George Miller, the CEO and president of Loretto Hospital on Chicago’s West Side, is out of a job.
Employees learned of Miller’s departure in a brief memo Tuesday from Loretto general counsel Melinda Malecki.
“Please be advised that effectively immediately, George Miller is no longer the President and CEO of Loretto Hospital and is no longer with the organization,” the memo said.
In an interview, Malecki would not say if Miller was fired or if he quit. But the move follows several investigations from Block Club Chicago and the Better Government Association revealing alleged financial mismanagement at Loretto and potential misuse of COVID-19 vaccines when they were in high demand and short supply.
In March 2021, the city of Chicago cut off vaccine supply to Loretto following stories from Block Club and WBEZ about giving shots to “well-connected individuals.” WBEZ revealed that Loretto offered shots for more than a dozen Cook County judges and their spouses or a “second person” of their choosing. Block Club has also reported the hospital’s vaccination program has been under investigation by the FBI.
Loretto is a small so-called safety net hospital in Austin that treats mostly low-income and elderly Black patients. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot picked Loretto as the site where the first COVID-19 vaccines were given in the city when they arrived in December 2020, nearly a year into the pandemic. It was a symbolic move, as Black and Latino Chicagoans were disproportionately infected with and died from the virus.
With Miller gone, Tesa Anewishki, who is Loretto’s chief development officer, is acting president and CEO. Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Lois Clarke “will share leadership responsibility” with Anewishki while a new leadership team is selected, the memo to staff said.
Kristen Schorsch covers public health and Cook County on WBEZ’s government and politics desk. Follow her @kschorsch.