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St. Joseph CEO Norman resigns

St. Joseph Medical Center CEO Jeffrey K. Norman resigned Friday as head of the 263-bed acute care center.

Norman, who started at St. Joseph in November 2009, said he will stay in the post through Aug. 22. A reason was not given for the resignation.

The medical center said the search for a replacement would begin immediately.

“We had much to do to set a new strategic direction and rebuild the confidence of our community, our patients and our staff in the excellent care we provide,” Norman said in a statement. “We have worked through important adjustments to our compliance program, improved our financial operations and made strides in even better patient satisfaction.”

St. Joseph has been at the center of controversy over the medically unnecessary use of heart stents. The center agreed in November to pay $22 million to settle allegations that it paid illegal kickbacks to MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates over a 10-year period and, separately, billed federal benefit programs for medically unnecessary stents.

Hundreds of patients are suing St. Joseph and a former employee, the physician at the center of the controversy, Dr. Mark G. Midei, for allegedly implanting unnecessary heart stents. Midei, through Snyder & Snyder in Pikesville, filed a $60 million lawsuit against the hospital for allegedly making him the “fall guy” to deflect attention from an ongoing Medicare fraud investigation.

Midei’s medical license was revoked on July 13 by the Maryland Board of Physicians.