Monday, February 28, 2011

HMNMH connecting the dots.........................

There are two separate articles in our local newspaper concerning Henry Mayo Hospital leaving the reader to connect the dots. They are the front page controversial removal of Dr. Greg Jenkins, Deputy Chief of Staff, as a voting member of the Board of Directors, and tucked away on a back page an announcement of newly appointed Board member, Dr. Richard Corlin.

Why would Dr. Jenkins, who has lived and worked in Santa Clarita for 25 years, be eliminated from our hospital Board of Directors by someone who does not live nor work in our community? Let me bore you with some of the details.

Followers of the West Ranch Beacon “Henry Mayo Hospital Rant and Rave” are aware of the illegal and irresponsible hospital appointment of Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Susan Reynolds. The hospital insists the physician Medical Staff recommended her to the position. Going back to our core problem, The Joint Commission (TJC) sanctioned the hospital for poor communication between the Administration and Medical Executive Committee requiring a Mediator to intervene. Dr. Reynolds was recommended as a Mediator, to be paid jointly by both sides.

Stunningly, within two weeks of her acceptance, the hospital announced appointment of the Mediator as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for a reported salary of $22,000 per month. Additionally, she was contracted to receive an additional $100,000 to find a permanent CMO. It was obvious the hospital could care less about the TJC sanction, and seemed ready to dangle money to gain influence.

With the hospital now fully paying her salary, it was not surprising Dr. Reynolds, under the guise of her title, ramped up their “game plan” and became a source to propagandize conflict and acrimony against the Medical Staff instead of enhancing communication.

Immediately, a new lengthy and vague “Code of Conduct” was adopted by the hospital Board of Directors supplanting the old one, giving the Administration power to falsely accuse, bully, and intimidate physicians. Nurses, who will testify in court to this, were solicited by Administration to create “incident reports” against doctors to trump up charges! I then had my own ironic experience with this growing outrage which is not so boring.

On February 9th, Roger Seaver, CEO, led an open “State of the Hospital” meeting in the cafeteria informing the public of activity related to nursing, construction, goals, etc. During this presentation, Dr. Reynolds stated a “change in the culture” where there would be no “yelling” tolerated, and “respectful dialog” would now be maintained. Mr. Seaver stated “I want the intimidation factor eliminated from this hospital”, and Board of Director Chair, James Hicken, concurred in his comments. Physicians have always felt this way, being held accountable at every level for our behavior.

Part of Mr. Seaver’s presentation revealed a “Vote of No Confidence” by the Medical Staff against the Administration and Board of Directors. This discussion, although contentious, was a valid exchange of opinions by doctors, Board members, and Administration.

As I turned to address Mr. Hicken seated toward the back of the cafeteria, a hospital Administrator, seated about five feet behind me, chimed in yelling “You called me a crook and a liar!” and continued this haranguing and finger pointing for about 20 seconds. (I believe he was referring to my WRB “Rant and Rave” postings which has not called anyone “a crook and a liar”...yet.)

What was bothersome and disconcerting is Dr. Reynolds, Roger Seaver, and Mr. Hicken observed this behavior without once intervening, even though they had just criticized this type of intimidation. How they expect to have a “change in the culture” when those advocating this change are not impressed to affect those around them presents a difficult slope to climb.

Returning to our original question and trying to connect the dots to the new hospital Board member: Dr. Reynolds is also the President and CEO of The Institute for Medical Leadership, and going to that website you will find on her organization’s faculty Dr. Richard Corlin. Anyone surprised? Not only do we have an outsider now on the Board and your local physicians have lost a vote, but this reminds the community of past dubious indiscretions by Roger Seaver and his involvement with Beverly Hill’s G&L Realty.

Radio personality and columnist Michael Josephson, honorably promotes “character counts”. All of us make mistakes and cross the line, but how we handle these mistakes and accumulated experiences influence the evolving of our character and growth into better people.

The hospital Administration and Board of Directors is crossing the line too often...ignoring sanctions, dangling money, and creating a bullying environment. Connecting the dots exposes them queuing up giving favoritism as they scratch each others back.

We typically reserve the term “bully” to kids and young adults. But does everyone evolve out of this behavior as their character grows? To answer this, one must just look at the Administration and Board of Directors at Henry Mayo Hospital.

Gene Dorio, M.D.- Guest Commentary

Gene Dorio, M.D., is a local physician. His commentary represents his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of the West Ranch Beacon. You can also see more of Dr. Dorio’s commentaries on Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hosipal at  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

HMNMH Doctor Vote of No Confidence; What It Means!

Readers of The West Ranch Beacon and the “Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Rant and Rave” blog are well aware of the continual controversy surrounding our community hospital. A front page article in the local newspaper headlined “Doctors voice concern in hospital vote” on February 16, 2011 expressed the hospital “hammered out, point-by-point” response to my recent guest commentary here at the West Ranch Beacon titled; “No Confidence in CEO Seaver & Board of Directors”.

