Business Notes: April 8


List of top hospitals includes St. Joseph East, others in Ky.

Several Kentucky hospitals have made the list of the 100 top hospitals nationwide as compiled this week by Thomson Reuters. Lexington's Saint Joseph East is listed among the medium-community hospitals, and Saint Joseph's facility in London is included in the small-community hospital category. Also, King's Daughters Medical Center in Ashland and Baptist Hospital East in Louisville are listed among large-community hospitals. St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Edgewood is among the top teaching hospitals. The study evaluated 3,000 hospitals in nine areas: mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average length of stay, expenses, profitability, cash-to-debt ratio, patient satisfaction, and adherence to clinical standards of care. Saint Joseph said it is the third time that Saint Joseph East, which is off Man o' War Boulevard near Eagle Creek Drive, has been included. The list is used for benchmarking purposes, according to Thomson Reuters. The full list can be found at

Link-Belt president named to new post

The head of Lexington-based Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co. has been named a vice president of Link-Belt's Japanese parent company, becoming the first officer from a U.S. subsidiary to do so. The promotion of Chuck Martz, the chairman, chief executive and president of Link-Belt, became effective April 1, the company said. Link-Belt is owned by Sumitomo Heavy Industries, which is based in Tokyo. Martz joined Link-Belt in 1975 after graduating from the University of Kentucky with a degree in accounting. He became company president in 1998 and CEO in 2007. Link-Belt designs and manufactures telescopic boom and lattice-boom cranes for use in the construction industry. Its 2008 sales exceeded half a billion dollars.

Urban Active ranks high on list

Lexington-based fitness company Urban Active was recognized recently by a leading magazine as third on its list of America's 10 healthiest gyms. In the April issue of Health, reviewer Kim Lyons, a celebrity fitness trainer who has appeared on The Biggest Loser, said Urban Active "understands the importance of environments that make you want to be there." She mentioned a new Urban Active in Columbus, Ohio, that is 75 percent glass and boasts aesthetic touches that include panoramic views from the indoor track. Urban Active has 32 locations in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. It was founded by chief executive Royce Pulliam after splitting off from Gold's Gym so he could expand into areas where there already were Gold's franchisees. The company plans to build 18 more locations in the next three to four years. Gold's Gym was ranked seventh.


Dramatic drop in consumer borrowing

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that consumer borrowing dropped at an annual rate of $7.48 billion in February, or 3.5 percent, from January, far more than analysts expected as Americans cut back their use of credit cards by a record amount. Wall Street economists had expected borrowing to slide by only $1 billion, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. The decline was led by a record drop in borrowing on credit and charge cards, which fell at an annual rate of $7.8 billion, or 9.7 percent. That is the sharpest drop in dollar terms since federal records began in 1968, and the steepest percentage fall since 1978.

Compiled from Staff, wire reports