DOWNEY COMMUNITY HOSPITAL: Dispute Over Closed-Door Sessions
"City council members are at odds with Downey Community Hospital board members over being asked to leave a board meeting recently so members could discuss a civil lawsuit in closed session," the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. While "[b]oth sides agree that terms of the city's lease of land to the hospital guarantee council members the right to attend board meetings as ex officio, nonvoting members," the hospital board says "council members' right to act as community watchdogs does not let them sit in on some discussions, including litigation, personnel matters, or peer review functions." The issue "came to a head" last Tuesday "when council members refused to leave" a meeting going into closed-door session. Downey Mayor Barbara Riley, who was one of the four council members who refused to leave the meeting, said, "It is the city's job to make sure they maintain their nonprofit status, and if there's a flow of money, we have a right to know about it." However, Downey Community Hospital Health Services President and CEO Allen Korneff said, "In light of the fact that city council sits there with limited inspection rights, (hearing about litigation) was viewed by the chairman to be outside that realm. It was nothing having to do with the city and the hospital." The Press-Telegram reports that "[i]n an effort to reach an accord, city officials will meet Monday with hospital officials to review terms of the city's 99-year lease of land to the hospital at $1 per year" (Douglas, 2/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.