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6/4/2013 4:59:00 PM
Sahlolbei gets new directorship contract

Marty Bachman


BLYTHE - Members of the Palo Verde Healthcare District Board approved a retroactive directorship paying hospital Chief of Staff, Dr. Hossain Sahlolbei $2,400 a month, at a special June 29 board meeting.

The surgical services directorship is one of two the hospital provides with Dr. Frank Arko collecting $3,000 a month for the other though a question exists on whether Arko took a 20 percent cut from his directorship, which would leave him with a pay of $2,400 a month.

Board members Catalina McLain argued that back in December, when Sahlolbei's directorship expired, the board determined it didn't need to pay for two surgical service directors, neither of which is mandated by the state, so it kept Arko on as director because his contract was current. Sahlolbei will receive pay from December on.

"My concern is right now our hospital is in dire straits where we should be counting our pennies and not be giving out funds especially on directorships that are not required by the state," McLain said at the meeting. "I have a difficult time looking at employees that are being sent home, losing their homes, losing money off their paychecks, because we can't afford it and yet we're going to turn around and approve a retroactive directorship that is not mandated by the state."

According to April financials, the hospital is down to $1.8 million in the bank.

Board President Trina Sartin responded that both surgeons share significant responsibilities and the contract is a continuation of the contracts that have been in force for years.

"Having said that, it's a necessity for the hospital," Sartin said.

"It's not mandated by the state and I think if we're trying to cut pennies, we're trying to save money to keep our hospital alive," McLain countered.

Sahlolbei told McLain that she had sat on the board for two years while the hospital lost $7 million, and had approved an "illegal" contract extension for the former CEO, Peter Klune, that the current board would not have been able to break.

Klune was fired in January and was owed approximately $500,000 according to terms of his contract.

Sahlolbei said that it was he who was looking out for the nurses at Palo Verde Hospital, not McLain.

"I was helping those nurses so they don't lose their home," he said. "You neither helped them nor you fixed it. You voted to give contracts for call pay in the last six months when the hospital has lost more than $7 million. When it comes to Dr. Sahlolbei, all of a sudden you have concern. This shows nothing but your discriminatory and your malice toward Dr. Sahlolbei and that is why you should be watching that you don't lose the lawsuit because I will not forgive you because you show every day, every board meeting, that you have a personal agenda; you have a personal problem with Dr. Sahlolbei."

Sahlolbei then suggested that the board had approved a directorship for Arko and not Sahlolbei because Arko was white.

"How did you pick Dr. Arko, that two are not good so we'll pay just one, other than Dr. Arko being white and I don't be white. Is there any other reason why you pick Dr. Arko? Is there any other reason why you filed a fraud lawsuit against me? It shows your malice. On your watch this hospital lost $7 million and now it's going to lose more money on attorney fees. If you're really concerned about the nurses, then get off the board, Catalina."

Hospital CEO Larry Blitz said that in the short term the hospital was continuing a contract that has been in existence for a while and making sure the hospital is compliant with CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and the Department of Health Services.

"It doesn't negate the challenges that Catalina's brought up and it doesn't negate the reality of what we're facing," he said. "

Blitz said that in light of the hospital's struggling economic environment, everything was on the table and that management was not only looking at physician reimbursement and if the directorships were necessary, but at other hospital expenses as well.

"I'm agreeing with all of you in a sense but at the same time its one step right now that we're agreeing with the contract," he said. "On the other hand, it's something we do need to look at very quickly or the hospital is not going to survive."

McLain said her only agenda is to keep the hospital viable by making whatever cuts the board needs make.

"I was told we were going to be given a report and that directorships would be on that," she said. "I questioned why are we renewing directorships. This is nothing personal against Dr. Sahlolbei; this is all about business. Our job as a governing board is to keep this hospital viable."

Board member Sam Burton then moved to approve the directorship and both Burton and Sartin voted to approve it. Board members Sandy Hudson and Quitty Pinon recused themselves from the vote and discussion while McLain voted against it.

Correction: The original headline stated Sahlolbei received a new on-call contract. His contract was for a surgical services directorship.

