Broward Health board member resigns, asks Gov. Rick Scott provide help

A board member of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Broward Health is stepping down due to doubts about the integrity of the board that oversees the five-hospital public health system, the Sun Sentinel reports.

"Our board meetings have been tainted by self-serving and political agendas coated with infighting and grandstanding," board member Sheela VanHoose wrote in her resignation letter to Gov. Rick Scott, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Ms. VanHoose recently spoke out against the board's decision in December to fire interim CEO Pauline Grant. The board voted 4-1 to fire Ms. Grant after an independent counsel review alleged she violated of the Anti-Kickback Statute. Ms. Grant has sued the board for potential open-meetings law violations.

Ms. VanHoose was out of the state at a conference and missed the vote. She later wrote in a letter to other board members she felt the decision was "hasty," and "will tarnish the record of a loyal employee." The firing of Ms. Grant played into Ms. VanHoose's decision to resign from the board, according to the Sun Sentinel. In her letter of resignation to Gov. Scott, Ms. VanHoose wrote she felt the board blindly follows general counsel Lynn Barrett without true debate, according to the report.

However, the No. 1 reason she named for stepping down was an annual report to be submitted to the federal government, which Ms. VanHoose believes is inaccurate. The health system is required to document compliance with a settlement agreement over improper physician payments, according to the Sun Sentinel. Ms. VanHoose told the Sun Sentinel she was uncomfortable signing off on the annual report because it contained "exemptions" and the health system did not follow proper procedure.

In her letter, Ms. VanHoose called on Gov. Scott to step in. "Governor please help our community," she wrote, according to the Sun Sentinel. "If within your powers, I am recommending the creation of a taskforce that can identify problems and propose legislative solutions that would provide stability and integrity. Save Broward Health. This community deserves better."

Read the full report in the Sun Sentinel here.


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