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Misuse of COVID-19 vaccines prompted the resignations of two executives at Loretto Hospital.
President and CEO of The Loretto Hospital George Miller Jr. left the position and is no longer affiliated with the organization based in Chicago as of April 12. All employees were notified of the resignation was effective immediately, according to a statement made by the hospital board of trustees.
The statement also said that the leadership team, medical staff, and team members will continue to commit to the highest level of care for patients and remain an advocate for the community of Austin in Chicago.
During an interview with the WBEZ radio station on April 12, Melinda Malecki, Loretto’s general counsel would not discuss whether Miller was terminated or quit.
George Miller’s Resignation
The departure of Miller came after an investigation was started with the FBI in 2021. The investigation looked into COVID-19 vaccines that were administered by Loretto at the church Miller attends. It also came after investigations into the Better Government Association and Block Club Chicago for practices with the hospital vaccinations.
Miller was suspended without pay for two weeks after the reports of unsuitable COVID-19 vaccinations from the safety-net hospital. He acknowledged that he gave authorization for the hospital to vaccinate housekeepers, restaurant workers, and other personnel at Trump Towers on March 10, 2021. At that time, the hospital’s COO and CFO, Anosh Ahmed owned a condo at Trump Towers. WBEZ and Block Club Chicago reported that Cook County judges were offered vaccinations by the hospital prior to their eligibility.
Tesa Anewishki, Loretto’s chief development, is acting CEO and president, according to WBEZ. She and Chief Clinical Officer Lois Clarke, MD, will lead the hospital until a new team of leadership is picked.
Anosh Ahmed’s Resignation
On Wednesday night officials explained that an executive with the hospital that gave the COVID-19 vaccines improperly to people that were not in the area resigned.
The Loretto Hospital board announced that Dr. Anosh Ahmed, COO and CFO, had resigned. Both the executives had been reprimanded last week by the board of directors of the hospital after news reports stated that hospital executives gave COVID-19 vaccines to those that were not qualified to take them.
Miller and Ahmed have received criticism recently after disclosures of the events. Reports say that doses were also given to people at a luxury watch shop where Ahmed frequently shopped. The story was published by Block Club Chicago news site.
Investigation Into COVID-19 Vaccine Procedure Tampering
Chairman Edward Hogan said in a statement that if their review should show more that indicates that their process was tampered with there will be added consequences put into place for those responsible.
Health officials in the city proclaimed last week that they would hold back on the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccinations from the hospitals while the authorities investigate the situation.
Last year, the hospital was picked to run Chicago’s COVID-19 vaccine ceremony. This was part of the efforts to encourage people in the neighborhoods on the West Side around Loretto to the vaccine.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Defense
Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended the oversight of the supplies for COVID-19 vaccines by her administration. This was done even though Loretto and one other partner for the city were shown to misallocate the vaccines. Ahmed’s resignation was given after her statement.
Lightfoot proclaimed in a statement on Wednesday that they have robust oversight and they have a right to expect that people follow the rules and give them accurate reports based on the contract they hold. She also declared that what they have seen has not been the case in two instances at minimum.
On Tuesday, the Chicago Department of Public Health terminated its partnership with Innovated Express Care to vaccinate employees of the city’s public schools. The city officials stated that the vaccine distributor misallocated over 6,000 doses. The second dose that was set aside was used as a first shot.
Officials in the clinic claimed that the problem was a miscommunication. Lightfoot denied that claim as “absolutely false.”
Written by Marrissa Kay
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Becker’s Hospital Review: Chicago hospital CEO out in wake of vaccination controversies; by Kelly Gooch
Becker’s Hospital Review: Chicago hospital CEO out in wake of vaccination controversies; by Molly Gamble
USA TODAY: Hospital exec resigns after Trump Tower workers given improper access to COVID-19 vaccines; by Associated Press
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Inline Image Courtesy of Alan Levine’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License