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Palo Verde Valley Blythe/Quartzsite Times | Blythe, California and Quartzsite, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions September 29, 2014

3/7/2013 5:00:00 PM
TIMES EDITORIAL: Hospital's new interim-CEO might be too ethical to last

We're not sure if the Palo Verde Healthcare District Board members know it but they recently hired Larry Blitz as interim-CEO to oversee the day-to-day operations at Palo Verde Hospital.

We're not sure because of late, Board President Trina Sartin and member Sandy Hudson seem to be running the Healthcare District Board - with little if any participation invited from the other board members.

We at the Times sincerely wish Blitz the best because he seems like an amicable fellow with a lot of knowledge of rural hospitals, particularly hospitals that are struggling as Palo Verde Hospital is... or isn't, depending on the politics of the moment.

In a meeting with the Times, Blitz spoke often of leadership and the importance of developing a positive and helpful attitude among staff. Customer service was another issue he thinks is fundamental to being a quality care center. We couldn't agree more, which makes us wonder if Blitz, with his radical way of thinking, will be around long enough to implement his plans and make the changes needed to take PVH to the next level.

History has proven that those who take the lead and move things in a positive direction at Palo Verde Hospital soon find themselves persona non grata. The unfortunate truth is that unless one caters to the whims of the hospital's medical staff and their puppets on the board, no matter how outrageous or unethical their demands may be, that person will become a target for hate and relentless attacks until they are either fired or forced to leave.

We've watched while at least 10 employees have departed the hospital in the two months since Hudson and Sartin have taken office, most of them managers, all of them targets of the medical staff, which seems to control board member Sam Burton as well. Even the interim-CEO prior to Blitz, a Mr. Sandy Haskins, was asked by Sartin not to return after just two days on the job, which he spent meeting with hospital staff members. The rumor is he found out what the real problem at Palo Verde Hospital is and that wasn't what Sartin and Hudson wanted to hear.

Blitz is a nice guy and while nice guys reportedly finish last, it is our hope that Blitz's positive attitude and his belief in customer service will win out over the negativity that has controlled this hospital off and on over the course of the past 10 years or more.

Unfortunately, Blitz seems to be an ethical man and ethical people never seem to last long at Palo Verde Hospital. We know it's just a matter of time before he will have to make a moral decision that will elicit the wrath of the medical staff and his days will be numbered, as were the days of Brehm, AHM, John Ferelli and Peter Klune. But we're going to remain optimistic and hope that Blitz's stint as interim CEO will lead to productive changes in the atmosphere of the hospital and in the way it cares for patients. It's a lot to hope for knowing the history of PVH and its medical staff, but sometimes it takes just one person who believes.

Related Stories:
• Hospital director Hudson arrested
• TIMES EDITORIAL: It's not all bad news; in fact it's mostly good news
• GUEST OPINION: Medical staff attorney responds to allegations
• TIMES EDITORIAL: No justice for the residents of Blythe and the valley
• Healthcare District Board drops suit against Sahlolbei
• Court grants Sahlolbei demurrer and motion to strike
• City Council hopes to work with hospital on helicopter issue
• Desert Air official fought to halt emergency helicopters from landing at hospital
• TIMES EDITORIAL: Conflicts at Palo Verde Hospital will soon cost someone their life
• Emergency transport helicopters to be banned from landing at hospital
• TIMES EDITORIAL: District Attorney Paul Zellberbach owes Blythe more than an apology

Related Links:
• Former DA warns board members of potential conflicts
• TIMES EDITORIAL: No end in sight to Palo Verde Hospital drama
• Hospital board dismisses interim-CEO and Chief Nursing Officer

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013
Article comment by: (deleted) the Times

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. 1. You may not post, upload, or transmit any material or links to material that is libelous, defamatory, false, misleading, obscene, indecent, lewd, pornographic, violent, abusive, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, racist, vulgar, invasive of anotherís privacy, illegal, constitutes hate speech, or harms minors in any way. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence will not be tolerated. Debate, but donít attack. The Palo Verde Valley/Quartzsite Times encourages vibrant discussions and welcomes active debate in its discussion forums. But personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: More posturing

The time is ripe, folks. We gotta get some guts and push for good things to happen ourselves. We deserver better, but we will never get them, because we rely too much on poppycock from professional manipulators and self-serving, bad people. We are in a position where if we don't take the bull by the horns - just as the PVVT has done, we have to make it clearly understood that "we are mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore." AND MEAN IT! A promise is not something who has a self-serving agenda is going to keep! Please don't continue for fall for that line. And especially the one about "If you don't stand with us, the hospital will close down!" Fear tactic. Then, as you may remember, if things don't go the way the MEC likes, all they have to so is simply not admit any patients! Absurd! This is professionalism???

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: @ want to know from one who knows

The surgeries are down because of the same reason they were about 5 years ago - the Dr has way too much control -(deleted) he is not getting his way. The Doc should be quiet and be a dr, he is not the ceo, not the board, etc. We need our local docs to be admitting patients - but guess what - they don't have priveleges because (deleted). Blythe would be money ahead to just sever ties with Mr S and let all the other dr's in blythe have hospital priveleges - then we could actually have our surgeries here by our OWN DR. What a concept!!! Can you say more revenue immediately?

