GOVERNMENT & POLICE NEWS

DLCA Closes Early Friday, Dec. 19

The Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner will close its St. Croix office at noon on Friday, Dec. 19,…

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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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The Bookworm: 'The Lollipop Monster’s Christmas'

Every home, it seems, contains a Gimme Monster at some point or other during the holidays. When that happens, you need “The Lollipop Monster’s Christmas.”

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2014-12-18 21:50:26
Travelers Get Free Wi-Fi at CEKA

Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas now offers free high-speed Wi-Fi to departing passengers. The service began last weekend, the Department of Tourism said Wednesday. Rohsen will be next.

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2014-12-17 19:23:05
Source Manager’s Journal: News From the Mainland

Virgin Islanders focused on Christmas shopping, the changeover in government, algae on the beach and the potential Hovensa sale may have missed some of the news from the mainland.

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2014-12-17 17:09:53
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.