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MIAMI -- The administrator's job at Cedars Medical Center is no cakewalk.
Cedars, a bustling metropolitan hospital with 585 beds and a 780-physician medical staff, saw 13,440 admissions and 20,555 outpatient visits during the past year. During that period, it gave $8.3 million in charity care.
The last year has seen the resignation of its top executive, threat of an involuntary purchase by the county and lawsuits against it by disgruntled physicians.
Cedars is also being squeezed by tough economic times, which are shrinking the contributions the non-profit community can expect.
Just as many other hospitals, Cedars expects a net loss on operations for fiscal 1991, and it hasn't yet decided how it will cope with the shortfall.
At a time when the traditional problems have multiplied and traditional solutions no longer seem to work, Cedars board members and physicians have turned to a non-traditional administrator -- Thomas G. Culbreth -- to turn the tide.
Culbreth represents the wave of the future for Cedars: An administrator whose business experience, the board hopes, will pull the hospital out of health care's financial mire.
Culbreth, who accepted the chief …