Hospital board to medical board: 'Resign'
The Franklin Foundation Hospital Board of Commissioners are still dealing with the lingering question as to who will occupy the chief of staff position on the board after the group decided to send the issue back to the medical staff with recommendations during their monthly meeting Thursday night.
The move comes as an answer to the continuing controversy over the medical staff’s appointment of Dr. Donna Tesi as Chief of Staff to the board. Some members of the board and FFH administration have questioned Tesi’s eligibility to serve in the position.
The recommendation from the board’s legal counsel was for the officers on the medical staff to resign and hold new elections. That recommendation also comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed by Tesi against the Hospital Service District No. 1 of St. Mary Parish, FFH, Quorum Health Resources (QHR) which is FFH’s management firm and FFH’s interim CEO Craig Cudworth.
The board of commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved sending the recommendation back to the medical staff for further review. The board also approved the FFH Fiscal Year 2017 Budget and Management Plan before entering into executive session to discuss Tesi’s lawsuit and the selection of a permanent CEO.
As the group was about to enter into executive session, Cudworth made a recommendation that St. Mary Parish President David Hanagriff, who was in attendance and routinely sits in on executive session as a charter-appointed non-voting member of the board, leave the room. When Hanagriff asked why he was being asked to leave during the executive session, the FFH board representative for QHR, Don Smithburg, said, “I think it’s possible that you are going to be named as a witness by the plaintiff or the defendants,” Smithburg said in reference to Tesi’s lawsuit. “In order for the defendants to discuss the status of the case, we really need to have just the defendants in the room.”
Hanagriff agreed to leave the room for the part of the executive session that dealt with Tesi’s lawsuit but asked to be notified when that portion of the meeting concluded. Hanagriff did sit in on the rest of the executive session dealing with the selection of a new CEO.
After the executive session concluded, it was decided that no action be taken by the board regarding Tesi’s lawsuit at this time. In reference to the ongoing search for a permanent CEO, Smithburg recommended the board consider a resolution authorizing QHR to “engage in discussions with ‘candidate D’ about assuming the position of CEO while simultaneously expediting further vetting of ‘candidate C’ and report back on both of those pursuits.” The board unanimously passed the resolution.
The identity of the candidates is being kept confidential until further review is completed by QHR.