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June 20, 2018. This morning, there was a three-minute status hearing in front of the Honorable Judge Zeller on the trial of the indicted Beverly Capasso – CEO, Lynn Barrett – Corporate Counsel, Commissioner Christopher Ure, and ex-commissioners Rocky Rodriguez and Linda Robison on alleged violations of Florida’s Sunshine Laws. (See numerous past articles for more details) The hearing was continued until September because a permanent judge has not been assigned to the case and there are multiple motions pending judicial ruling. Chief Judge…
June 20, 2018. In the sometimes bizarro world of Broward Health, breaches of ethics and a Civil War is brewing just below the surface. One side is Lynn Barrett, Broward Health’s Corporate Counsel. Remarkably it appears the other side is CEO, Bev Capasso, recently emboldened by her loosely negotiated employment contract. Broward Health’s Board of Commissioners seems to split among the two camps. Then there was the appointment of the newest Board member, Commissioner Ray Berry. He was impressive at his first set of public meetings…
5/30/18 Broward Health Marathon Board Meetings A lot is going on at Broward Health. Some of it is good. Some of it, not so much. Probably the biggest news for a public oversight perspective is the Governor’s latest appointment of Ray Berry. While the Governor still needs to appoint two more commissioners to the Board, based on the performance of Commissioner Berry in his first public meetings at Broward Health – the Governor appears to have made a good choice…
…The taxpayer’s tab for Broward Health’s lawyers this year is nearly $1 million more this year than in 2017, with annual legal expenses now budgeted at more than $6.1 million.
…A request for information about Broward Health’s in-house attorneys led the district to identify seven in-house attorneys with base annual salaries ranging from $91,500 to Barrett’s $340,000. Barrett’s four top lieutenants, with titles of senior associate general counsel, draw base salaries of $239,000, $222,000, $175,000 and $165,000.
…The salaries of those attorneys, who also stand to collect a bonus of 17.5 percent of their salary this year if a recently proposed management incentive plan is implemented, total about $1.3 million, according to Broward Health’s information. But the 2018 budget for the general counsel’s office is $2,156,966, or more than 60 percent higher, indicating that salary hikes for in-house are in the works…
By Dan Christensen, Florida Bulldog.org – Things are getting stranger at Broward Health. On Friday, the taxpayer subsidized public hospital system began refusing to provide requested public information. On Monday, the governor’s office declined to explain why Rick Scott hasn’t suspended indicted district leaders.
…”The decision by Broward Health to no longer answer the public’s questions comes on the heels of news earlier this year that the district was demanding thousands of dollars in administrative and legal fees before allowing public access to records about its lawyers and legal costs.” …
“Broward Health is poised to give fat bonuses to its leadership, including two officials who are under indictment.”
Bev Capasso – Lynn Barrett
“With its top leadership under indictment and its top doctors openly warning that mismanagement is affecting healthcare, Broward Health is poised to award $7.2 million in bonuses to its highest executives and managers.”
I’m trying to understand why I am so angry tonight after spending most of the afternoon and early evening at a pair of Broward Health Board Meetings.
I don’t think that the fact the Board, after a transparent charade, would choose now indicted and under an ethical cloud Interim CEO Capasso as Broward Health’s permanent CEO made me angry. After all, last year I wrote an article “Barrett Continues to Purge Top Broward Health Employees,”and I predicted that the Board would appoint Capasso, so that wasn’t a surprise.
In that article I wrote:
…” the permanent CEO search has been alternatively started, stopped, started, pending primarily at the initiative of Board member Chris Ure. Meanwhile, a costly “outside independent consultant” has been conducting the non-existent search and vetting candidates for a job that most think has already been filled by a Governor Scott’s appointment Capasso through what many consider an illegal Board action.”
… “Currently, there is no discernable effort to find a permanent CEO to replace the interim CEO, Beverly Capasso. And while this non-effort continues, Ms.Capasso is hiring permanent staff to fill purged employees. This is not the action of an interim. I again give voice to the generally accepted charade that predicts Capasso is here to stay until a competent and proficient Board is appointed.”
