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Palo Verde Valley Blythe/Quartzsite Times | Blythe, California and Quartzsite, Arizona

home : latest news July 22, 2014


1/23/2013 1:59:00 PM
Healthcare District Board votes 3-2 to fire CEO Peter Klune
Peter Klune
Peter Klune

Marty Bachman


BLYTHE - The Palo Verde Healthcare District Board fired Palo Verde Hospital CEO Peter Klune during closed session at their board meeting last Tuesday night. Board President Trina Sartin was joined by board members Sam Burton and Sandy Hudson in voting to dismiss Klune while all five board members voted in favor of keeping the hospital's chief financial officer, Dennis Rutherford, as interim CEO until a replacement could be found.

No grounds were given for the firing of Klune, which means the hospital will pay his salary and benefits for the next year, a figure that is expected to be close to $500,000. Board President Trina Sartin did not respond as to why Klune was dismissed.

Klune, who was the fifth CEO hired by the hospital since 2007, lasted almost four years before his termination. He became a target back in July 2010 when then Board President Jim Carney and his former running mate, Hudson, who was supported by the hospital's medical staff, split on deciding who to appoint to replace board member Francisco Tejeda, who had resigned. Carney wanted Quitty Pinon while Hudson pushed for Floyd Marlowe.

The choice was given to Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit after the board voted 2-1-1 to appoint Pinon with board member Tim Maley abstaining. Benoit appointed Beverly Mays, who had been voted off the Blythe City Council the prior November. Mays was defeated in a run for the seat the following November as was Hudson. Pinon, Catalina McClain and Sam Burton were all elected in November 2010. Carney, Pinon, McClain and board member Rosalie Carlton formed a voting bloc that supported Klune and became enemies of the medical staff.

In 2012, the board voted to change the transportation policy at the hospital, putting both Blythe Ambulance, which Pinon worked for, and Desert Air Ambulance, which is owned by current Board President Trina Sartin, on a rotating schedule with each on call every other day. According to a conflict of interest report published by the board's attorneys, medical staff member and current hospital chief of staff, Dr. Hossain Sahlolbei, was promoting Sartin's ambulance service within the hospital before the policy was changed.

The vote to put the companies on rotating schedules inspired Sartin to ally with Hudson in a run for board seats and the two both won last November, replacing Klune supporters Carney and Carlton.

In addition to firing Klune, the board also voted to put an end to the requests for proposals the previous board had voted to issue for exclusive contracts for both surgical services and transportation services to other hospitals. The vote to stop the transportation proposal was 2-1 with Hudson and Burton in favor and McClain against. Both Sartin and Pinon recused themselves due to conflicts.

The vote to end the search for surgical services was 3-0, with Burton, Hudson and Sartin in favor and McClain and Pinon having to recuse themselves due to the fact that Sahlolbei was suing them.

In another lawsuit, the medical staff had obtained a temporary restraining order to stop the hospital from contracting out the surgical services. That case is expected to be dropped now.

Related Stories:
• 'Corrupt' alleges latest lawsuit against hospital doctors
• Hospital board dismisses interim-CEO and Chief Nursing Officer
• Hospital attorneys ask court to dismiss Sahlolbei's federal suit
• Emergency transport helicopters to be banned from landing at hospital
• TIMES EDITORIAL: District Attorney Paul Zellberbach owes Blythe more than an apology
• Medical Staff drops lawsuit against hospital board
• Fired hospital chief had proposed basing helicopter at hospital prior to dismissal
• Drop in patients and surgeries pushes hospital to financial brink
• Sahlolbei sues hospital in federal court
• Healthcare District Board authorizes CEO to issue RFPs to contract out transportation and surgical services
• TIMES EDITORIAL: Let's get bids on hospital services and then make a decision

Related Links:
• Healthcare District files lawsuit against hospital surgeon, Hossain Sahlolbei
• Sahlolbei attorneys file demurrer in response to suit
• Former DA warns board members of potential conflicts


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Anti Trust Law

I believe it is time for the appropriate law enforcement agency to step in and review the last 7 years. If the shoe fits file an anti trust law suit (deleted)

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: just me

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: @Crazy Town and The Shadow

Now YOU guys have some sense. Share it over and over again, if you can. Doctors don't do surgeries, don't admit patients, they lose money. Blame it on the CEO (who doesn't kiss bleep's posterior). Blame it on old board that stays from all posteriors. Elect kisser-friendly board members. CEO sees the problem, and acts.Stick it to the CEO, and get a new Dr.-friendly CEO, and the doc do surgeries again. Then go through the whole procedure with same results. Same docs in MEC. Will it ever change? No way. Remove the (deleted), get CEO, elect genuine, caring, board members, conduct business according to established rules, and "Voila!" W have a real hospital for all the people in the area.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: Crazy Town

