Mendocino Coast District Hospital Board investigates allegations regarding CFO

CFO evaluation warrants further staff interviews

Marianne McGee

A lengthy closed session of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH)/Mendocino Coast Healthcare District (MCHD) Board of Directors was held March 16 to conduct a performance review and evaluation of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wade Sturgeon.  This appeared unusual because a board of directors generally only have supervisory responsibilities for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and given an earlier email sent from Director Dr. Peter Glusker to the entire email list alluding to personnel problems and potential legal action.

While rumors have persisted regarding the behavior and performance as well as staff complaints about Mr. Sturgeon for months, the MCDH/MCHD Board of Directors reported they would be conducting additional staff interviews before any further action would be taken in the 30 second report given by President Steve Lund.

Under the Community Comments agenda item, journalist Malcolm Macdonald asked a number of hard-hitting questions and made comments regarding the accusations he has discovered.  Some  questions concerned questionable financial practices and errors resulting in negative fiscal consequences.  Many of the issues were regarding a work place harassment complaint apparently lodged against Mr. Sturgeon, which resulted in the complainant being placed on administrative leave, rather than the accused.  He also alleged that CEO Bob Edwards has enabled Mr. Sturgeon’s negative behavior and ignored other staff complaints about him.  Additionally, Mr. Macdonald’s information indicates that other MCDH staff, including managers, do not want to work with the CFO.  A critical concern is a charge that Mr. Edwards received a risk assessment regarding the Obstetrics (OB) Department by an insurance company which was not shared with the MCDH Board of Directors or the OB Ad Hoc Committee, potentially containing vital information impacting their report.  Other questions referred to MCDH Board of Director’s knowledge of the complaints, actions taken and the hospital’s policies.

Mr. Lund acknowledged Mr. Macdonald’s questions, requested that he submit them in writing to the Board of Directors so they can be researched and responded to, if appropriate, as some of the issues may be protected by personnel confidentiality.

The entire video is only seven minutes, so watch and draw your own conclusions.

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