KU Hospital board
- KUhospital Provost can't be on board, AG says (05-19-07)
- Morrison'sopinion sought on question of hospital board (05-11-07)
- Larivieredoesn't plan to step down (05-11-07)
- Legalquestions surround KU Hospital board (05-04-07)
- Writtenresponses from Dennis McCulloch, spokesman for the Kansas UniversityHospital, regarding the hospital's Board of Directors (05-04-07)
- Textof statute for KU hospital's authority board (05-04-07)
Topeka In a bipartisan move, Senate leaders Thursday urged Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Kansas University Hospital officials to "start over" in picking nominees to serve on the hospital's governing board.
"The KU Hospital is a jewel in the crown of the Kansas health care system and must not be hamstrung by political or legal bickering and disputes," wrote Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, and Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka.
The joint statement was made after release of an attorney general's legal opinion addressing numerous questions surrounding the appointment of members to the KU Hospital board.
"We believe this opinion provides all of us the opportunity for a clean start with respect to the process used for filling vacancies on the board," Schmidt and Hensley said.
Spokespersons for Sebelius and Bob Page, chief executive officer of KU Hospital, said they would work together, but immediately a dispute arose over whether Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson remains on the board.
Control and makeup of the KU Hospital Authority board has come under scrutiny against the backdrop of a fierce battle between top KU officials and KU Hospital leaders.
Sebelius and KU leaders want KU Medical Center to form a partnership with St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., saying it will increase life sciences research in the area and help KU attain national status as a cancer treatment center.
But KU Hospital, which is partnered with KUMC, has said a medical school-St. Luke's affiliation will hurt KU Hospital and have no effect on attaining national cancer center designation.
Thirteen of the 19 board members are selected by the governor and subject to Senate confirmation. When a vacancy occurs, a nominating committee of the board gives the governor a slate of two or three candidates from which to chose. Six members serve on the board by virtue of their positions.
Last month, Attorney General Paul Morrison told officials that KU Provost Richard Lariviere couldn't serve on the authority because the statute forming the board doesn't allow the provost to serve on it.
Several more positions on the board are due to be replaced but a dispute over the selection process has ensued.
Morrison's legal opinion details the responsibilities of the board's nominating committee and governor in filling those slots.
Schmidt and Hensley urged Sebelius and Page to conduct a joint review "of the 19 board positions and attempt to reach agreement with respect to each position as to who currently holds the seat, when his or her term expires and who the appointing authority is to fill the seat." The senators serve as chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Confirmation Committee.
Sebelius' spokeswoman, Nicole Corcoran, said, "(The governor) looks forward to working with the new hospital CEO, the board nominating committee and the Senate to select appropriate nominees to this important board."
"We're always happy to discuss issues with the governor," said Page's spokesman, Dennis McCulloch. "He would be amenable to discuss this or any issue with her."
But Corcoran read the attorney general's opinion to mean that Parkinson, the lieutenant governor, is still a member of the board, while McCulloch said he isn't.
Parkinson had submitted his resignation and the board accepted it in June 2006. But he still serves on the board because the governor didn't accept the resignation.