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State’s 12-hospital hui gets new CEO

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The Hawaii Health Systems Corp.’s board of directors has appointed Linda Rosen as chief executive officer of the public hospital system effective Dec. 16.

She replaces interim CEO Alice Hall, who stepped into the position in August 2013, following the board’s ouster of former CEO Bruce Anderson.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Rosen director of the state Department of Health in February to fill the remainder of the term of late Director Loretta Fuddy, who died after an airplane crash off Molo­kai.

"I am passionate about the health of the people of Hawaii," Rosen said in a news release. "I am thrilled and grateful to have this opportunity to serve in such an important position for the future of health services across our state."

Rosen joins the organization of 12 hospitals as the HHSC faces a crippling deficit. It is expecting a $31 million shortfall for fiscal 2015 and has begun eliminating services and reducing staff along with other cost-cutting measures.

The HHSC, with an annual budget of $650 million, is projecting its deficit to soar to $197.4 million after state appropriations in fiscal 2016 and 2017.

Rosen has held a number of positions at the DOH over the past 14 years. She most recently served as chief of the state’s Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch, overseeing 911 ambulance services and trauma system development.

She also was a deputy director of health for the DOH’s Health Resources Administration and medical director for the department’s Family Health Services Division.

Before joining the state, Rosen specialized in pediatric intensive care, neonatology and emergency medicine at Kapiolani Medical Center for Woman & Children. She also was a full-time teaching physician and faculty member of the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine.

"As an experienced physician and longtime health-care leader in Hawaii, Dr. Rosen brings her knowledge and expertise to HHSC at a time when we are facing many challenges due to the ever-changing health-care environment and limited financial resources," Carol VanCamp, chairwoman of the HHSC’s board of directors, said in the release. "She knows and understands the health-care needs of our island communities and will be a tremendous asset for our public hospital system."

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