Longtime GOP Activist Questions North Broward Hospital Deal

Guest Columnist



The North Broward Hospital District wants to lease out its facilities to private companies. They would retain taxing authority. This system serves Broward roughly north of Griffin Road. A LOT of Broward. They serve the uninsured, but also the well-insured.

The plan first came to public light a few weeks ago when the one commissioner who voted against it (Attorney Clarence McKee) said it had come up suddenly, without advance warning and there appeared to be press releases all ready to go as soon as the Board voted. And of course, all the other Commissioners voted for.

The Commissioners are appointed by the Governor and serve four-year terms. Currently, they are:

  • Rhonda A. Calhoun, Chair, District 2. Her term expired 5-7-2010.
  • Miguel “Mike Fernandez, Secretary, District 5. His term expires 7-30-2011.
  • Joseph M. Cobo, Assistant Secretary, District 3. His term expires 7-13-2011.
  • Clarence V. McKee, Esq., District 1. His term expires 12-13-2010,
  • Richard Paul-Hus, Treasurer, District 4. His term expires 6-29-2013.
  • Joel K. Gustafson, Vice-Chair – At-Large. His term expires 6-27-2013.
  • Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson – At-Large. Her term expires 6-29-2013.

My concerns:
1) SUNSHINE LAW VIOLATION: If it appeared such a done deal that, reportedly, press releases were ready, and everyone except 1 Commissioner voted for is this not a clear indication that the Sunshine Law was violated with people speaking about the project outside the whole body and not in the public eye?
2) UNINFORMED DECISIONMAKING: The article says: “Several board members later said they knew little or nothing about the idea in advance.” And they still voted for such a huge overhaul? With no information? Sounds a lot like the Congressmen who voted for “healthcare reform” yet admitted to never reading the bill.
3) HASTE MAKES WASTE: After the outcry began, they have set up a series of public hearings. Four of them. And all within the one month. Curiously, all before the election.
4) PRIVATIZE ALL BUT FINANCING: It appears that the operations will be privatized, leased to private outfits. Well and good. As long as the financing is ALSO privatized. Instead we may wind up with a set of Broward “Healthcare Czars” who preside over the doling out of tax money to private companies of their choosing to operate our public health system. They have the power to choose who gets the morsels as well as who gets the money. A lot of power, I’d say.
What do you say?
Public hearings:
Sept. 29, 6 to 8 p.m., Imperial Point Medical Center, Ft. Lauderdale
Oct. 6, 2 to 4 p.m., North Broward Medical Center, Deerfield Beach
Oct. 12, 2 to 4 p.m., Coral Springs Medican Center
Oct. 20, 6 to 8 p.m., Broward Health, Weston

(This letter is republished from Gomez-Mallada’s Facebook page which she sent to me.)

3 Responses to “Longtime GOP Activist Questions North Broward Hospital Deal”

  1. Doctor Joe says:

    As a physician working at Broward General, I can assure you that many of my colleagues are skeptical of this new non-profit arrangement. There are rumors that certain physician groups will be favored and others pushed out. Many believe we are being treated like serfs with no information about the future of the hospital. Yet we are the ones who make the hospital what it is, along with the other staff.

  2. Sunshine Law says:

    So where was Hospital District attorney Sam Goren when the board was apparently violating the Sunshine Law by deciding on this ahead of time? One would think he would have counseled his Board to at least pretend they hadn’t discussed this ahead of time.

  3. john Q. Public says:

    in regards to the sunshine issues, Nask could poll all the commissioners to see there feelings and votes, as long as he did not share the other commissioners feelings with the rest of the board, no violations would exsisit

    Also it seems to me that the most outspoken of the public seem to be a former counsel for the district and a former board member/ developer that both were on the graveytrain for years.