LB - Red Cactus Bar and Grill

Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Opinions | Obituaries | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-News | RSS
Palo Verde Valley Blythe/Quartzsite Times | Blythe, California and Quartzsite, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news October 4, 2015

11/5/2013 7:50:00 AM
CRNA contracted at hospital has a criminal record
Palo Verde Hospital
Palo Verde Hospital
Jaclyn Randall
Former Times Editor

BLYTHE - Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Cheema Kanwaljit, already under investigation from an Oct. 1 traffic accident and an Oct. 9 suspicion of drunk driving charge, is the target of a state attorney general's effort to take action against her license and CRNA certification filed this past March 27.

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris' office accusations filed with the California Board of Registered Nursing stem from a 2005 petty theft conviction and her admission to forging prescriptions and failing to document the waste of drugs for three patients at Mee Memorial Hospital where she worked in 2010.

The accusation before the Board of Registered Nursing Department of Consumer Affairs Executive Officer Louise R. Bailey, M.Ed., RN, contends that a court convicted Kanwaljit of petty theft, a misdemeanor, on Sept 26, 2005, after authorities originally charged her with grand theft on April 11, 2005.

In the April 2005 incident, a Macy's loss prevention agent saw Kanwaljit put items in a bag and leave the store without paying. After the agent stopped her and called Brea, Calif., police, she admitted to taking the items as gifts for her father who was arriving from India the next month. The officer searched her bag and found men's clothing items plus a pair of women's shoes and two Estee Lauder skin products. Kanwaljit added she wanted to get some things for her mother, too.

Kanwaljit received three years of informal probation and an order to complete 14 days of community service after she pleaded guilty to a petty theft misdemeanor.

In 2010, Kanwaljit was working in King City, Calif. as a CRNA at Mee Memorial Hospital. The hospital alleged that Kanwaljit committed fraud after a King City Rite Aid pharmacist called the hospital questioning what he believed were fraudulent prescriptions.

The pharmacist called Mee Memorial Hospital saying he received a prescription for hydrocodone/APAP and Robitussin AC on a pre-printed hospital pad. The doctor whose signature was on the prescription denied he wrote the prescription as did a pediatrician whose name was on a second prescription for hydrocodone/APAP. The Mee Memorial Hospital board spoke with Kanwaljit who admitted to writing the prescriptions but said she did it to give the controlled substances to a friend who did not have health insurance.

The Monterey County District Attorney's office filed charges of diverting narcotics in December of 2012 in Monterey County. She pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge of prescription forgery in July 2013. She received three years probation, a $140 fine, and had to do 40 hours of community service she completed at an unknown nursing home care center in southern California.

The accusation cites a third cause for discipline relating to "falsified, or grossly incorrect, grossly inconsistent, or unintelligible entries in hospital records" involving hydrocodone, Robitussin, fentanyl, and morphine.

Bailey included fentanyl and morphine in the accusation after Kanwaljit admitted that she "neglected to document the administration or waste" of 9.8 mg of morphine for one patient, 100 mcg of fentanyl of a second patient, and 9.75 mg of morphine for a third patient. All patients were at Mee Memorial Hospital.

The attorney general's complaint asks the board to discipline Kanwaljit by suspension, probation, or revoking Kanwaljit's registered nurse license and her CRNA credentials. It also asks the board to order Kanwaljit to pay the costs of bringing the action and to take "such other and further action as deemed necessary and proper."

The Board of Registered Nursing has yet to set a hearing.

Kanwaljit originally received credentials (privileges) at Palo Verde Hospital in 2010. The hospital board voted unanimously to renew her privileges in 2012 and gave her a contract with Palo Verde Hospital in May 2013 by a 4-1 vote (Cat McLain opposed). The CRNA had an unblemished record, according to the Board of Registered Nursing, until March of this year when the accusation became public and after Monterey County opened its criminal case.

Palo Verde Hospital CEO Sandra Anaya said, "The Board of Registered Nursing is currently addressing the situation in question with the CRNA and has not placed any restrictions or limitations on her license. At this time, we respect the CRNA's privacy."

Kanwaljit remains on active staff until the end of her contract or until the state board takes action.

Anaya did confirm that hospital officials have taken steps to have another CRNA on staff as of Nov. 4.

"Although we are bound by the standards that govern confidentiality for any individual practitioner who works within the healthcare environment, hospital administration, in cooperation with medical staff leaders, have also taken steps to appoint a physician director of anesthesia services," said Anaya.

Anaya also said that the physician will work with other medical staff leaders and handle the oversight and supervision of all activities of the anesthesia services.

"The hospital takes seriously our accountability and responsibility for the safe and effective provision of care," said Anaya. "We continue to carry out our policies and procedures related to internal quality control mechanisms."

Kanwaljit currently is under investigation by Blythe Police Department for an Oct. 1 car accident and an Oct. 9 suspicion of drunk driving charge after witnesses spotted her on Lovekin Boulevard trying to get on Interstate 10 the wrong way and cutting off another vehicle.

During the Oct.1 accident, she told police she was driving home from work at the hospital in a BMW sport utility vehicle and swerved to avoid an oncoming car in the 300 block of North First Street and hit a parked Nissan Maxima.

