An account of how a large Catholic medical center has lost its way. Go to to see recent updates.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Questions About Matrix Consulting Group

Peoria Journal Star Forum

Peorians should ask about conflicts in fire study

July 31, 2004

I have followed with interest the processing of selecting a consulting firm to do a fire department study. Quite frankly, I am outraged at the assertions and unfair label that some members of the selection committee and the city manager used to select another consulting firm over mine -- even though our bid was $30,000 less and we are more qualified to do the study.

To say I or members of my firm would be biased toward fire departments is an unscrupulous comment and a smear upon my reputation, my team of consultants assigned to the Peoria project and my company. My company has conducted over 150 projects for various cities, fire departments, EMS agencies, and 911 centers. My references include city managers, county managers, mayors, county executives, and fire chiefs.

Never has this label been placed upon me or my company. As a consultant, my assessments must be fair and objective. If we are not, we are subject to being sued for errors and/or omissions.

There appears to be a strong conflict of interest between a member of the selection committee and his relationship with a member of the consulting firm that was selected. At a minimum, the citizens of Peoria should be asking their elected leaders why their government is spending $30,000 more than necessary as questions swirl around the coziness of those involved in process.

Gary G. Ludwig

~ Ludwig Group

Hillsboro, Mo.

Regarding the Journal Star editorial July 16--"Send Corrupt Health Facilities Planning Board to Morgue":

The Journal Star states that in Illinois "Any board with this much authority over this much money becomes a trough of corruption." Truer words could not have been written. For thirty years lobbyists, attorneys, and politically connected people have influenced the decisions made by this nine member board regarding constructing new hospitals and expanding existing ones in Illinois.

Unfortunately, similar conflict of interest and cronyism is currently occuring in Peoria. The stakes are very high here with lives and money on the line.

In Peoria we have one paramedic transport company--Advanced Medical Transport (AMT). Its medical director is Dr. George Hevesy who happens to be the medical director of OSF-SFMC emergency department. Dr. Hevesy is salaried by both OSF-SFMC and AMT. OSF is the main supporter of AMT and is also the base station for all emergency medical services in central Illinois. The AMT board of directors, composed of prominent Peorians, has the support of the OSF-SFMC board of directors. Dr. Hevesy's relationship with the Illinois Department of Public Health in Springfield, which
regulates paramedics and ambulances in the state, is well known in emergency medicine circles throughout Illinois. And finally, the Peoria city council, who will decide if AMT remains in total control of paramedic care and transport in Peoria for the next decade, will consider the findings and recommendations of a California based consulting firm. Members of the council suspect" a preexisting relationship between AMT and this California firm. One needs a scorecard to keep track of this local health care travesty.

In the mean time the Peoria Fire Department (PFD) continues to respond to medical emergencies and can only provide basic life support (not paramedic care), and cannot transport patients at the scene--even with their one ambulance. The PFD obviously does not enjoy the support of the above named individuals, boards, and state agencies.

The real loss, of course, is for Peorians that suffer an out-of-hospital medical emergency. State of the art prehospital emergency care is not offered in Peoria--not because we can't, but because our medical mafia will not allow it.

John Carroll, M.D.

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