Management shake-up at Fox Chase Cancer Center

Michael Seiden, Fox Chase chief executive.
Michael Seiden, Fox Chase chief executive.
Posted: January 12, 2013

Temple University Health System announced a management shake-up at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, which it bought in July for $84 million.

Fox Chase chief executive Michael Seiden will leave the organization at the end of next month.

Seiden's replacement on an interim basis will be Verdi DiSesa, chief operating officer of Temple Health and vice dean for clinical affairs at the Temple University School of Medicine.

Temple will launch a national search for a permanent CEO at Fox Chase, Temple Health president and CEO Larry Kaiser said in an interview.

"I couldn't have done this deal without Michael Seiden," Kaiser said of Temple's purchase of Fox Chase. "He and I worked on it together for a year."

Kaiser said that Seiden, an ovarian cancer specialist who started at Fox Chase in 2007, contributed significantly to the ongoing effort to integrate Fox Chase with Temple's Jeanes Hospital, which is adjacent to Fox Chase Cancer Center, but much changed about his job.

"I think, over time, he and I agreed it was probably a good time to make a transition," Kaiser said.

Temple Health spokeswoman Rebecca Harmon said Seiden was not available to comment.

The addition of Fox Chase to Temple's operations is a key component of Kaiser's plan to expand the health system's offerings of more medically complex and higher-paying services to balance out its role in North Philadelphia as the de facto public hospital for the poor.

During Temple's first quarter of ownership, Fox Chase's American Oncologic Hospital saw a slight decline in discharges, to 1,200 from 1,263, but reported a $223,000 operating profit, compared with a loss of $627,000 in the same period a year earlier, according to a document shared during a bond investor call last month.

Fox Chase and Jeanes each cut 20 full- and part-time positions in September, Temple said.

Temple also said it hired Judith Lynn Bachman, currently a managing director and partner at Huron Consulting Group in Chicago, as chief operating officer for Fox Chase and Jeanes. Before joining Huron in 2011, Bachman spent seven years as an executive at Thomas Jefferson University and Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals.

Linda Grass will remain president and CEO of the 176-bed Jeanes, Temple said. Previously, Temple announced that Richard I. Fisher of the University of Rochester Medical Center will become executive vice president and physician-in-chief at Fox Chase on March 1.

Contact Harold Brubaker

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