Steward to sell, lease back 11 medical office buildings; Hospitals can't boost meeting attendance with free food;

> In a deviation from its hospital purchasing spree in Massachusetts, Steward Health Care System is exiting the real estate business by selling 11 medical office buildings across the state, reports The Boston Globe. The hospital chain plans to enter a sale-leaseback agreement, under which it would rent the same office space. Article

> Hundreds of workers are protesting massive layoffs at Westchester (N.Y.) Medical Center, which they say are dangerous to patient care. Facing a $50 million budget gap next year, the hospital announced last month that up to 620 full-time jobs could be cut by the end of the 2011, reports The Journal News. Article

> With strained resources and unsteady market conditions, St. Mary Medical Center under Catholic Healthcare West will not pursue a sale as originally thought, reports the Contra Costa Times. Meanwhile, the president of the Long Beach, Calif., hospitals has stepped down from the position he held since 2004, although the resignation isn't connected to the decision not to sell. Article

> Despite popular belief, free food doesn't increase medical staff attendance at meetings, according to study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Mayo Clinic researchers found that the cancelling of catering and food services saved $92,205 without affecting meeting attendance. Article

> Hospitals that used a computerized clinical-information system had shorter length of stay, lower risk-adjusted mortality rates, and better quality performance than hospitals without the tool, according to a new study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine. Study abstract

And Finally... Mound of tires seen from space. Article