"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Freeh Report is Free Advice

Once the Freeh Report was released yesterday morning concerning the Penn State / Sandusky mess, I asked our Corporate Compliance Officer to review the report with special emphasis on the recommendations.  I want to use this 267-page report as a benchmark against the policies and procedures of WMHS to ensure that we are appropriately positioned to act should a situation of comparability (God forbid) occur at this health system. 

The Penn State Board of Trustees paid millions of dollars to former FBI Director Louis Freeh and his law firm as Special Investigative Counsel to conduct an investigation into the circumstances that lead to criminal charges of sexual abuse of minors on the PSU Campus against Jerry Sandusky.   Attorney Freeh was also asked to provide recommendations regarding Governance, Oversight and Administrative procedures to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.  The opportunity to review this report and use the recommendations as a benchmark to one's own organization should be considered by every board, compliance committee, ethics committee and CEO in the country.  There is an excellent lesson here for every board chair, committee chair and CEO.  The brand is always to be protected but at what cost?  If the leadership of PSU would have appropriately dealt with the situation when it first occurred in the late 90's, the University would have suffered a black eye that would have eventually healed in a short period of time.  Instead, they chose not to report the situation to the authorities, cover up the sexual assaults, take no action against Coach Sandusky and as a result, PSU, its reputation and its brand are now tarnished forever.  The former leadership at PSU also has to live with the fact that because of their cover-up, Coach Sandusky went onto sexually assault other young boys who are now scarred for life.  A tragic situation for all.

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