The Citizen

THE DISTRICT v. SUTTERIIn the days after Eden Township Healthcare District Director Dr. Harry Dvorsky cast one of the two deciding votes approving the board’s Mar. 10 lawsuit against Sutter Health, he sought to change his vote in opposition, according to sources who have seen the letter sent to the board shortly after the Feb. 18 executive meeting that approved the filing.

A copy of Dvorsky’s letter has not been obtained, but Eden Township Healthcare District CEO Dev Mahadevan confirmed its existence along with board Chair Carole Rogers. Mahadevan said Dvorsky had “second thoughts” about his vote to move forward with the District’s lawsuit challenging the validity of the 2008 memorandum of understanding at the center of the fight between the District and Sutter to save San Leandro Hospital.

Mahadevan said lawyers for the District explained to Dvorsky no action on changing his vote could not be made until the item was added to the agenda at a subsequent meeting. The matter does not appear on tonight’s amended agenda. Rogers says the item is not likely to appear on the agenda in the future since the lawsuit was already filed by the District last week. Dvorsky could not be reached for comment as of this afternoon. A spokesperson for Sutter Health had no comment, saying it was an issue for Dvorsky and the board to handle.

Chief among Dvorsky’s concerns, according to Mahadevan and Rogers, is uncertainty the District’s lawsuit might endanger the $300 million rebuild of Eden Medical Center by Sutter, which broke ground in July of last year. A source connected to the District believes the long-time director, who is believed to be in his late-eighties, was coerced into reconsidering his vote. Others, who chose to only speak on background, questioned whether the current board was ignoring Dvorsky’s letter. They cite the legal action by the District was decided Feb. 18, but was not filed until after an arbitrator sided with Sutter Mar. 5 and awarded the title to San Leandro Hospital no later than Mar. 31.

The mental state of the noted retired thoracic surgeon has been something of the pink elephant in the room. Boardmembers routinely help and encourage his participation during meetings and privately question whether he has full command of the issues being discussed. During the interview process last November to find a replacement for the departed Dr. Walter Kran, Dvorsky read the same question to every candidate. “If chosen, will you run for re-election?” Of late, his only recognizable actions during board meetings has been an unofficial designation as issuer of seconding boardmember’s motions.


The CiTiZEN FILE on…Dr. Harry Dvorsky

>>>Questioning an Eden Board Member’s Mental Fitiness, Aug. 20, 2009. 
>>>Sawhney and Rogers Emerge as Defenders of Hospital, Oct. 6, 2009.
>>>One Question on Their Minds: What will you do for SLH?, Nov. 5, 2009. 

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