… “The unavoidable optic of these “resignations” is that Broward Health Corporate Counsel Lynn Barrett, apparently together with her pal – Interim Broward Health CEO Beverly Capasso, appear to be consolidating their hold around the neck of Broward Health, purging anyone in their path. The feckless Board continues to turn a blind eye and seems indifferent to the thousands of employees and the public they purportedly serve.“
I don’t think that the fact that Capasso could not and did not meet the qualifications to become the CEO of Broward General when she applied and was turned down for that position, let alone the standards set by the Board for all the applicants of the CEO of the Broward Health system made me angry.
I admit I got a little angry at the three black ministers plus a political operative with questionable providence, who, after meeting with Broward Health “Senior Staff,” said that not only did they represent the community but that the community wanted the Board to select Interim CEO Capasso for the permanent position. These “representatives” might represent their congregations, but they certainly don’t represent the black community as a whole nor do they even come close to representing the Broward Health community: not the physicians, not the employees, not the staff, not the vendors of goods or services and certainly not the taxpayers or close to two million residents in the Broward Health district.
This Blog gets some 30,000 pageviews per month, and I hear from hundreds of readers regularly. They tell me their views, and they share their stories with me. Many times, I have shared their stories with you through my writing. I would submit to you that that is far more representative than our four wise men claiming they represent “the community.”
I also got a little angry when the “Senior Leadership” presented their sub-par grades for the four applicants which ranged from a one to a 2.9 on a scale of 5. I was angry that a committee comprised almost exclusively of persons hired by Capasso torpedoed the four applicants for CEO, and the Board just gobbled up that crap without question.
I wasn’t even particularly angry when a practiced, meek and humbled Capasso accepted the permanent CEO position saying “gee, golly, I’ll have to sacrifice my lifelong desire to get a doctorate in nursing” (in spite of the fact she would need first an accredited masters degree) and all for a measly $700 thousand a year. (I’ll bet her new contract will be much higher and with a generous severance!)
I think disappointment is what triggered my anger. I had hoped that the new Board appointments would help get Broward Health back on track. I hoped that they would see through the nonsense and install a real, independent and experienced CEO in whom the real Broward Health community could have faith.
If I were a cynical person, I would bet that the appointment of Capasso as permanent CEO was orchestrated, just barely in the sunshine. Regardless, the Board’s decision was certainly manipulated, whether they know it or not. What this Board does if Capasso gets convicted on all counts will be interesting, even more so if she is found to have violated Florida’s ethics rules in voting for herself as well. Perhaps the Board will shrug the conviction off parroting what one new commissioner said: “It’s just a misdemeanor!” So who cares about Florida’s Sunshine laws. Certainly not the Governor, and apparently not the Board.
Oh, one last thing before I close. The Board in appointing Capasso gleefully exclaimed how everything was so wonderful. This letter from the Unified Medical Staff at Broward Health dated a few days ago paints a very different picture.
To respond to the Board when a few of them asked for community input. Let me summarize; I think the community wanted a deliberate, fair and impartial selection of a professional, experienced and independent CEO.
Instead, the Board insulted the community with banal pandering of the worst sort and utterly failed in one of their most important tasks. So, same old, same old. I’m not angry anymore, just sad.
Here are the videos of the meetings. The real hero on the Board was the one principled “No” vote from Rocky Rodriguez.
Note: Check back in the next day or so for the Agenda Packet update.
1/31/2018 – 1:00pm Special Board Meeting on the CEO Selection
1/31/2018 – 4:00 pm Regular Board Meeting where CEO Decision Ratified & sweetened.
1/31/2018 Broward Health Regular Meeting Packet Excerpts:
I attended several committee meetings and the Broward Health Board meeting on November 29th. At that meeting, the Board approved and certified with their signature a massive 836-page annual report required by the 70 million dollar settlement with the federal government. Tthe scope of this Second Annual Report is the period from August 31, 2016, through August 30, 2017.
I requested a copy of this report as it’s appearance and certification at a public meeting of the Broward Health Board automatically made that document a public record. After multiple requests, I received a heavily redacted copy of this report on January 23rd after the 2nd round of CEO interviews.
Although I requested a “redaction log,” a log identifying with specificity the legal justification for each redaction, this has yet not been provided. When I receive the log, I will post it. Without reading the entire document, I noticed blocks of full pages completely redacted, which I believe, will be difficult to justify. I will keep you posted.