The Medical Executive Committee (MEC) at Palo Verde Hospital is in charge of the CRNAs and presents CRNAs and other medical staff to the Palo Verde Healthcare District Board of Directors for approval.

Click here to see the accusation filed by the California Attorney General's Office (PDF)

Related Stories:
• Hospital board terminates CRNA Kanwaljit's contract
• Blythe Police arrest hospital anesthesiologist Wednesday
• Dr. Hossain Sahlolbei arrested (UPDATED)

    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Blythe cop arrested on four counts of child abuse

•   Blythe man allegedly tries to lure students into vehicle

•   Class action lawsuit filed against Blythe Post Acute

•   Health changes come to Blythe

•   Donations unmasked at Blythe PAL ball

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

One thing is getting busted out of the work place for taking stuff from a store, or a DUI off work. It's another thing taking stuff from a workplace, falsifying prescription.

So the question is why is she still on the payroll? Another thing that caught my eyes that statement that someone wrote about asking the Chief of Police whose car she was driving.

You know even if she was upfront about her past, and she was honest about it. Do you think it was the right thing to still hire her? Yes for Blythe this is the natural thing to do. Always the runt of the litter, the bottom of the barrel, people with a shady past,

Why? Because who in their right mind, would come to a dying town only the desperate on the last leg of their careers, or running from the law. Because everyone know that the police is incapable of finding a purple elephant in a room, a very small room.

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Article comment by: This Board

This new Board consisting of Burton, Sartin and Hudson have voted to amend the MEC bylaws at almost every Board meeting at least for the first 5-6 months in office. Sahlobei brought forth MEC bylaw changes because he was trying to correct the wrongs that have been put upon the MEC by prior boards. He would like to also have the District pay for all legal bills. Why not, we pick on him and the MEC with each and every new administration and board.
We the people should pay, its our duty as citizens of Blythe. Correct!
Man up and make the MEC rich while our Hospital sinks into oblivion.

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Article comment by: @ @ I don't understand

I normally would agree, but when the MEC RULES EVERYTHING, I somehow would believe they do NOT have the power to run the board, fire nurses, and anybody else who "displeases" them. And, I would assume, the little "private" contracts even before the board decides are probably verboten, also - everywhere but here? If doctors here would just mind their own medical business, we could have a good hospital here. And we will ---- some day. Soon, I hope.

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Article comment by: @ @I Don't understand

What u don't understand is that the government cannot provide us anything better than we can provide ourselves. Talk about a PVHS education - there have been many, many successful people graduate from there. The PROBLEM IS - not the education members have or don't have - it's the greed factor. The MEC, if run by other than Dr S - would be very successful and we would have many fine medical staff at PVH - however, the greed takes over. Dr is out for his pocketbook period. I can accept applications from people who want to work at pvh, I can research and see if they are credentialed appropriately, I can see if they are qualified, I can do a background check - anybody can - so to your point - it's state law (no MEC made their own bylaws) - so that doesn't mean nobody else but the greedy doc can actually do it - just another fine example of the state government telling us that only the good dr can do this job? Really? The government makes laws but that doesn't necessarily mean they are good and effective - PVH and obamacare are cases in point. Yes I'll take the PVHS grad over the doc anyday. How does that make your degree feel? So u have a degree - the stupidest decisions ever made were made by educated idiots!

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Article comment by: High School Grad

I guess the problem with giving any person or group power is that the use of that power will be determined by their values, character, and honesty. California gives the MEC's of district hospitals a lot of power, and that is based on the assumption that doctors as a profession will collectively exhibit integrity, honesty, fairness, and will place the needs of hospital and community above their own personal agenda. Unfortunately, in Blythe that assumption of professionalism has not held up. Our doctors tolerate lying, manipulation, stealing, and all sorts of nefarious activity. The Chief of Staff is an elected position. Our doctors elected Dr. Sahlolbei to be their leader, despite everything that has happened in our hospital and community since he arrived here. Professionals are supposed to police themselves, and that has been a complete failure at PVH. I don't think it takes an advanced college degree to click on the Board of Nursing website to check on a CRNA before awarding a contract. I think any high school graduate would know that a nurse anesthetist handles potent drugs on the job, and if they have a documented history of forging prescriptions and stealing drugs, that is a big red flag. Our doctors and our MEC failed, big time. You don't need a college degree to see that.

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Article comment by: to all

PVH is not being fair to the crna Her back ground is made public....They then should give the back ground on the female doctor in the ER...When, she was hired I checked her license with the state, the data they had was she had violations in New York, she was given a public reprimand and placed on 36 months probation...the data now has been removed... The board nor the one in control of the background checks who has a record of their on can deny this I saw it...The hospital needs to be straight up with us and stop hiding the truth from us....

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Article comment by: @ I don't Understand

The reason the MEC has the power because it is a State law. So the answer to your question if it's the same elsewhere is yes, it is.

Why is this? Do you want a board of non-doctors saying who is a good doctor or not? Do you want your healthcare to be determined by a non-doctor? California, unlike the failed Obamacare, saw that elected citizens shouldn't be tasked with determining healthcare and left it to the MEC.

