A group representing 260 physicians who practice at the two hospitals in Yakima, Wash., announced a vote of no confidence against the chief executive officer of Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center.
The vote, announced Monday, was the latest in a string of actions taken by doctors against Yakima Regional and its CEO, Tim Trottier. The hospital, formerly a not-for-profit, was purchased two years ago by Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., and converted to a for-profit hospital. Since then, some doctors and nurses have been highly critical of changes made in hospital practices.
"It really came from frustration that the physicians did not feel they were being heard," Patrick Waber, M.D., president of the conjoined medical staff, said of the resolution. The conjoined medical staff represents the doctors qualified to practice at both Yakima Regional and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.
The group's resolution questions Trottier's decision on providing quality healthcare in Yakima. In addition, it mentions a lack of confidence in Trottier's "veracity," because some physicians believe the administrator has been dishonest in his dealings with them, Waber said.
In an e-mailed response to the Yakima Herald-Republic, Trottier said: "Change is never easy. We're working hard to improve communication so people understand how the changes being made at Yakima Regional will benefit patients and community and are necessary to help the hospital grow.
Trottier added that the majority of Yakima's medical staff did not take part in the vote. Waber said he believes the vote fairly represents the group, even though about 145 members did not cast ballots.
A recent investigation by the state Department of Health into allegations of patient-safety problems at Yakima Regional stemmed from complaints lobbied by all eight of the hospital's emergency room physicians who quit in June. For more information on the result of the probe, see a related July 14 Modern Physician story.