An inherent conflict of interest in overlapping board membership at Pend Oreille Hospital District and Bonner General Health resurfaces. POHD trustees, Dr. Thomas Lawrence and Dr. Scott Burgstahler, again, abdicate their fiduciary duty to the district taxpayers.
The latest, easily remedied, controversy relates to the purchase and clear ownership of ear, nose and throat clinic equipment. The 2019 “agreement” between BGH and POHD states that “POHD shall be responsible for the cost and expense of acquiring ENT equipment … POHD shall retain ownership of property acquired by POHD.”
Prior to the “agreement” signing date, Feb. 28, 2019, BGH bought the ENT clinic equipment under the BGH corporate name so that the ENT clinic could be operational on Feb. 4, 2019.
On Feb. 16, 2019 the BGH Foundation, hosted a Heart Ball fundraising event that identified fundraising proceeds benefitting the purchase of the same ENT equipment (bonnergeneral.org/2019heartball).
The POHD reimbursement of the BGH equipment purchase does not include equipment serial numbers and therefore dispute of specific equipment ownership is present. The simple solution offered was a motion to include the equipment serial numbers in the BGH reimbursement funding request provided to POHD. The solution was dismissed in questionable board-side manner, “this is stupid.”
Clear ownership of public property assets is a fiduciary duty. Fiduciary duty to the taxpayers is a long abdicated responsibility at POHD simply due to the over-lapping board membership, where the BGH board of directors dismiss the public’s interest in favor of BGH’s interest.
Elect a fiduciary proponent of POHD’s public interests — Spencer Hutchings on May 21.