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Major changes announced in health sciences administration at University of California, Irvine
Vice chancellor for health sciences position established; UCI Medical Center CEO Ralph Cygan resigns
Irvine, Calif., January 31, 2006
Chancellor Michael Drake today announced changes in health sciences administration at the University of California, Irvine aimed at assuring the highest possible quality patient care of the university’s health care services. They include an administrative restructuring designed to increase oversight, accountability and alignment of UCI Medical Center and the School of Medicine and the resignation of medical center CEO Dr. Ralph Cygan.
“We recognize that recent issues at UCI Medical Center are a result of a breakdown in the application of the values that must drive every decision made at the medical center, the School of Medicine and the entire UCI campus,” Drake said. “I apologize on behalf of the entire institution to every patient and patient family, government agency, community member or UCI faculty, staff member or student who may have been misled, confused or otherwise served poorly by the statements or activities of anyone representing the university.
“We are taking a series of actions – starting today – that will fundamentally change how business is conducted and service is provided. They will help ensure that all medical center programs are conducted in a manner that meets or exceeds the standards of program regulators, as well as the heightened level of excellence we will demand of ourselves going forward.”
The actions are being taken in response to fact-finding efforts that have been under way since Drake closed UCI Medical Center’s liver transplant program in November 2005.
Personnel actions are:
“This morning I submitted and Chancellor Drake accepted my resignation as CEO of UCI Medical Center,” Cygan said. “I believe my resignation as CEO is in the best interests of the medical center and our patients. It is my hope that a change in leadership will help the hospital move forward and assist everyone in focusing their efforts on providing our patients with the highest quality health care. As CEO, I have intended at all times to act in the best interests of our patients and the medical center. It has been an honor and a privilege to lead UCI Medical Center for the last five and a half years and to work with so many outstanding health care professionals in service to Orange County. It is my intention to return to the faculty and continue my service to UCI, the College of Health Sciences and our community.”
“While accepting Dr. Cygan’s resignation, I want to note that he has been devoted to UCI for nearly three decades, and is credited with many important contributions,” Drake said. “Although the hospital has performed admirably under difficult circumstances, garnering many well-deserved honors and distinctions, lapses have impeded our rise to the next level.
“These actions are necessary and appropriate. We need to have full confidence that medical center leadership will embrace and implement any and all changes necessary to take the medical center, patient care – and UCI health sciences overall – into a new era.”
The creation of the new vice chancellor position is something Drake understands the blue ribbon committee will endorse in its pending report, which is due in mid-February. Additional actions related to alignment and oversight are anticipated subsequent to receipt of that report.
About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,400 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.
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