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2/26/2009 5:23:00 PM
College pulls students out of hospital
(Top) Palo Verde College pulled its students out of the hospital after an incident between Dr. Hossain Sahlolbei and a nursing instructor. (Middle) Healthcare District Board President Jim Carney claims the matter has been settled. (Bottom) College President Jim Hottois said that no settlement has been reached.
(Top) Palo Verde College pulled its students out of the hospital after an incident between Dr. Hossain Sahlolbei and a nursing instructor. (Middle) Healthcare District Board President Jim Carney claims the matter has been settled. (Bottom) College President Jim Hottois said that no settlement has been reached.

Marty Bachman

Palo Verde Hospital surgeon Dr. Hossain Sahlolbei's alleged berating of Palo Verde College nursing instructor Cheryl Mofu last week, in front of students who were in clinical training at the hospital, has resulted in the college pulling all of their nursing students out of the hospital.

In a letter to former interim CEO Lee Holter, Palo Verde College President Dr. James Hottois said that after much deliberation, it would be unwise to allow students to return to the hospital.

"This decision is the result of the unfortunate incident, that you have been made aware of, that occurred at Palo Verde Hospital last week involving one of our nursing faculty members, several of our nursing students and a member of your medical staff," Hottois wrote to Holter. "Our nursing students and faculty will not be returning to Palo Verde Hospital this semester."

Hottois said that the college had a long history with the hospital and that he hoped to continue the relationship in the next semester.

Palo Verde Healthcare District Board President Jim Carney said that the partnership of PVH and PVC will continue as it has for years, with two new classes beginning in the Fall Semester.

"The issue you are referring to has been aired out and is over," Carney said, in reference to the Sahlolbei/Mofu episode. "It was decided to cut the LVN's clinical training at PVH short two weeks, which will not jeopardize their semester as they have other clinical training coming up at other facilities."

College officials though, disagreed with Carney's assessment of the situation.

"I was disappointed by Jim Carney's comments in which he appears to speak for Palo Verde College," Hottois said. "It is true that we continue to hope to be able to have students back at the hospital in the fall but at the moment do not know whether that will be possible. The problems that caused our nursing faculty to remove their students from Palo Verde Hospital have not been resolved. As I noted in my letter to Palo Verde Hospital's administration, we have had a long positive and mutually supportive relationship with the hospital. All of us at the college want that relationship to continue for the sake of our students and of our community. We hope the problems can be resolved and that it will be possible for our faculty to place students at the hospital from the two new classes next fall."

Members of the college's nursing department said they were unwilling to return with their students to what they described as a "hostile work environment" at the hospital.

Healthcare District Board member Mark Bolliger said he had requested the issue be put on the agenda for the Feb. 25 meeting.

"As you know, Palo Verde Valley Hospital has a no tolerance harassment policy," Bolliger said. "We have terminated staff in the past for harassment. As a matter of fact, staff has just recently had harassment training in the last 30 days. I will make sure that this will not be swept under the carpet and forgotten. I have worked hard to raise the bar of professionalism in the hospital."

Sahlolbei did not respond to an e-mail request asking for his version of the events.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Fearful Employee

Well four years later and the man that caused this drama is still there and the nursing students must travel elsewhere for thier hospital time! He ran the hospital then and he is doing it again! Has anyone asked Mr. Blitz why the seasoned nurses left the hospital? Because of him! Thanks Trina, Sam and Sandy for standing up for the employees!

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: I see

So the college president was on the same side as the PVVT on the hospital. HMMM, maybe that is why no real reporting got done on what happened to the colleges budget. Why very little was said about the college misusing something like 20 to 30 MILLION dollars in funds. You would think that this would have been looked into especially after this was not the first time there were problems with how money was spent there. If my memory serves me correctly, the first time had someone even go to jail over it. Got to love you people that on one hand complain about bringing up what the old board did but now you want to bring something up that happened over 4 years ago. Hypocrisy runs deep!

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: To Here is some PVC News

Doesn't say much for PVH MEC and Board. Remember Sandra Hudson was on then!

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: I Also come to learn

Sence this happing in 2009..People that were involved in this mess...have been told to stay away from the hospital unless they have an emergency....One man and one man only is the trouble maker...It took Carney a while to see that mans true colors...When he did he knew it was time to make changes...I saw paper work that in one year administration was changed nine times becuse they wouldn't go along with that one man....#anonymous some of us don't forgive and forget all we know about you and your behavior..I had a employee tell me untill that expried the hospitl will never change for the better...The beat goes on uhn...

Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013
Article comment by: Here is some PVC News

This goes back to 2009.

Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

In response to, "So hottois pulled his students. Good riddance! Now we can hire competent nurses". I'd like to say that the nurses are only as good as the doctors they work for. And I do mean "work for". Nurses follow doctors orders. Unless the doctor gives a "written order" or a "verbal order" the nurses hands are tied in many cicumstances! I think the nurses at PVH are most likely quite frustrated because they aren't allowed to do what they know needs to be done! Don't take it out on the nursing staff at PVH, the hospital and hospital staff can only be as good as the people running the place. NO, I am NOT a nurse or any other employee of PVH and I don't have any friends or family who are employed there!

Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

Jim Carney told me when he ran for this board that Sahlolbei wasn't the problem, that AHM was lying, that the board was lying and that the newspaper was lying. I supported and voted for him. My daughter is a student in the college nursing program who witnessed what happened and told me about it. I hope Mr. Carney is not now going to call my daughter a liar.

Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2009
Article comment by: Get Real

Where were all of you when it came time to run for the board? The board and the DRs have the hospital operating at a profit and the doors are open. What more do you ask. If you really think you can improve the hospital... I beg you please run for the board. Don't just complain and talk crap, offer up your plan for improvement. And why does no one seem interested in What Mrs. Mofu did to the hospital employee? (deleted) Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

Come on people! Doesn't this make it perfectly clear that Dr. Sahlolbei is not now, nor has he ever been an asset to this community! A huge liability if you ask me in more than one way! It's my opinion, that he move on to another community if any one else will take him. Maybe that's why after all the guff, he's still here! NO ONE WANTS HIM! I am a former PVH employee and I too had problems with him! That was years ago. I worked there when he first arrived in the PV Valley. Everyone thought he was the great surgeon here to save us. Right! He showed his A-- on more than one occasion. One of which I personally witnessed when he threw a tray full of food across the room. The tray literally flew through the air over the heads of those under it. It landed on the floor in front of me with a tremendous crashing sound and plate, food and utensils flying all over the floor. Just as a two or three year old could have done! I was finished with him at that point and I left shortly after that! As for the "alleged" gun people talk about. All I'd like to say about that is "believe it, it happened!"

Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2009
Article comment by: David B. Shellhamer

I've been following the nonsense that goes on at PVH thru the website, used to live in Blythe when I worked at Blythe Nursing Care Center back in 2004! Blythe could be such a great resort community and attract people who want a slower pace and more affordable housing. It saddens me the Board and the hospital and drs cannot get it together after all these years. Others rural hospitals do not have these problems. But thanks for the ongoing Entertainment I laugh every time I read an article about PVH. David Shellhamer

Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

Of course no one wants to confront the big bad Sahlolbei since he would probably sue you for saying something. only he is allowed to say things to people and run a muck without consequences. Its amazing that he is allowed to continue his reign (deleted) over this community. And for Carney. This right here shows you that all he will do is try to cover the facts up. He is obviously in Sahlolbei's pocket. Maybe they sit at b&b bait and drink beer together. there has to be some reason he is allowing Sahlolbei to do what he is doing. Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2009
Article comment by: Derrick

No name, Please...who are the community drs you speak of?

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009
Article comment by: Another

Oh, boy. We're in from another series of letters. You know, if the good doctor and his cohorts don't like their stuff in the newspaper, they just have to quit doing stupid! It IS news when a college professor is be-rated in front of her students! And if the good doctor (and his cohorts) can't see that, well, someone ought to explain it to them, in one-syllable words. Every time this crew pulls these stunts, more people are becoming aware of what it actually going on here, and how it is all being accomplished. We need to try his own tactics. Boycott those doctors who are in his pocket. Let your voice be heard at the meetings - if you are even allowed to speak! If this kind of governing is to stop - and I am talking about school board, hospital board, city council police - then it is up to the citizenry to take legal action and clean out the whole shebang!

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009
Article comment by: observer

Carney can't even run his own house, i don't why he keeps getting elected to various boards. This is his typical style of handling things. He always hopes everything will just go away and be forgotten. He has never solved a problem in his life.

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

Bill Crain needs to check their facts. "The safety of Palo Verde Hospital employees and patient care could be compromised due to the "serious gulf" between physicians and staff, according to Clinical Psychologist Christine Taylor, Ph. D., who recently held workshops titled Workplace Hostility and Bullying, for employees at Palo Verde Hospital."

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