Related Stories:
• Palo Verde Hospital cash flow under $1 million
• Dr. Hossain Sahlolbei arrested (UPDATED)
• ER doc denies negotiating contract with PVH
• LETTER: Transport issues and threats led to departure of ER group
• On-call pay cuts still leave doctors with above average pay
• Hospital continues to bleed money
• TIMES EDITORIAL: No justice for the residents of Blythe and the valley
• Healthcare District files lawsuit against hospital surgeon, Hossain Sahlolbei
• Sahlolbei no stranger to courtrooms: Hospital Chief of Staff has sued at least 17 people in Riverside Courts since 2000

Related Links:
• Hospital receives 'F' grade from patient safety advocacy group
• Sahlolbei sues hospital in federal court
• Former DA warns board members of potential conflicts


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: @ to the locals

Every word in your comment is true...I've been in the valley almost forty years now.I never feared the ER doctors until this so called doctor came hear..He can not be trusted with your health I know for a fact this is true..I resent him to the max along with all those who stand up for him, they are on the same level and in my books not to high...Not only are the old but new doctos in the ER now a risk chances are the on call doctor will be (deleted).Yup lets all put are lifes in the hands of pvh...

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

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Article comment by: blyhe resident

i've never had a problem at the hospital ER.there is one thing you can do if you really hate the hospital MOVE! most of the crybabies on here came from other citys i would think

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Article comment by: To the locals

Locals who’ve used this hospital for 30-50 years KNOW, OR SHOULD KNOW, THIS BS STARTED WITH DR S, WHEN HE BECAME HEAD OF THE MEC. He changed bylaws to give himself power & from that point on, he has been less than a professional. Matter of fact he’s become an embarrassment to our community & PVH. In the bigger scheme of things - PVH is known by out of town professionals, to be a good hospital being run by an (deleted) individual who’s prevented growth at every turn. I was born at PVH, lived in Blythe for 45 years, & I know this Dr has a reputation in the professional world of being an (deleted) human being. I know former patients who say he wasn’t there for them in time of crisis. I know this Dr blames any & everyone for PVHs failures, even going so far as to sue them. We’ve had many boards, several management co’s, many excellent staff members come & go, great doctors come to set up shop, but can’t get privileges (from MEC), THE SAME CONSTANT HAS BEEN DR. Either hates the board member, the nurse, the nursing director, hospital admin, the managers, the competent new Dr, the ceo. @ give it up already - What part can u not understand? U really believe 50 people in the last 20 years are all wrong & Dr is right? The PVH needs to be done with this & it’s up to local voters to remove whoever’s protecting him. If Dr hadn’t forced the best people to leave - PVH would be OUTSTANDING by now! Wake up locals, HE’S STILL HERE, these folks aren’t looking out for us, but rather their own pocketbooks after their plan plays out.

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

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Article comment by: @give it up already

Hey! That's an idea! Let's get a recall action going, and then be sure we vote in people who want to clean up the place and put it back on life support, unplug the notorious dictator. As for people attending meetings to share personally, that is ridiculous. It hasn't been that long ago that Weete expressed himself at a meeting, and then suddenly had 8 tires slashed. That kinda discourages people from practicing free speech where the hospital is concerned, doesn't it?

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Article comment by: @ @carl tischer

I agree with you ..But we have to remember all those gold plated plaques Carl earned for out standing job performance. NOT..Where Carl do you feel you are so great that you can judge another persons knowledge...drop your head tuck your tail and run forest run !!!!!!!!!

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Article comment by: @ carl tischer

I am sorry but I have to disagree. I think it is time for Dr. Sahlolbei to resign from the MEC and leave.
From what I see here on the comments I am in the majority!


Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Article comment by: @ quick question

You are correct the headline is wrong but seriouly do you really believe there was something intentionaly misleading?
Dr. Sahlolbei does get an On-Call contract and now is getting a Directorship contract retroactive back to December which is when Sandra Hudson and Trina Sartin took over the Board along with Samuel Burton!
Looks like a republican witch hunt over a TYPO error!


Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Article comment by: carl tischer

I agree with Dr Sahlolbie . Ms MCclain needs to get off the board . When I worked at palo verde she didnt know what she was doing then , 5 yrs ago . I see things have not changed . Get her off the board now .

Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Article comment by: give it up already

Anybody that goes to the meetings knows there is a long standing fued going between Dr. Sahlobei and Catalina. She has been after his job for quite a while now and he fights her every step of the way waiting for his chance at revenge. They both have done and said some pretty nasty things to each other. The reality is, who cares! How will any of this mess keep the hospital open? There has been huge mistakes from all parties involved. They all need to just wipe the slate clean and work together to keep the hospitals doors open. You talk to people about it around town and most are tired of the bickering and do not trust any of the sides involved including the PVVT. I say we have a forum at the college with the doctors, the board, tha administration, the pvvt and anyone else that has the intestinal fortitude to get up there and take questions from the public. Let everyone go make their allegations, provide their facts and let's get this all out of the way. I do not care if it takes all day. Let's just get it all behind us and start working towards fixing the hospital. All most people here anymore is BLAH BLAH BLAH or see another article in the paper and say "here we go again". For all of you that say "well get rid of Sahlobei and all our problems will go away", I say get out of your fantasy world. Start being part of the solution here instead of just keeping the pot stirred. Makes me start to think there might be an agenda here like the beginning of a recall since the six month no recall period for an elected official runs out shortly for sandy and trina

Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Article comment by: quick question

Wasn't the contract for directorship and not for on-call? I can only imagine that the editor of the paper that seems so informed on the hospital knows the difference. Makes you think that there is some intentional misleading going on with the headline.

Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Article comment by: To @ two Sence

I think you need to address your question to Sandra Hudson, Trina Sartin and Sam Burton.
I realize Sandra Hudson could not vote this time because of a conflict of interest, but it is obvious how she would of voted if allowed.


Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Article comment by: No whining!

And the hospital people and their fans complain because the Times writes about their activities! Ain't that something? If they would just get rid of certain doctor(s) and three board members, the articles would stop! Haven't you figured that out, yet? When you do stooped things, EXPECT it to come out in the paper! Your antics would be almost laughable, if your actions didn't hurt so many people. Take Sartin's plane, and fly far, far away.

Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Article comment by: @ two Sence

Well I listened to the tape on your other article! Larry CEO said that the directorshipfor Dr. S was a continuance of an excisting contract. Then I hear Catalina? say there was no directorship that was renewed 6 months ago. So shouldn't this directorship be voted on as a NEW contract since there was not a current one in place. Sounds like someone in not stating the truth and someone needs to get their story right! If Dr, S has not had a contract for 6 months why is he getting one now and back pay to boot!

Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Article comment by: @ my 2 sence

No Catalina is just his LATEST TARGET. Dr S has (deleted) blamed EVERYBODY ELSE - like AHM, the previous 3 boards (including sueing Dr Montgomery), Kune, Quitty, Kune, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. The list goes on and on. If Dr S thinks this community really believes he cares about Blythe - HE NEEDS TO WAKE UP. We know about his tactics (deleted) that's all he's done since he's been here. (deleted) - constantly crying, whining, complaining about EVERYBODY ELSE DOING HIM WRONG. We the community are suffering due to his arrogance - does he care? Hell no he doesn't care - he will take advantage of a crisis (like obama) let PVH GO DOWN and start his own clinic. We ALL KNOW BETTER DR AND WE WILL NOT SUPPORT YOUR CLINIC, WILL NOT ALLOW OUR FAMILIES TO GO TO YOUR CLINIC AFTER WHAT U ARE DOING TO US!! Stop whining, man up get out of the skirts of your current protectors, talk to this community instead of speaking thru the twins and burton. Behavior such as u display is very suspicious and u will win no friends in Blythe being that way - u think u are a business man? When u cannot attract business - maybe then u will look in the mirror and put the blame where it belongs. Thank you Catalina and Quitty.

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

Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Article comment by: my two sence

Just my opinion......
Seems like the good doctor has it in for a certain board member. He accuses her of malice and being prejudice towards the good doctor. Sounds like he has his information confused. He needs to stop tring to talk bad about Catalina and allow her to speak what she wants. Dr. S is not the only person who is allowed to use freedom of speech. The good doctor is so easy to blame Catalina.for the loss of 7 mil. What about Sam and Queety? Why is he not blaming them as well. Sounds like he is the one who is performing malice and being prejudice!



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