Controversial board chair resigns from California health system

Farid Assemi, the board chair of Fresno, Calif.-based Community Health System, has resigned amid sustained concerns about potential conflicts of interest, the Fresno Bee reported May 2.

But concerns remain about some of the remaining board members who have continued links to property developer Mr. Assemi and the fact that the new board chair, Roger Sturdevant, lives 2,000 miles away in Michigan. There are unanswered questions about how a chairperson living so far away can take adequate care of the hospital system's future direction, the report said.

A Fresno Bee investigation also found that Community Health System used federal money designated for the system's aging downtown Fresno hospital generally frequented by uninsured low-income patients to fund an expansion of its Clovis facility in a far more affluent area. That hospital is also less than a mile away from California Health Sciences University, a for-profit medical school jointly owned by Mr. Assemi.

A CHS spokesperson did not return the Fresno Bee's request for comment.

Previous Becker's coverage on this story can be found here.

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