Governor Scott’s Board appointed incompetent political hacks are killing Broward Health through corrupt and incompetent improper interference with the management of Broward Health. It was the root cause of the disastrous ouster of previous CEO Frank Nask, the hurried crowning of Dr. Nabil El Sanadi (perhaps the worst Broward Health CEO in its sordid history), the ouster of an exceptional governmental attorney Sam Goren, and the furious replacement of senior staff competency with remarkable mediocrity. Over the last year and a half, senior staff competency has either been fired, or “retired”, or “work force reduced” and replaced with inexperience and incompetency.
Broward Health today is a textbook case in how an incompetent Board with dubious “agendas” can transform a thriving, growing and remarkable organization into a morass in 13 easy months. While Broward Health’s leadership vacuum continues (no CEO, no COO, no CFO, and a general counsel that apparently hasn’t a clue) the “peter principle” established a trio of mid-level staffers (Donna Lewis, Doris Peek and Deon Wong –Dr. El Sanadi’s “brain trust”) as those in charge in the back room of Broward Health’s retaliatory system of incompetence. Doctors and professional staff leaving in droves as a result.
Amid literally too many specific examples of corruption and incompetence in the Broward Health leadership, Florida’s Inspector General Miguel deadpans, “There are also suspicions about pressure being applied by certain Board members on staff of Broward Health to steer contracts to various entities”. Really? Wow! It’s almost like she has read any one of my original posts on the blog dating back to late 2014, or spoken to literally anyone at Broward Health. Inspector General Miguel’s investigation is important, and I encourage anyone with specific information to contact her office privately and confidentially. (You should not contact anyone at Broward Health until the Board adopts the federal whistleblower protections, a formal and very public policy against retaliatory employment and purchasing practices and there is an independent, secure and private method at Broward Health to make reports. Until then, contact Wayne Black at 305-372-3748 with confidence who will continue to investigate corruption at Broward Health.)
The man most responsible for this mess is David DiPietro, chair of the Broward Health Board, and by extension Governor Scott who accommodated DiPietro by providing Board appointments so DiPietro would control a majority of the Board in an acrid nougat of good intentions and greed, dipped in a creamy candy coating of rationalized “principles” and incompetence.
At last, on March 18th – the Governor correctly suspended DiPietro and his board political shadow Darryl Wright. The Governor did not go far enough and should have removed them both replacing them with better appointments. Neither DiPietro nor Wright have any requisite experience to be serving as fiduciaries of the Broward Health system and both have conducted themselves in corrupt and/or incompetent ways that will continue to embarrass the Governor as events unfold.
A quick review:
Recall that Broward Health is much more than simply a “last resort” health care system for Broward’s indigent population. It is a 8,000 employee economic juggernaut for the county producing an impact of billions of dollars. It is a vast training facility for our future doctors, nurses, medical technicians, healthcare administrators, and a multitude of other career paths. It was started by inspired past leaders of Broward County using public properties, public monies and public treasure. It was then and is now an investment in Broward’s future that small-minded appointed political hacks want to steal from our children’s future through privatization strategies and by characterizing Broward Health as a “private hospital system”, that does some public charity. In fact, Broward Health is a public hospital system through and through. See some of my past articles Broward Health – It’s Our Hospital and It’s none of your business! Really?, for more on this topic.
A little over a year ago, DiPietro successfully orchestrated the ouster of then CEO Frank Nask and replaced him with his friend and surrogate Dr. El Sanadi, a republican political player with a history of significant contributions to the republican party and Governor Scott. Not co-incidentally, David DiPitro’s wife – before being recently appointed judge by this Governor, was appointed to Florida’s Medical Board chaired by, you guessed it, Dr. El Sanadi. Some, more cynical than me, thought that David DiPietro’s wife’s appointment to Florida’s Medical Board was to enhance David DiPietro’s growing medical legal practice enabling him to more easily continue and grow his ability as a reliable republican political fundraiser. See some of my past articles Innovative CEO NASK Forced Out, Politics Wins – We Loose!, and The Best Broward Health CEO contract politics can buy!, and Has the Office of Inspector General seen Dr. El Sanadi’s CEO Contract with Broward Health? and OMG – Nabil El Sanadi’s First 5 Months! for more on this topic.
Simon & Garfunkel captured the essence of Dr. El Sanadi’s tenure at Broward Health perfectly in their prophetic song “Richard Cory”. Listen to it:
They say that Richard Cory owns one half of this whole town, With political connections to spread his wealth around. Born into society, a banker’s only child,
He had everything a man could want: power, grace, and style.
The papers print his picture almost everywhere he goes:
Richard Cory at the opera, Richard Cory at a show.
And the rumor of his parties and the orgies on his yacht!
Oh, he surely must be happy with everything he’s got.
He freely gave to charity, he had the common touch,
And they were grateful for his patronage and thanked him very much, So my mind was filled with wonder when the evening headlines read: “Richard Cory went home last night and put a bullet through his head.”
According to sources, Board Chair David DiPietro replaced CEO Frank Nask as Broward Health’s CEO simply because Nask refused to allow Board interference in Broward Health’s administration. This did not sit well with DiPietro who, coincidentally has built a considerable health care legal practice since appointed on to Broward Health’s Board.
And why not replace Nask as CEO of Broward Health with someone who had no experience managing a hospital let alone one of the largest health care systems in the country? After all, before coming to Broward Health, Nask was only a nationally respected health care consultant specializing in saving and managing troubled health care systems.
Not only was Frank Nask CEO at Broward Health during an unprecedented period of stability where the tax rate reduced from 2.5 to 1.6 mills and cash increased from 350 to 800 million dollars, but during one of our nation’s worst recessions – Broward Health actually increased staff with no system wide layoffs. With the Governor’s emphasis on employment, one would think Frank Nask’s experience would be helpful increasing jobs in Broward! Notably, during Nask’s tenure, capital spending increased to maintain plant and equipment while maintaining Broward Health’s bond ratings and covenants.
Frank Nask’s emphasis on Broward Health as a teaching hospital was realized through careful relationships with Nova Southeastern University, the University of Miami, and others. Relationships that have been intentionally severely damaged in favor of a singular relationship with Florida International University over, among other more seedy financial issues, the pyric debate between MD’s and DO’s. Again, David DiPietro is at the root of this disaster and the status of Broward Health as a teaching institution is now at risk and hanging by a thread.
Here’s the truth. I imagine that 50 bad actors are embarrassing the remaining 7,950 Broward Health Employees. There is another group of Broward Health employees that perhaps take the lead from these bad actors thinking “if they can do it, why can’t I”. The vast majority of Broward Health employees come to work every day dedicated to both their profession and the public they serve. It is important that we put the problems at Broward Health in perspective and take a collective deep breath. As in any organization of Broward Health’s size and complexity – there is bound to be some discoverable criminality. In these cases, Broward Health and the public are the victim. Then there is non-criminal corruption. A wink, a nod, a smile and someone benefits unfairly over the organization or colleague, patient or vendor. Then there is incompetence. The greatest threat to Broward Health today is the Board and management’s incompetence as Broward Health navigates through complex public and health care challenges.