Hospital directors owe community an explanation
Sierra View Hospital District Directors Richard Hatfield, Kent Sorrells and Dr. Gaurang Pandya owe the community an explanation and they should speak up soon.
Tuesday night, in a move that surprised many in the community, the three directors voted to dismiss Chief Executive Officer Joe Stewart. Directors Dr. Jasvir Sidhu and Dr. Ashok Behl voted against his dismissal.
Even though Mr. Stewart, who had been on the job just a few days past a year, had his dismissal done in open session, the three directors were mum as to the exact reasons he was let go. We can have some understanding that Mr. Hatfield and Mr. Sorrells may have had some disagreements arise over the past year, but we cannot understand how a director in basically his first month of office can make such a decision as Dr. Pandya made. He never during the hospital campaign said his first act would be to fire the administrator, yet that clearly was on his mind.
Mr. Stewart was hired after an extensive and expensive search, and was highly touted when his hiring was announced in December of 2011. At that time, then board president Hatfield was quoted as saying, “I want you to know, we are five people standing behind you.” So much for promises.
We are further disturbed to learn that senior management is given so much clout, even to the point that the board needs to approve their hiring and firing, and they can go directly to board members, bypassing the person the hospital was paying $360,000 a year to oversee the daily operations of the hospital.
We admit we are not privy to the daily inner workings of the hospital, but on the surface this action by the board needs an explanation, and with Mr. Stewart having it done in open, the three directors cannot hide by the “personnel issue” excuse for not commenting.
We are disappointed by how the board reached its decision. We know a good number of residents are unhappy, as well.