They need to get that (deleted) man out of our hospital. I heard he is scheduling surgeries and procedures now that the CEO has been fired. This may be gossip but he's done it before. The writing has been on the wall forever. Are people so blind they can't see how we are being manipulated. The hospital is(was?) losing money because they are not doing the business they were doing. This could have a lot to do with lack of faith but more to do with manipulation. I posted about this a while ago but PVVT censored my comment. This is not the first time he has done this and it won't be the last. What does he have on these otherwise nice(don't know about decent) people to support his (deleted)? This stinks. Like dirty money.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: The shaddow knows

To Look at the facts!
You forgot to mention that the doctors played a bit portion in this picture. This hospital did not get in the spot it is overnight. When you have the doctors (deleted)not admitting patients or doing surgeries where is the money suppose to come from? The CEO doesn't admit patients!!!!! Don't you find it interesting that the CEO is fired and the docs. start admitting and the good Dr. S is now doing surgeries. The MEC is calling the shots and the new board are mere puppets! Where is the history lession here? Any hospital pays there CEOs good money. But when you don't have the cooperation from (deleted) nothing will happen.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: @ look at the facts people

Did you ever stop to think that this might be the reason. Not the suit but the! Has been a major player in the turmoil and lawsuits.

http://www.paloverdevalleytimes.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=17798


Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: Blythe's Entertainer U2CanBeeeeeeeeeeee

@ LOOK AT THE FACTS PEOPLE: To say that PVH was one of the 25 WORST Hospitals in the country is being generous! Actually, PVH was rated, "THIRD WORST" hospital in the United States of America... Inmates seldom go to PVH for treatment anymore? What else do you need to know people of the great city of Blythe? I have lived in Blythe over 40 years, and I will be move'n to Lake Havasu soon! What a dump Blythe is! My wife and kids deserve better than this little BURG!

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: @Pardon Me

LOL

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013
Article comment by: look at the facts people

The facts say it all people. Hospital was ranked as one of the 25 worst in the country. The prison quit taking inmates there for the most part. Went from having 10.2 million dollars to 3.6 million dollars in available funds. Liabilities increased a million dollars. The CEO's administration tells the community right before an electon that the hospital is doing fine and then after the election we find out that if things do not change it will not be able to meet its financial obligations. All this happened in a little more than a 2 year span. These are all things that are in black and white and people wonder why a man that was making close to half a million in a year got fired. You can pass the blame around all you want but the buck stops with him. It was his job to not allow these things to happen and no one elses. So he tried to make changes some will say and one only needs to look and see that he tried to do this when a new board was elected and he saw that his job could be in jeapordy. Facts are facts people

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013
Article comment by: AH HA

Maybe there was nothing for Ms. Hudson to learn as she has been a benefactor.

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013
Article comment by: @ Carrie Catt

You are so correct!
"if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it"
Well this is the third time they will repeat history and the second time for Board Member Sandra Hudson.


Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013
Article comment by: Carrie Catt

There is an old adage "if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it". The German people supported the Nazis and turned their faces away and plead ignorance when confronted with an ugly truth.

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013
Article comment by: Pardon Me

Mr. Bob Weete: Since you are so involved, can you explain to me how the hospital went broke so quickly? Seems to me, the CEO was covering up his dirty tracks. If you have been attending , why have you not reported on the disgracful state of affair's at PVH? For you to accuse people of a crime is not right. I know all three, and you are not someone they spent any time thinking about, I am certain. You need to report facts and just the facts. Is that possible?

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013
Article comment by: Jere Allan

@Jere Allen. You spelled my name wrong. LOL. I wanted to stop, but for the record. Yes, when Mr. Klune first came to the hospital, I met him and we had a very cordial discussion about the hospital, where it was, where it had been and where it is going. We agreed that it could be the best of the best. Since I was in no way affilated with the hospital, he was not in the habit of consulting me however we did remain cordial. One thing I can do is back up everything I have posted by written documents and or by verbal eye witnesses.from inside the hospital. If I can't I don't write or speak. I recognize that there are two sides to the issues, neither of which is always correct. That is why I don't take sides. Yes, I love God and you can preach Him to me any time. "For the Lord gives wisdom from HIs mouth comes knowledge and understanding." (Prov.2:6). I love ye, Jere

.


Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013
Article comment by: Carrie Catt

Mr. Allen: You really didn't answer the question now, did you. I don't have a side I simply said I could not support corruption. Nuff said.


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