DHHS Secretary Dempsey Benton said that St. Clair had indicated his desire to leave his position as chief administrator, which he has held since December 2005.

With St. Clair's departure, the day-to-day management of the state psychiatric facility will be overseen by The Compass Group, the independent management team retained by the state.

Since late October the team has been working to help make improvements to the facility as it prepares to apply for re-admission to the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The hospital was expelled from the programs by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid after several incidents involving patient care and safety, particularly one in which a man died after being left unattended for 22 hours as he sat in a day room.

The state's Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services has begun the process to advertise for a permanent replacement.