Board Chairman of Palm Beach Health Care District Resigns in Face of Reappointment Delay by Gov Rick Scott

Benjamin Frank, Esq. - Resigning Chairman of the Board, Palm Beach County Health DistrictAccording to a press release issued January 15 by Palm Beach County Health Care District, its Board Chairman Benjamin Frank, Esq. has elected to resign from his position, after his application for reappointment to that position had been pending before Florida’s Governor Rick Scott for approximately five months.

“In October of 2011, the Health Care District Board elected Mr. Frank as its Chair. That year, the District expanded access for the county’s uninsured in a pilot stop-gap program designed for residents while they were waiting to become eligible for health coverage,” the Health Care District stated in its news release.

Mr. Frank was appointed to the Board by former Governor Charlie Christ in 2009.

“In August of 2012, Mr. Frank submitted his name to Florida Governor Rick Scott for reappointment. This week, with the appointment still pending, Mr. Frank opted to withdraw his name for consideration and not pursue another term on the Board,” the Palm Beach Health Care District announced.

“I have decided to withdraw my appointment application and move on,” said Mr. Frank. “I feel this decision is in the best interest of the District and the vital work it has to do, as well as for me personally.”

During his term in office Mr. Frank was instrumental in spearheading several pioneering and widely praised health care initiatives in Palm Beach County — including a pilot program to expand access to health insurance for the County’s uninsured; a three-year Family Medicine Residency Program at the District’s public hospital in rural, western Palm Beach County, to help train doctors in that underserved region; national recognition for quality care and patient satisfaction at the District’s Lakeside Medical Center; and beginning construction of a new 120-bed facility in Riviera Beach to replace its aging skilled nursing home, the Edward J. Healey Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, according to the District’s news release.

Following is the news release which HelpingYouCare® has received from Palm Beach County Health Care District:

Health Care District Palm Beach County - Logo www.hcdpbc.org
P: 561-659-1270
F: 561-659-4620
PRESS RELEASE 2601 10th Ave. North, Suite 100
Palm Springs, FL 33461-3133

Contact: Robin Kish, Administrator of Public Affairs, 561-804-5828                                            January 15, 2013

HEALTH CARE DISTRICT OF PALM BEACH COUNTY BOARD CHAIR TO STEP DOWN

AFTER FOUR YEARS OF ACCOMPLISHED LEADERSHIP

Palm Springs, FL – Benjamin Frank, Esq., Chair of the Health Care District of Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners, announced he is stepping down from the Board tomorrow after completing an accomplished four-year term of volunteer service.  During Mr. Frank’s tenure, the public health care system marked its 15th year of operating a model School Health program and its 20th year of overseeing the county’s nationally recognized and life-saving Trauma System.  Mr. Frank’s term was also highlighted by the District receiving a federal grant to provide primary care at four Palm Beach County Health Department public health clinics.  Mr. Frank’s steady leadership, as well as his commitment to government transparency and fiscal responsibility, helped guide the agency during the economic recession, transition in management, and national health care reform.

“I am extremely proud of the Health Care District and its dedicated staff in providing the quality care that continues to improve the health of our community,” said Mr. Frank.  “It has been an honor and a privilege to have played a leadership role in this important public health organization.”

In October of 2011, the Health Care District Board elected Mr. Frank as its Chair.  That year, the District expanded access for the county’s uninsured in a pilot stop-gap program designed for residents while they were waiting to become eligible for health coverage.  Also that year, Lakeside Medical Center, the District’s public hospital in rural, western Palm Beach County, launched a three-year Family Medicine Residency Program to help train doctors in the underserved region and encourage them to practice locally.  The following year, Lakeside Medical Center received national recognition for quality care and patient satisfaction.  In January of 2012, the District began construction of a 120-bed facility in Riviera Beach to replace its aging skilled nursing home, the Edward J. Healey Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

At the time of his appointment by former Governor Charlie Crist in 2009, the economic downturn forced the District to balance increased demand for health care services with reduced funding resources.  Mr. Frank played an instrumental role in stabilizing the property tax rate while maintaining core programs and services to benefit the county’s most needy residents.  Mr. Frank has been a strong proponent of the District’s model of the dollar following the patient.  The District utilizes this model in programs like the county’s integrated Trauma System and the District’s health coverage plans, which feature strong public and private community partnerships.  Mr. Frank also backed initiatives that maximize local funding by drawing down state and federal dollars to help support local hospitals, private physicians, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and government and community agencies.

In August of 2012, Mr. Frank submitted his name to Florida Governor Rick Scott for reappointment. This week, with the appointment still pending, Mr. Frank opted to withdraw his name for consideration and not pursue another term on the Board.

“I have decided to withdraw my appointment application and move on,” said Mr. Frank.  “I feel this decision is in the best interest of the District and the vital work it has to do, as well as for me personally.”

Mr. Frank is a former executive and attorney with more than 40 years of experience in business, health care and government.  After earning his law degree from New York University’s School of Law, Mr. Frank joined New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s administration.  He played a key role in the development of the World Trade Center project and the Harlem State Office Project in New York City, and he served as Deputy Commissioner for New York State’s Office of General Services. Mr. Frank also served as an advisor to President Reagan on international trade negotiations. Mr. Frank was Senior Vice President for Allied Stores Corporation, Executive Vice President/General Counsel for the Hament Corporation, and founder and Chairman of Ben & Jerry’s Canada. Mr. Frank served as Vice President and Board member of the North Shore University Health System, a large hospital system on Long Island, New York.

“We thank Mr. Frank for his four years of dedicated service during which he set high standards for good governance, financial accountability and transparency,” said Ronald J. Wiewora, MD, MPH, the Health Care District’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer. “Mr. Frank’s skillful leadership, advocacy of the Health Care District’s mission, and genuine appreciation of the work of our dedicated employees has helped strengthen the health care safety net for all of our residents.  We wish him well in the future.”

– end –

About the Health Care District:

The Health Care District of Palm Beach County provides health coverage programs for uninsured residents, a nationally recognized Trauma System, dedicated nurses in nearly 170 public schools, a pharmacy operation, a long-term skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, and acute care hospital services at Lakeside Medical Center, the county’s only public hospital, serving the rural western Palm Beach County communities along the southeastern shore of Lake Okeechobee.

More Information

See related HelpingYouCare® report on:

Palm Beach County to Expand Health Care for Uninsured

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Copyright © 2013 Care-Help LLC, publisher of HelpingYouCare®. All rights reserved.

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