GOVERNMENT & POLICE NEWS

V.I. Department of Education Awarded $745,384 in Funding

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Virgin Islands Department of Education $745,384 to improve behavioral outcomes and learning…

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With schools across the territory getting ready for a Sept. 2 opening date, V.I. Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory told the community the Education Department is focused on "putting in the framework we need to support our students, our teachers and our administrators."

 
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CMS Report Details Patient-Harm Issues at JFL, Says Griffith Did Not Report Incidents To Board

Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital management failed to report numerous 2014 and 2013 incidents in which patients were harmed to its governing board or territorial board for review, according to the CMS report.

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2014-09-21 02:09:30
Students Help Coast Weeks Cleanup

Students from Good Hope Country Day, St. Croix Educational Complex and Central High schools were at it early on their day off, helping Mother Nature by cleaning beaches for the annual Coastal Cleanup.

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2014-09-20 23:22:05
Tourism Speaker Advocates Less Politics, More Authenticity

In a rapidly changing tourism industry, there is a greater need to provide an 'authentic experience' and put politics aside, longtime tourism professional Alex Zozaya told the 2014 State of the Industry Conference.

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2014-09-20 22:29:44
St. Croix business — St. Croix
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Jeff Nelson, JFL's Ousted CEO, to Head Minnesota University


Jeff Nelson has been hired as president of NHSU in Minnesota (file photo).

Jeff Nelson, the ousted chief executive officer of the Juan F. Luis Hospital, has taken a new job as the head of a medical university in his native Minnesota.

Nelson has been hired as president and chief executive officer of Northwestern Health Science University in Bloomington, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis, according to the NHSU website.

At Northwestern, Nelson will be in charge of a 72-year-old private natural health care university with educational programs in such fields as diagnostic imaging, nutrition, health sciences, chiropractic, eastern medicine and acupuncture. The school has 864 students on its 25-acre campus.

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Nelson resigned his position at the St. Croix hospital Jan. 25 after a sometimes stormy two years. He had been selected by the JFL governing board in 2011 to help turn around the troubled hospital. Luis Hospital was facing severe financial difficulties, with debts greater than $20 million, and scrutiny from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which accredits hospitals and determines whether they are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

While early steps – including a series of discussions with hospital staff and the community on the condition and goals of the hospital, and the decision to post all financial records online for public scrutiny – earned him plaudits for candor, some of the decisions he took to right the foundering institution caused controversy, none more than the February 2012 decision to lay off 85 licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants, with the goal of running the hospital with registered nurses.

During his tenure the hospital slowly turned around its month-to-month financial condition, registering a string of months when it took in more money than it paid out. But pressure from CMS continued and, in December, the board decided to strip Nelson of some of his responsibilities and began searching for a chief operating officer. He resigned the following month when CMS rejected the latest compliance plan.

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It's a shame that Nelson couldn't make it work at Luis Hospital, as he is highly competent. The hospital he has been hired to run in Minnesota is well regarded. Whoever hired him was fully aware of his work on StX and correctly determined that he faced an intractable problem of entrenched opposition and special interests -- and too many people thinking they can still do "business as usual." Nope. Those days are gone friends. Many of the strategies Nelson used to attempt to right Luis are SOP in the US, as is the move away from LPNs and toward RNs. Given the poor reputation of the hospital and its governance, it will be very hard to attract another executive of his caliber. Once again StX loses out. Meanwhile, the best health plan on StX remains a ticket to Miami.