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Corporate Report: Jan. 27

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  • | 8:39 a.m. January 27, 2012
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Law firm probing HMA after former insider lawsuit
New York City-based law firm Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman LLC says it is investigating potential claims for shareholders of Naples-based Health Management Associates Inc. concerning whether the company or its officers and directors violated federal securities laws.

The suit and a large recent dip in the firm's stock stem from a lawsuit brought by a former employee.

HMA's former compliance director Paul Meyer sued the company for wrongful termination, and filed a whistleblower lawsuit saying the company improperly admitted Medicare patients. Meyer says in his complaint that several HMA hospitals won higher government payments from the Medicare program through “the submission of fraudulent billing to Medicare through the improper admission of patients as inpatients even though such patients clearly did not meet the standards for inpatient admission.”

In an unrelated move, HMA's General Counsel Timothy Parry has also announced he is leaving the company.

The company and its subsidiaries operate 66 hospitals, with 10,400 licensed beds.

NeoGenomics hires chief medical officer from Health Discovery Corp.
Fort Myers-based NeoGenomics Inc. has appointed Dr. Maher Albitar as chief medical officer and director of research and development.

Most recently, Albitar served as the chief medical officer of Health Discovery Corp., and he will remain as a member of the board of directors of HDC. The appointment follows NeoGenomics agreement to a $3 million licensing deal with Health Discovery for technology to detect prostate, pancreatic and colon cancers.

From 2003 to 2010, Albitar served as the medical director for hematopathology and oncology, and chief of research and development for Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute. He was responsible for the development of numerous tests and inventions in molecular testing and plasma-based testing. Prior to that he held various faculty positions at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he also served as director of the leukemia and molecular laboratory in the division of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology Medicine.

“Our company's roots are in the diagnosis of hematologic cancers, and Dr. Albitar is world renowned for his expertise in hematopathology and molecular oncology,” Doug VanOort, chairman and CEO, says in a press release. “Additionally, Dr. Albitar's passion for innovation and development of new molecular genetic tests will enhance our ability to develop and launch novel new tests targeting a variety of cancers. We expect innovation and the launch of proprietary products to be an ever more important driver of future growth for our company.”

North Naples Hospital COO hired as Rasmussen Dean
Rasmussen College has hired Dr. Gail Dolan as its Florida Regional Dean of the School of Nursing. With more than 25 years of healthcare leadership and academic experience, Dolan will oversee the Rasmussen nursing operations at its New Port Richey, Tampa/Brandon, Ocala and Fort Myers campuses.

Dolan joins Rasmussen from NCH Healthcare System in Naples, where she served in variety of executive-level administrative roles during the past 21 years. Most recently, she served as chief operations officer overseeing the entire operations of North Naples Hospital. Dolan also served as an adjunct professor at both NOVA Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale and Barry University in Miami Shores.

Manatee Chamber of Commerce separates EDC
The Manatee Chamber of Commerce and its Economic Development Council division have completed a reorganization to form the new not-for-profit Manatee Economic Development Corp. (MEDC). The MEDC has assumed the roles and responsibilities previously undertaken by the council.

The change was designed to allow the new organization to better focus on retention and recruitment of business investment in Manatee County, according to Sharon Hillstrom, president of the new organization. Hillstrom was executive director for the previous entity.

The structural change began as part of the chamber division's strategic plan in 2009. The MEDC will continue to be housed at the chamber's facilities in downtown Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch under a shared services agreement between the two organizations. Hillstrom said the organization will be branded during the coming months.

The Manatee Economic Development Corp. works to attract new high-impact businesses and assist in the retention and growth of targeted existing businesses in Manatee County.

Innovaro assists Waytronx in selling patents to CUI
Innovaro Inc., a Tampa-based intellectual property licensing company, helped CUI Global Inc., formerly known as Waytronx, to sell patents and patent applications to CUI Global's Waycool technology

Based in Tualatin, Colo., CUI Global Inc. is a publicly traded technology company.

Vista System sells lighted signs for airport in Hyderabad, India
Sarasota Vista System International recently sold suspended signs to AAA Business Solutions India Pvt. Ltd. to install at GMR Hyderabad International Airport in Hyderabad, India.

Vista System's officials say its client wanted brightly lit departure signs to replace the existing non-illuminated ones. The signs also had to be extremely durable to withstand high winds, because the departure forecourt areas are not fully covered.


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