Archive for Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Legislature honors KU Hospital CEO

April 4, 2007


— Lawmakers on Tuesday honored Irene Cumming for her achievements as president and chief executive officer of Kansas University Hospital.

"You've been a visionary leader," state Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, said as the Senate passed a resolution praising Cumming. "You've had that magic touch."

Cumming is leaving KU Hospital after 11 years to become chief executive officer of the Oak Brook, Ill.-based University HealthSystem Consortium, a group of 97 academic medical centers and their affiliated hospitals.

Cumming was credited by some lawmakers with leading KU Hospital's turnaround from near failure.

"Back in October 1998, the hospital had only 10 days worth of operating cash, no endowment and no tax appropriations," said House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls.

"I had serious doubts that it would be able to turn itself around," Neufeld said. "But I was proven wrong. Under Irene's tremendous leadership, determination and dedication, the KUH has moved from near bankruptcy to become a nationally recognized teaching facility."

In recent months, Cumming has clashed with leaders of the hospital's partner, KU Medical Center, as the medical center sought an affiliation with St. Luke's Hospital.

Cumming has said the affiliation could hurt KU Hospital, an opinion many in the Legislature shared as they have fought to put restrictions in the budget on the proposed affiliation.


Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 11 years, 2 months ago

The best way they could honor this wonderful and talented woman would be to fire Hemenway and Atkinson. How ironic that those who were in favor of selling out the citizens of Kansas remain while this decent woman and one of the major researchers have been driven off.

Fire Hemenway, fire Atkinson. That's how we should honor Irene Cummings dedication.

oldgoof 11 years, 2 months ago

Oldgoof heard the rumor that there is a $ 1.7 million dollar severance package involved here. He would like to hear about it. Sounds like she may have already been honored quite enough.

oldgoof 11 years, 2 months ago

When Oldgoof hears Sen. "no-sex-education-at-KU" Wagle talk about anything, he generally finds himself on the other side of the issue. So he uses this as a guide on issues he doesn't know so much about.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 11 years, 2 months ago


Thank you for your honest admission of ignorance.

This woman saved that hospital from disaster and now thanks to Hemenway and Atkinson we have yet another scandal in the making. If you care anything about Kansas and the welfare of KU hospital and med center, put away your prejudice and do something to save these institutions from the quislings who are selling them out.

oldgoof 11 years, 2 months ago

Uhlrick: Oldgoof does not admit ignorance in this issue. Oldgoof knows "this woman" far too well. Although you criticize Hemenway, it was he, not "this woman" who recognized and persuaded the legislature of the need for the new structure for hospital, and it was he, who brought "this woman" on board. It was not easy, and many opposed him...included people now heralding "this woman." . "This woman" took an institution without debt, and bought loyalty from a lot of people off with her non-state appropriated cash over the years. At the same time "this woman" working behind scenes with her treachery, ran off two other Medicine Deans....It is just not Atkinson who has had difficulties with her. . When the central people who profess political support for "this woman" are the same ones who have tried to stick knives into the University of Kansas and higher education in general on a regular basis over many many years, it should tell you something. This is what Old Goof was trying to say....but perhaps in an oblique manner that Uhlrick could not understand. . Besides these non-KU supporters, the principal person supporting "this woman" is the local publisher. (Lord forgive him for he knows not what he does) Without this, there would be little or no support for "this woman" in the Legislature.

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