As most of you know, the physician Medical Staff voted in a confidential meeting on January 11, 2011, “No Confidence” in CEO Roger Seaver and the hospital Board of Directors. This information was not public until Mr. Seaver breeched the Medical Staff confidentiality by publicly criticizing the vote at an open State of the Hospital meeting on February 9th. With this revelation, the Medical Staff requested their issues be put forth in The West Ranch Beacon (WRB), a free daily digital publication serving the Santa Clarita Valley.

I was criticized by the newspaper for the Medical Staff’s lack of response, but in an e-mail to them I wrote “there are legal details and the shroud of confidentiality that hovers over these problems” making it mandatory physicians be precise in their wording.

The Medical Staff understands the financial noose the hospital has on that newspaper, but we also see their recent nominees for "Newsmaker" of the year include: Roger Seaver, Judy Fish, James Hicken, and Elizabeth Hopp (all HMNMH Board members); and "Business of the Year" nominee Bank of Santa Clarita (where Hicken and Hopp are officers). The Medical Staff is therefore apprehensive about the newspaper being "fair and balanced" in their reporting.

Additionally, one must understand the underlying motivation by the hospital is to control the Medical Staff by subverting the Medical Executive Committee (MEC) through false accusations of being “not honorable” and cheaters. This comes from Roger Seaver who controls the Board of Directors and uses “resolutions” to remove physician participation in hospital decision-making.

Returning to that newspaper article, most of our rebuttal is already contained in past postings here on the WRB. It was clear when Mr. Seaver and Mr. Hicken gave their responses, they felt that no one reads the WRB. Having been “scooped” on this story, it was evident the newspaper does.

Questioning that “Seaver isn’t convinced that the vote is valid” brings to mind President Ronald Reagan’s famous remark, “Here we go again!” Previous WRB postings show Mr. Seaver’s attempts to persistently question and dismiss Medical Staff voting as fraudulent. People cheat, but why would all doctors systematically participate in fraud?

The hospital’s appointment of a Chief Medical Officer (CMO) was controversial, but most importantly, not legal. The State of California and the Federal government legally defines how hospitals and physicians interact inculcating governing documents with strokes of authority. Because specific guidelines are important, almost every aspect of function in this relationship is delineated.

Around the country, hospitals that have a CMO have this position defined in their governing documents. The position of CMO was not described in any HMNMH nor Medical Staff document when the position was created. I can only speak from the Medical Staff side that the By-Laws and Rules & Regulations still do not contain any reference to a position of Chief Medical Officer.

Without the duties and responsibilities of this position being defined, our hospital is at risk for sanctions from State and Federal levels that could potentially close our doors.

Mr. Seaver’s response to the alleged “conflict of interest”: “The Board’s goal is to provide high quality health care to our community, and in all instances to look for the best interests of our community rather than the individual interests of the board, administration, or committee members.” Really?

No influence on your Board members that have: millions of hospital dollars in their bank; million dollar contracts for hospital construction projects; six or seven figure contracts with Board physicians? Too bad some Board members get drunk at the trough!

There are now 14 Board members instead of 15, since a recent “Resolution” removed our Deputy Chief of Staff, Dr. Greg Jenkins, from the Board. The “trusted, decorated veteran and community physician” I alluded to was not Dr. Frank Yusuf as suggested. That suspended doctor, Dr. John Cocco, has been a “target” like Dr. Yusuf.

The Board “Resolution” reducing the physician application fee is an attempt to financially affect the Medical Staff access to moneys they need to fight the multiple hospital lawyers, lobbyists, and PR people. Our battle to protect ourselves and the community is predicated on our ability to retain an attorney, who the hospital attempts to belittle and deprecate.

Throughout the newspaper article, there is a persistent attempt by Seaver and Hicken to raise their banner of “best interest of the community” and “patient care” above that of the doctors. But as rapper Jay-Z wisely observes: “You can say what you say, but you are what you are”.

When the CEO and Board President of our hospital state they “don’t know exactly what a physician ‘Vote of No Confidence’ means” is exactly why we should not have confidence! Let me translate what it means: WE DON’T TRUST YOUR HEALTHCARE DECISIONS!!

Now as I raise our banner, the doctors at Henry Mayo Hospital promise to fight for an improved hospital and better healthcare for the people of our community. So when others line up at the Board trough to join them with their straws, we will be there to put a kink in them!

