Originally intended to serve as the Northern Inyo Healthcare District’s Chief Medical, Chief Operations and Chief Information Officer, Dr.Kevin S. Flanigan, MD MBA, was named Acting CEO in September of 2015 following the departure of former CEO Victoria Alexander-Lane. He then served for five months as the Interim CEO on Oct. 21, 2015, before being unanimously appointed to the permanent position as CEO in Feb. 2016.
Flanigan’s tenure was not without accomplishments and included developing a breast health center focused on a comprehensive local model for the treatment of breast cancer, the implementation of a DaVinci Robotic Surgical program, and the establishment of a partnership with Bishop Union High School for an on school campus adolescent health clinic, for which Flanigan and the hospital were awarded a 2019 Community Star Award last year by the Inyo County Office of Education. And then, last year, the Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD) named NIHD Healthcare District of the Year for 2019. None of which in the end would matter.
The bloom appeared to come off the rose when Flanigan and the board for the healthcare district announced a three-phase restructuring program to bring hospital costs and revenues into alignment at the beginning of 2019. The program included changes in departments, services, and a reduction the workforce. When a few popular doctors departed after contracts were renegotiated and others retired, accompanied by the loss of other valued medical staff, anger at the changes, and especially against Flanigan, began to steadily grow. Charges began flying questioning Flanigan’s and the board’s competence, and whether they were “acting in good faith” and in “the best interests of the patients.” Complaints about poor management and the district’s budget deficit became more frequent and vocal, as well as more personal. This undercurrent of dissatisfaction and disaffection is what likely led to Dr. Flanigan being placed on paid administrative leave on Feb. 13, pending the outcome of a hospital financial audit.
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