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: a McKay

@Blythe Lifer good assessment. Kinda what I put in my last comment that wasn't posted. I admit it was late and might of been too long. LOL! But you are correct. Hospital has had issues for whatever reasons for years. There are legitimate responses from both sides. By the way, did anyone hear or see the new lighting on the freeway on and off ramps? Just thought I'd put that out there since it's something that's never been done in decades. Also important information and helps keep the "community" safe! Your welcome. :)

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: To Carrie Catt

Want to know why your hospital is always on the ropes.

Your surgeon, surgeries down 28.6% REDUCTION year to date!

My Way or NO Way!

Supported by the twins and gofer.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Carrie Catt

ccvrroe: There must be a point in that statement somewhere.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: @ Blythe Lifer

You are correct on one point, I am afraid to use the Hospital for some time now. The place reminds me of someone at the last throws of life.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Phantom Nose

BLYTHE LIFER: You are right, Boards come and go, hospital employees come and go. The Problem stays and stays.

Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: AJ McKay

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Please keep comments succinct; 300 words or less is optimal. Comments that are excessively verbose, rambling or too long for reasonable review may not be posted.

Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: Blythe Lifer

Come on really??? Several managers left before the new board was even elected. You need to check you facts. I also know that some employees were afraid to vote against Carney for fear he would win, find out they voted against him, and they would be fired. That doesn't sound to me like things have just recently gone bad. I've lived in Blythe my entire life and used the local hospital numerous times in the distant past. It chaged when the board was given all this new power and everyone wanted to be in charge. I won't go there for treatment unless I'm dying and unable to speak now a days. But I have felt that way for years now regardless of which board members were there. The place has gone to hell, yes I agree. The hospital needs to go back to the way it use to be and all this bickering between the townspeople about whose fault it all is needs to stop. The gossip and name calling that's posted almost weekly in the times doesn't do much to promote an influx of tourists to visit. If they aren't afraid of the hospital they are probably thinking we are a small, mean, unorganized little town that can't work together and therefore more afraid of us. I would be.

Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: @At AJ

No legal laws, maybe. Pretty slick. Moral laws? Well...

Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: At AJ

You say,"Other than the doc and Hudson issue there are no other conflicts brought forth. People mention that Trina is benefiting (true or not) and do not like it, but there are no laws broken."

I say, So maybe we should look at the transfer records for the last 5 years. Not the quantity but the necessity to tranfer by air.

At this point who cares how many votes winners received, that's not the issue.

Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: @AJ McKay

Oh, AJ, you are sooooo loyal. The helicopter issue is simply a convenient distraction. The real issue is that The Doc is in (deleted) control of the board. Anybody can see that - unless they have (deleted) in their eyes. We elect a board, not a chief of staff. Isn't he simply an employee - like all the others? No, he couldn't stand that. HE is, in reality, the CEO, and that is not the way it should be! He should mind his own business and stop undermining every CEO we get. The CEO's can't ALL be that bad. But, he controls - and has ALWAYS controlled - the board, and HIS glorious word always takes precedence and the CEO is vilified until people believe HE is something akin to Satan. Aim the arrows a bit to the left, folks. The board is either in charge, or it is not. The composition of th board may be only months old, but the real problem at the hospital goes on.... and on.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: AJ McKay

@Losing Money you are right about the 3 months. The board is only 6% into their term. How the board destroyed the hospital in three months is beyond me. If people speak about conflicts of interests that's one thing, but to "destroy" a hospital in three months is another. Even if there is an helicopter used to fly out patients it costs the same as fixed wing. Transport time shouldn't be an issue now, but should have been when ambulances were driving patients out of town and not by air at all. A doctor renting from a board member may be a conflict of interest as to guidelines but nothing to do with the hospitals income. Doctor was renting long before the current board from what I hear. I can only think of Desert Air monopolizing as an issue, but then again if they fix the helipad that theory is out the window also. The people voted. Other than the doc and Hudson issue there are no other conflicts brought forth. People mention that Trina is benefiting (true or not) and do not like it, but there are no laws broken. And technically no grounds for a recall other than public opinion especially with that voter count. I just hope we do not judge the new CEO's issue for a few months and given proper time before any reports. Couple months are simply not enough see significant progress or none at all. We will see . . .

Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: Eyes Opening

Now we are getting somewhere. The hospital has been "getting" bad publicity simply because they have earned it. Doctors have a temper tantrum and don't admit, we have "heard" that equipment is not up to par, etc. The board clearly is only interested in themselves. I can't imagine how terrible it must be working under the circumstances that you have been under. One of the problems is that, if employees talk to the wrong people, they are in jeopardy. I understand that. We need to find a way to get real information to the people who can use it the best, without jeopardizing anyone personally. The slashed tires certainly demonstrate how far they will go. Personally, my "experience" with the hospital has only been through the ER. The nurses and staff there are not the problem. However, on my last trip there, the ER doctor attempted to have me approve a test on my wife, and I clearly got the impression it was primarily to bring in some money rather than being necessary. We left. The board is only concerned with the Doc, and his reports. Too bad the CEO's recommendations are not important to them. Am praying that we can get the hospital on a professional level. Then, maybe we can also work on the mess in city council and the power craze there. Hang in there, PVVT!

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