Gene Dorio, M.D.- Guest Commentary
Gene Dorio, M.D., is a local physician. His commentary represents his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of the West Ranch Beacon. You can also see more of Dr. Dorio’s commentaries on Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hosipal at

Sunday, February 13, 2011

HMNMH Doctors: No Confidence in CEO Seaver & Board of Directors

It was revealed by HMNMH Roger Seaver at a State of the Hospital meeting on February 9th that doctors passed a “Vote of No Confidence” against the CEO and the Board of Directors at their quarterly Medical Staff meeting on January 11, 2011. his vote was in response to multiple attacks against the Medical Staff including “Resolutions” passed by the Board disabling and nullifying involvement of physicians in hospital decision-making.
Specific grounds for this vote included removal of the Deputy Chief of Staff from the Board of Directors (one of two physicians elected by the Medical Staff to represent them on the Board); Board member financial conflict of interest affecting voting decisions; appointment of a Chief Medical Officer which violates Medical Staff governing documents putting the hospital in jeopardy of HIPAA and confidentiality violations; removal of a trusted, decorated veteran, and longtime community doctor from the Medical Staff without due process; and attempting to financially affect the Medical Staff from having legal representation.
Not mentioned were personal attacks against many honorable physicians to undermine their credibility. Roger Seaver’s own words against doctors who are “not honorable” insinuated cheating during Medical Staff elections and false Code of Conduct accusations. My colleagues at other hospitals nor I have ever seen such acrimonious behavior targeted at a Medical Staff.
We are a Medical Staff as diverse as this nation. With over 27 countries represented, we are an ethnic, cultural, and political blending of diversity, yet we stand together when providing our experience, knowledge, and talents to our hospital and this community.
A few noteworthy accomplishments by our Medical Staff: Doctors John Cocco, Art Garfinkel, Doug Gadowski, James Mackabee, Tony Panasci, Larry Leiter, Karl Stein, and the late Patsy Desimone are Vietnam era veterans; 28 doctors signed up for involvement in Second Opinion Specialist (SOS) with the Samuel Dixon Clinic; donation of a defibrillator, recommended by cardiologist Dr. Kenneth Tam, to the SCV Senior Center; and sponsorship of their “5th in the Nation” Wii Bowling team.
Doctors Peter Kim and Garrett Sutter medically assisted the injured after the earthquake in Haiti, with Dr. Kim also aiding children after Katrina five years ago. Recently, Dr. Darrin Privett helped Haitians during their cholera epidemic.
Trauma physicians, like Dr. Ranbir Singh, and emergency room doctors, like Dr. Raymond Henry, are saving lives every day; and intensivist Dr. Charanjit Saroa and Dr. Himanshu Wickramasinghe burn the nightly candle in the ICU.
Doctors Sum Tran and Chand Khanna will travel to Vietnam at the end of April to operate on children who are disfigured by clef palate, and everyday many of our orthopedists, ENTs, and neurosurgeons save lives, knowing some patients have no insurance and are unable to pay.
We are raising our families in Santa Clarita, participating in community activities, and fund raising for non-profit organizations. Many of us teach at medical schools and sit on Boards that serve children, seniors, and the poor.
The doctors on the Medical Staff hold true to the hospital mission statement “To improve the health of our community through compassion and excellence in healthcare services” and are proud of our colleague’s dedication, integrity, and involvement.
Medically, our contribution and role in governing HMNMH has been hijacked by a CEO and Board whose healthcare expertise lags far below those of the Medical Staff. Legitimate criticism to challenge what is wrong is a right and responsibility that must be heard to protect our hospital.
Therefore, the “Vote of No Confidence” against Roger Seaver and the Board of Directors by the doctors of the HMNMH Medical Staff is a vote for our Santa Clarita Valley community.
Gene Dorio, M.D.- Guest Commentary
Gene Dorio, M.D., is a local physician. His commentary represents his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of the West Ranch Beacon. You can also see more of Dr. Dorio’s commentaries on Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hosipal at
The following is a posted list of the Medical Executive Committee, duly elected physicians from the Medical Staff who have been chosen to represent them:
Frank Yusuf, M.D. – Chief of Staff; (In practice: 39 years, 30 years at HMNMH)
Gregory Jenkins, M.D. – Deputy Chief of Staff; (In practice: 28 years, 25 years at HMNMH)
Floyd Katske, M.D. – Secretary; (In practice: 35 years, 30 years at HMNMH)
Gene Dorio, M.D. – Treasurer (newly elected); (In practice: 30 years, 23 years at HMNMH)
Larry Leiter, M.D.; (In practice: 50 years, 35 years at HMNMH)
Parvez Galdjie, M.D.; (In practice: 42 years, 30 years at HMNMH)
Harold Quan, M.D.; (In practice: 39 years, 32 years at HMNMH)
Mark Sender, M.D.; (In practice: 30 years, 26 years at HMNMH)
Cecelia Hann, M.D.; (In practice: 28 years, 23 years at HMNMH)
Lakhbinder Dhanda, M.D.; (In practice: 24 years, 14 years at HMNMH)
Joseph Terrazzino, M.D. (newly elected); (In practice: 22 years, 12 years at HMNMH)
The eleven member Medical Executive Committee average 33.4 year in practice and 25.5 years at HMNMH. For any level of profession, this experience and expertise is an undisputed qualification afforded to patient care at our hospital, but has been aggressively marginalized and denounced by Roger Seaver and the Board of Directors.
Gene Dorio, M.D.
Gene Dorio, M.D., is a local physician. His commentary represents his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of the West Ranch Beacon. You can also see more of Dr. Dorio’s commentaries on Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hosipal at