Penn State took a step closer to fusing its medical operations with Pinnacle Health System on Thursday.
The board of trustees committee on finance, business and capital planning voted to approve a plan that would create a new health enterprise to compete on the state stage with Geisinger, UPMC and others as individual hospitals disappear into larger networks of facilities and providers.
According to the university, the measure, planned for the March agenda in Hershey, would still require approval from the state attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission if the trustees give it the green light.
The collaboration between Pinnacle and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center began in November 2013. In June 2014, the two signed a letter of intent to move their individual operations and joint project Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute together into one new entity. Penn State Health was created in September.
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Lasch Building architect chosen
A new look is on the horizon for the Lasch Football Building with the selection of an architect for the renovation project.
The finance, business and capital planning committee approved a recommendation for Populous, a Kansas City, Mo., firm that specializes in sports projects. Populous designed the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, home of the Penguins NHL team, as well as collegiate projects like fellow Big Ten program University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.
The Lasch renovation is projected to cost about $12 million, but officials said that is “totally dependent on fundraising.” They estimate that over $10 million of the budget will be privately raised.
Broadhurst stepping down
Emeritus trustee Jim Broadhurst will step down from the board of the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Peter Tombros will fill his term. Tombros recently helmed the university’s fundraising campaign that pulled in more than $2 billion.
Despite sometimes deep divides between different factions on the board, Tombros was roundly seen as a good fit for the position by alumni-elected trustees and leaders from business and agriculture.
However, trustee Barbara Doran did ask that the board work on establishing a standing nominating committee to make recommendations on appointments.
Peetz to leave board
Former board chairwoman Karen Peetz said goodbye to her service as a Penn State trustee, but she did it by phone.
Peetz resigned as of close of business Thursday, but Chairman Keith Masser said the Bank of New York Mellon president had agreed to lead the audit and risk committee one last time.
Peetz presided but phoned in her participation, literally, attending the meeting by conference call.
Her seat will be filled by Ira Lubert at Friday’s board meeting.
Media not welcome
There will be no cameras allowed in the room where public comment is taken at Friday’s meeting.
It was previously announced that the public comment period was being moved to 11:15 a.m., before the board meeting started, and that it would be held in a separate room, with anyone who wanted to watch placed in another adjacent room.
On Thursday, spokeswoman Lisa Powers confirmed that press would not be allowed in the room where individuals were delivering their statements, and that includes photographers.
The board members are listed as being in executive session until noon, 45 minutes after public comment begins. The board meeting starts at 1:30 p.m.