Face it, most board members, not only in Blythe, but around the State, barely have a high school education, if at all. Do you want to trust a Palo Verde High graduate to make all the decisions about your healthcare, as a board of trustees? Or do you want someone who has been to medical school and has practiced medicine making those decisions?

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Article comment by: river gal

Well, she probably isn't sticking around to see her fate. (deleted)

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, November 5, 2013
Article comment by: Stella Macias

Post her picture like everyone in this town that gets busted for some sort of crime!

Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Article comment by: To @ I don't understand

You are so correct. Ms Mclain gets walked on every time she tries to protect the District from Dr. Sahlolbei, Burton, Hudson and Sartin. They gang up on her and out vote her saying she is the problem. What are they trying to hide.
The first time they voted to hire the ER doctors that Sahlolbei brought contracts for Ms McLain questioned if Sahlolbei already had contracts with them and Trina Sartin piped up to tell Sahlolbei you do not have to answer that. What does that tell you? Is she for the District or her friend Sahlolbei. Ms McLain asked who negotiated those contracts and it was revealed that Sahlolbei and Hudson negotiated those contracts.
Then one of the ER doctors they claimed to negotiate with threatens a law suit because he had not spoken to anyone and his name was in the paper!
Wake up BLYTHE it is time to end this mess. OUT with Burton, Sartin, Hudson and Sahlolbei before it is to LATE.
Who is being investigated by the FPPC, Hudson. Who has been charged with multiple offenses of a crime, Sahlolbei. Which Board member received money from Sahlolbei through an intermediay, Burton. Who get special treatment for her Patient Transfers from Sahlolbei, Sartin.
What does Ms. Mclain get GRIEF for trying to save your hospital. She is the only one with no conflict and they shove it down her throat.
Who's car was the CRNA driving when she was arrested for a possible DUI! I know and I bet you all really know. Ask the Chief of Police!!!

Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Article comment by: @ El Picas Buyas

The Defender of Masculinity and the American Way of Life................

Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Article comment by: @ It Is Simple

I just did a little browsing on the FPPC website myself. There is a letter addressed to Dr. Paglinawan and the MEC, dated April 3, 2013, warning them about the failure to follow state law with regard to their support for their chosen candidates for PVH Board of Directors. In the weeks leading up to last year's election you couldn't walk a block in this town without tripping over a Hudson or Sartin sign. And those obnoxious propaganda letters that we all got in our mailboxes, which were, of course, written by "you know who." Clearly, money is a big factor in any political campaign. I wonder how many of the voters really understood who was backing these candidates, and why.

Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

Have you people notice a trend here in Blythe ? Whenever there is a person hired from out of town. i would say that about 85% of the time they have baggage with them. If not that, they have a business, and a wife in another town.

These people are not dumb, they have researched Blythe they know what is to know about Blythe. On how Dysfunctional it is. Starting with the City Council/Mayor, hospital/Board, College Board, School Board, and Police Department.

All in all you could do a sitcom here. This is why, when these people are hired we get them from the Bottom of the barrel. we get the ones that are on their last leg of their careers.

Just like our last City Manager left here with a clause stating no one was to talk about his departure. Left with 6 months still on his contract, and 1/4 million in his pocket.

Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Article comment by: @ I don't understand

A review of the recorded minutes from the May 29, 2013 Board of Directors Meeting would answer many of your questions. The CRNA issue is discussed after the 47 minute mark of the tape. Ms. McLain had many questions about this issue, including whether or not Dr. Sahlolbei had a contract with this CRNA predating the proposed contract between PVH and the CRNA. Dr. Sahlolbei refused to give an answer. Administrator Larry Blitz didn't seem to know who exactly had negotiated the contract with the CRNA, and Dr. Sahlolbei revealed that he had recruited and had been paying the CRNA up to that point. It is quite evident that Dr. Sahlolbei orchestrated the recruitment, negotiated the contract(s), and this was done with the consent of Blitz, Sartin, Hudson, and Burton. Ms. McLain's questions and objections were steamrolled.

Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Article comment by: THis is the Official version

It is true that the MEC recommends and the Board approves. Once approved though in reality for the Board to remove privileges it turns into a legal battle unless the MEC is on Board!
That my friends is a fact!
I am sure that the application submitted by the CRNA would have asked if you where ever convicted of a crime.
Failure to provide truthful information is all that is needed by the MEC if they so choose to suspend the CRNA's privileges.

Page 2  - Page 3 -  Page 4

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Blythe, CA
Click for weather forecast

Find It Opinions Features Milestones Submit Extras Other Publications Local Listings
Home | Classifieds | Public Notices | Galleries | Opinions | Obituaries | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-News | RSS | Site Map
LB - Red Cactus Bar and Grill

Powered by 72dpi

Copyright 2015 Western News&Info, Inc.® Palo Verde Valley Times is the information source for Blythe, California, Quartzsite, Arizona and surrounding area communities. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Palo Verde Valley Times Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the site's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the site. Click Here to email your questions or comments to the Webmaster. Palo Verde Valley Times Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved