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CONTACT: TOM MOORE
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8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
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e-mail: thomas-moore@uiowa.edu

Release: Feb. 15, 2002

Marengo, Sigourney Hospitals Alter Pact With UI Health Care

Following a successful initiative that saw a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics' administrator help lead two community hospitals to a more firm financial footing, hospital officials announced that they plan to alter their affiliation with University of Iowa Health Care.

In the summer of 1999, the Marengo Memorial Hospital in Marengo faced an economic crisis. The hospital's board turned to UI Health Care leadership for help. Michael Trachta, an administrative fellow at UI Hospitals and Clinics, agreed to serve as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Marengo hospital in July 1999. He later became CEO of the Keokuk County Health Center in Sigourney in December 1999.

Trachta, 31, recently resigned those posts to accept a position as CEO of the Waverly Municipal Hospital in Waverly and began his duties there Feb. 1. The boards of the hospitals in Marengo and Sigourney decided to hire their own administrators, instead of continuing to receive administrative services from UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Jan Meier, vice-chair of the Marengo Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, said, "The Board of Trustees of Marengo Memorial Hospital appreciates the relationship with University of Iowa Health Care. We also appreciate the time and effort of Mr. Trachta. Mr. Trachta's effort contributed significantly to the success of the hospital being designated as a critical access hospital."

"The Keokuk County Health Center Board of Directors was very pleased with Mike's work ethic and leadership abilities. We can attribute our Critical Access Status to Mike's hard work and dedication. Our hospital is now on solid financial footing," said Tony Latcham, board chairperson.

"It was a true pleasure to work with the people of Marengo and Sigourney," Trachta said. "Everyone in those communities is very dedicated to their hospitals, and they worked very hard to ensure their success."

Both community hospitals will continue other service agreements with UI Hospitals and Clinics, such as an agreement to provide pharmacy services to the Marengo Memorial Hospital and Keokuk County Health Center.

"It has been my pleasure serving University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics," Trachta added. "I have had the opportunity to learn from many of the best in their fields. My time there inspired me to pursue health care administration as a life-long career."

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.