A full copy of this scanned report is linked below.
I have only read to page 6 of the report, but I am struck by the massive number of personnel and structural changes that have occurred to senior leadership in only this year. All these changes while the Board delayed selecting a permanent outside, experienced and competent CEO.
I thought it would be instructive to list the changes here because the sheer number of changes illustrates the very real impact of the Board’s failure to appoint a permanent CEO. It has massively destabilized the organization as well as senior and middle management. Further, and to an unknown extent, some of these changes have certainly usurped the ability and prerogative of the permanent CEO to establish and manage his team.
It is widely believed that this was intentional to pave the way for the permanent appointment of the indicted interim CEO Beverly Capasso, and appoint a protection layer for the similarly indicted Corporate Counsel Lynn Barrett.
In any case, it is critical that the Board not delay its selection of a permanent CEO and select one of the four finalists interviewed earlier this week.
Here is the change list found in the report pages 1-6. Note: In most cases “resignation” and “retired” means “Fired, terminated…”
On I 0/14/2016, following her resignation, Ms. Vinnette Hall was removed as a member in her role as Chief Internal Auditor; Nigel Crooks attended the Compliance Committee meetings in 2017 as the representative of Internal Audit. Mr. Crooks was appointed by the NBHD Board of Commissioners a the Interim Chief internal Auditor on 09/25/2017.
Following her termination, Ms. Pauline Grant was removed as a member in her role as Interim President and CEO on 12/01 /2016 and Kevin Fusco replaced her as Interim President and CEO.
On 01/10/2017, following her resignation, Ms. Alumine Bellone was removed as a member in her role as Director, Risk and Insurance Services.
On 01/12/2017, following her resignation, Ms. Maria Panyi was removed as a member in her role as Vice President, Physician Services and Dan Westphal replaced her as Interim Vice President, Physician Services. Ms. Beth Cherry was hired as Vice President, Physician Services effective 09/08/2017.
Richie Persaud was added as a member in his role as Corporate Procurement Officer and Director of Materials Management on 03/30/2017.
Patricia Phelan was added as a member in her role as Director, Health Plan Administration on 03/30/2017.
Robert Vaccaro was added as a member in his role as Director, Payroll on 03/30/20 17.
Kathleen Collins was added as a member in her role as Manager, Accounts Payable on 03/30/2017.
Kevin Fusco was removed as a member in his role as Interim President and CEO on 05116/2017, following the appointment of Ms. Beverly Capasso as Interim President and CEO.
Kevin Fusco was removed as a member in his role as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer on 05/26/2017 following his retirement. Mr. Gino Santorio was hired as Senior Vice President. Chief Operating Officer effective 09/25/2017.
Jeffery Suarez was added as a member in his role as Interim Director, Risk and Insurance Services on 05/28/20 17. Mr. Jeffery Suarez was named the Director. Risk and Insurance Services effective 09/03/2017.
On 06/24/2017, following his resignation, Dr. John E. Delzell, Jr. was removed as a member in his role as Vice President, Designated Institutional Officer.
On 07/20/2017, following her resignation, Ms. Doris Peek was removed as a member in her role as Vice President, Chief Information Officer.
On 08/09/2017, following her resignation, Ms. Dionne Wong was removed as a member in her role as Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer. Mr. Peter Yamora was hired as the Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer effective 0911 8/2017.
Following the resignation of Mr. Sprada, NBHD [Interim CEO] decided to eliminate the position of Vice President, Chief Nursing.
Arthur Wallace was removed as a member in his role as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer (Interim) on 08115/2017, and Mr. Alan Goldsmith replaced him in his role as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Arthur Wallace retired as Vice President, Finance on 09/30/2017.
Donna Lewis was removed as a member in her role as Vice President, Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer on 09113/20I6 and Mr. Val Aubourg, Esq. replaced her in his role as Interim Vice President, Chief Compliance, and Privacy Officer from 09114/20I6 to I 0/28/20 16.
Mr. Nicholas Hatfield was added as a member in his role as Interim Vice President, Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer on l l/14/20I6. Mr. Nicholas Hartfield was named Vice President, Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer on 11 /29/2017.
