Writing from the perspective of a retired physician who was on the active medical staff at Sierra View for 33 years and had a good collegial relationship with all seven of the CEO’s dating back to 1975 up to and including Joe Stewart, I have a few thoughts relative to Joe’s recent firing.
The first relates to the unconscionable act of keeping secret until after he was hired and revealing only a few days before beginning his work that Joe would have no control over the Sierra View department heads because they had each been given four-year contracts that kept the power to hire and fire them in the hands of the board — not the CEO.
That’s like saying, “Here’s the keys to your new car, but, by the way, don’t put your hands on the steering wheel or your foot on the brakes.” Is there any business model out there where that arrangement has been implemented? And if there is how could it possibly work? The board withheld that information from Joe until the last minute.
Would any potential new CEO candidate buy into that? No wonder there was confusion between Joe and some of the department heads. The board should reevaluate that idea if it hopes to avoid similar fiascoes in the future.
My second thought relates to the act of supporting Joe’s dismissal by a new and thoroughly inexperienced board member, Dr. Pandya. It’s hard to imagine how he managed to think himself capable of gathering enough information and experience in just a few weeks after he learned of his election — when all of the absentee ballots were finally counted — to cast such an important vote, one which may end up being the most important vote of his tenure on the board. Did he believe he really had the mandate of the electorate to make that decision? It would be interesting to poll those who voted for him to see if they agreed with his move to terminate Joe.
A final thought: the ultimate irony would be for Joe, who plans to stay in the community, to run for the board at the next election. My bet is he’d win a seat and bring with that win a great deal of credibility and common sense to the board’s deliberations, something that appears to be sorely needed.
J. Myron Lord, M.D. ( Ret.)