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A Hospital Summit

Rosalind Helderman

Remember Nixon and China? Reagan and Gorbachev?

Now there's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) and William Williams, the chairman of the company that runs the Prince George's hospital system.

For months, Johnson has been feuding with the Board of Directors of Dimensions Healthcare. The executive has blamed the board for continuing financial trouble at Prince George's Hospital Center and demanded that the boardt be restructured, a move that would require four members resign. While he waits for the board to comply with his request, Johnson has withheld county funding from the ailing company.

But Johnson announced Tuesday that he met with the newly elected chairman of that board, William Williams, on Monday night for two hours. Williams happens to be one of the four members whose resignation he had been demanding. And after breaking bread with the retired FEMA adminstrator, Johnson had nothing but cheery things to say about Williams and the future of county-hospital relations.

Johnson called it an "excellent" meeting and said the two men "agreed we've got to work together." He said Williams "showed a lot of passion" that the two leaders discussed the need to get to know one another "unfiltered."

"I think he's a man of action," Johnson said. "I think we're on the right track."

Johnson said too that he is no longer looking for Williams' resignation. "He had clear vision of what he wants to do," he said.

So does that mean the county funds will now be forthcoming? Perhaps.

Johnson said he plans to think about the issue and make a decision in the next few weeks.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  September 25, 2007; 3:16 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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