A hospital administrator's slate of candidates barely thwarted a physician's attempt to gain control of 52-bed Sandwich (Ill.) Community Hospital.
Six candidates already on the board were ruled winners last week by 50 votes in a hotly contested dispute between a physician and Sandwich hospital's administrator. Both were using an outdated bylaw from the hospital's governance rules to control the 13-member board (July 25, p. 6).
"It was close but the hospital's slate prevailed," said Loren Slade, the hospital's administrator. The facility is managed by Nashville, Tenn.-based Quorum Health Group, with Mr. Slade and a chief financial officer working as Quorum employees.
Mr. Slade's message to other hospitals who haven't taken a look at their associations' rules lately: "Review your bylaws."
The bylaw allowed anyone who pays a $5 fee to join the Sandwich Community Hospital Association, which elects the board. Sandwich is about 50 miles west of Chicago.
It took seven weeks for three lawyers from the Sandwich area to count the estimated 2,500 ballots.
Meanwhile, Vijay Marwaha, M.D., a hospital board member who made the attempt to get new board members, last week requested a leave of absence from the hospital's medical staff until Dec. 1. Dr. Marwaha didn't return calls last week from MODERN HEALTHCARE.
Dr. Marwaha had made a variety of complaints about the administration of the hospital, including protests about resident duties, physician office space and allegedly secret dealings by some board members.
The dispute had been going on since Dr. Marwaha and his supporters showed up at a March association board meeting with the ballots. That meeting was postponed. Dr. Marwaha and his supporters subsequently convened their own board meeting, but it was ruled invalid by a state circuit court in De Kalb County. The appeal of that ruling is pending.