Broward Health board member criticizes decision to oust interim CEO

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Broward Health's board of directors voted 4-1 on Dec. 1 to fire the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based system's interim CEO Pauline Grant. The following day, a board member who was out of town when the vote took place sent a sharply worded letter to the other board members, according to the Sun Sentinel.

The board voted to remove Ms. Grant from her position after an independent counsel review showed potential violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute. Ms. Grant told the Sun Sentinel last week that the allegations involved potential kickbacks from a physician who wanted to be included in an on-call schedule in 2015, when she was CEO of Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based Broward Health North. She said the allegations are false.

A previously scheduled out-of-state conference prevented Broward Health board member Sheela VanHoose from taking part in the vote, and she is not pleased with the board's decision. 

"I am shocked at the board's decision to terminate an individual under the pretense that there could be an investigation of criminal activity and I emphasize 'could be,'" wrote Ms. VanHoose, in a letter to her colleagues, according to the Sun Sentinel. "....Your hasty decision will tarnish the record of a loyal employee who has dedicated her professional career to Broward Health."

Ms. VanHoose said Ms. Grant should have been given time to defend herself against the allegations.

"We need to ensure that all of our employees are given a fair review and if issues arise, we should address them at that time," she wrote. "....I have heard that our staff (systemwide) is disappointed in the actions of our board. Frankly, I don't blame them."

Broward Health COO Kevin Fusco was tapped to serve as the system's new interim CEO as the search for a permanent leader continues.

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