Board member complaints simultaneous with CFO leaving hospital

The KVHD board of directors and hospital officers.

Photo and Story by Catherine Stachowiak

The Kern Valley Sun discovered at a recent board of directors meeting for the Kern Valley Healthcare District’s that the hospital no longer had a Chief Financial Officer and that the CFO had left Kern Valley Hospital’s employment.

Heidi Sage, executive assistant at the hospital, confirmed the date that the CFO resigned was February 12. 

Wednesday, March 20, Tim McGlew, Chief Executive Officer at Kern Valley Hospital said, “I can’t really go into the reasons for it. That’s a personnel issue. And those are private.”

McGlew said he plans to find a candidate to refill the CFO position. However the hospital is in the process of stabilizing things. In an attempt at balancing workloads, the hospital, which had a number of departments reporting to the former CFO, has divided the work up amongst the other administrative people.  The hospital has been busy with a year-end close, financial audits, and required reports from the federal government and the state.

“I’ve shared with the board that my plan is to, probably in the next couple weeks, begin doing a search for a CFO,” McGlew stated.  

The hospital preferred someone who would be in house, going forward, whereas the former CFO lived out of the area and could not be in-house often. “The bottom line was the former CFO was a great guy,” said McGlew.  

McGlew thinks the search for a new CFO may take awhile. The hospital would need to find a part time CFO who is willing to work in a rural area. McGlew has a number of sources he can reach out to, and has already had some conversations with others about the need to find a replacement.  It is also possible for the hospital to share a CFO with another hospital, as they have in the past. “I try to work with some of the other rural hospitals who may be willing to share a CFO,” said McGlew. “We just have to have someone who can actually be here and attend meetings.”  

KVHD board of directors member, and treasurer of the hospital board, John Blythe, who serves on the financial committee for the board, would not speculate why the CFO left, though he had previously pointed out his dissatisfaction with the officer’s work around the time the CFO was resigning.  

Blythe apologized to the board for complaining on the Internet about the CFO’s work, after another board of directors member, secretary of the board, Ross Elliott told him it was inappropriate to post such complaints over the Internet.  Blythe told the board he knew he deserved to be censured. The board accepted his apology, Thursday, March 14.  There has been no further discussion about censuring Blythe.  

“I do admit it was out of line and my behavior could have warranted public censure. But I am glad the board accepted my apologies and owning my behavior.”  Blythe has since told the Kern Valley Sun, “I think I made the comments on social media online maybe right around when he (the CFO) was about to resign. The timing was maybe a day before or something.”

Blythe said he still holds firm to the fact the criticisms he made of the CFO’s work were warranted and appropriate at the KVHD board meeting, although Elliott thought the Internet comments were inappropriate.  The online comments have since been removed, Blythe said.