West Allis (Wis.) Memorial Hospital's board of directors has refused to validate the election of a physician as chief of internal medicine because of her investment in a competing cardiac specialty hospital.
Cardiologist Lisa Armaganian was elected to the post by doctors who practice at the West Allis hospital, operated by Aurora Health Care. But the board overturned the election, saying Armaganian has invested in the new 67-bed Wisconsin Heart Hospital, operated by Aurora rival Covenant Healthcare.
In a letter, board Chairman Joseph Kempen said Armaganian's investment creates a "pervasive conflict of interest." In the elected position, she would have access to confidential and proprietary information at West Allis, the board said.
West Allis provides cardiac care but does not offer cardiac catheterization. Aurora's main cardiac units are at St. Luke's Medical Center and Sinai Medical Center, both in Milwaukee.
At deadline, Armaganian could not be reached for comment.