Broward Health: Politics Before Medicine





It’s starting to look like the bad ol’ days at Broward Health.

The public hospital system is accused of putting politics ahead of medicine…again.

For decades, politics has been like a suppurating sore beneath the surface of the hospital system. That lesion has leaked millions in taxpayer money for dubious deals.

Now there is a blog poking at that sore —

The website is run by political strategist Dan Lewis. When Lewis takes his time and effort to establish a website, I pay attention. After roughly three decades in Broward politics building a wide range of political, business and community contacts, he is generally on target.

The latest report on the website is stunner.

It says a contract for on-call services for an Ear-Nose & Throat (ENT) specialist cut from seven physicians to one because of a petty fight between the Governing Board Chairman and the former holder of the contract, Dr. Richard Callari

(The chair of the governor-appointed governing board goes unnamed on the website. The current chair is Republican political insider David Di Pietro.)

The website goes on to say that Sara Howley Callari, long time Broward Health spokeswoman who worked for the hospital system 17 years, became collateral damage to the feud between her physician husband, the chair (Di Pietro?) and the hospitals new CEO Nabil El Sanadi.





Sara Howley before leaving Broward Health last month. 


“It is generally believed that she was forced out with a resign or be fired mandate from Dr. El Sanadi on ‘instructions’ from the Chair.  Very tacky,” states the Broward Health blog.

The loss of Howley is unfortunate.

I was covering the health system for the Sun-Sentinel when Howley helped change its name: The tongue-tying moniker North Broward Hospital District became the marketing-friendly Broward Health.

I found Howley a super spokeswoman who was always mindful of the media’s needs and deadlines.

But Howley’s departure is not the worst disclosure I found in Lewis’ blog.  Perhaps the most disturbing revelation is this:

“The Board Chair…. routinely represents physicians legally and “recuses” himself from votes regularly,” according to the blog.


Couldn’t the governor find somebody to appoint to the Board who wasn’t involved in the business of the hospitals?

To me, the appointment of Di Pietro smells like it isn’t for public health reasons. It smells like payback for his help for Republican candidates.

This is nothing new. Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles appointed the late Century Village of Deerfield Beach political boss Amadeo “Tinchi” Trinchitella to the governing board. The hospital system quickly built a health clinic inside the condo complex, which was filled with Democratic voters.

Maybe its time to shut down the public hospital system and pay private hospitals to treat the poor?

Because as long as the governing board of the public hospitals is appointed by the governor, the health care system will be political honeypot.



5 Responses to “Broward Health: Politics Before Medicine”

  1. Anonymous says:

    The hospitals are second rate, especially Broward Medical Center. The Cleveland Clinic or Jackson Memorial is the way to go.

  2. Just Saying says:

    Broward General is a great hospital. Really decent quality of care there. Dr. El-Sanadi is also a total professional.

  3. Talks like a politician says:

    The Dukes from Dania Beach have applied for a Board position at Memorial Hospital.
    Can you spell:
    P-O-L-I-T-I-C-S ??????

  4. Don't forget Laura says:

    Wasn’t Laura Seidman appointed as attorney for NBHD? Didn’t she end up costing the county hundreds of thousands of dollars because she couldn’t competently review a case? Didn’t they pay her a huge exit settlement? Still at it, huh?

  5. Clount LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Personal feuds don’t belong in hospital policy decisions PERIOD! Politics do not belong I in hospital decisions PERIOD! The idea that this or that physician has a good relationship with hospital boards and/or administration is a sad situation wherever it happens, but the Broward County Hospital System seems to have TOO MANY because it is TOO POLITICAL! Whether a conservative Republican or a liberal Democrat makes appointments is of no importance as long as MEDICAL INTERESTs and PUBLIC FINANCE and ONLY THESE TWO are taken into consideration. To let “who raised money for me” enter into the equation of appointments is selling out we, the PUBLIC, to selfish PERSONAL INTERESTS! regardless or who does it.