Commissioner Joel Gustafson resigned from the Board of Commissioners on 09/ 1/20I6.
Commissioner Beverly Capasso was appointed to the Board of Commissioners by the Governor of Florida on 10/21/2016.
Commissioner Maureen Canada’s term ended on 12/16/2016.
Commissioner Sheela VanHoose resigned from the Board of Commissioners on 01/01/2017.
Commissioner Steven Wellins was appointed to the Board of Commissioners by the Governor of Florida on 04/17/2017.
Commissioner Beverly Capasso resigned from the Board of Commissioners on 05/09/2017.
Commissioner Andrew M. Klein was appointed to the Board of Commissioners by the Governor of Florida on 08/25/2017.
NBHD President/CEO a. Ms. Pauline Grant served as Interim President/CEO until her termination on 12/01 /2016.
Kevin Fusco served as Interim President/CEO from 12/01/2016 until the appointment of Ms. Beverly Capasso as Interim President/CEO on 05/16/2016.
Chief Internal Auditor, Ms. Vinnette Hall, served as Chief Internal Auditor until her resignation on 10/14/2016.
Nigel Crooks was appointed by the BHD Board of Commissioners as the Interim Chief internal Auditor on 9/25/2017.
Mark Sprada served as Interim Regional CEO, Broward Health Medical Center, until his resignation on 08/1 1/2017. Ms. Sandra Todd-Atkinson was named Regional CEO. Broward Health Medical Center effective 11/1/2017.
Kimberly Graham served as Regional COO/CNO Broward Health Coral Springs until 03/20/2017.
Michael D. Leopold began serving as the Regional COO Broward Health Coral Springs on 03/20/2017.
Thomas W. Kester began serving as the Regional COO, Broward Health Imperial Point on 09/04/2016.
Ronald Brandenburg served as Regional CFO, Broward Health Coral Springs until his resignation on 7/13/2017.
Mr. Onel Rodriguez, Jr. was hired as Regional CFO, Broward Health Coral Springs effective 9/25/2017.
Grace King served as Regional Director. Human Resources, until her transfer to Regional Director, Human Resources, Broward Health Corporate on 08/06/2017.
Carl A. McDonald began serving as Regional Director, Human Resources, on 08/06/2017.
Carl A. McDonald served as Regional Director, Human Resources, Broward Health Imperial Point until his transfer to Regional Director, Human Resources, Broward Health North on 08/06/2017.
Gary Lyew-Ayee was hired as Regional Director, Human Resources, Broward Health Imperial Point effective 09/05/2017.
Doris Peek served as served as Senior Vice President, Communications, and Marketing until her resignation on 07/20/2017.
Charlotte Mather-Taylor began serving as Interim Senior Vice President, Communications, and Marketing, fi·om 08/06/2017 to 11/10/2017.
Denise R. Moore was hired as Vice President, Communications & Marketing effective 11/14/2017.
Dionne Wong served as Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer until her resignation on 8/9/2017.
Peter Nyamora was hired as the Senior Vice President. Chief Human Resources Officer effective 09/ 18/2017.
Arthur Wallace served as Interim Chief Financial Officer until 08/15/2017. Mr. Arthur Wallace retired from NBHD as the Vice President. Finance effective 09/30/2017.
Alan Goldsmith began serving as Chief Financial Officer on 08/15/2017.
Kevin Fusco served as Chief Operating Officer until his retirement on 05/26/2017.
Gino Santorio was hired as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer effective 09/25/2017.
Maria Panyi served as Vice President, Physician Services until her resignation on 01/12/2017.
Dan Westphal began serving as Interim Vice President Physician Services, on 01 / 13/2017.
Beth Cherry was hired as Vice President, Physician Services effective 09/8/2017.
Doris Peek served as Chief Information Officer until her resignation on 07/20/2017.
John Delzell, Jr. served as Vice President, Designated Institutional Officer until his resignation on 07/24/2017.
Donna Lewis served as the Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer until her termination on 09/13/2016.
Val Aubourg served as Interim Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer from 09/14/2016 until his resignation on 10/28/2016.
Nicholas Hartfield began serving as the Interim Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer on 11/ 14/2016. Mr. Nicholas Hartfield was named Vice President, Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer, effective I 1/29/201 7.