After a decade of service to the San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital board of directors, Dr. Jerilynn Kaibel resigned from the board due to health reasons, shortly before the board was scheduled to remove her.
Kaibel, a chiropractor who was appointed to the board in February 2007, attempted to appeal the board’s vote to replace her prior to their May 1 meeting.
According to Kaibel’s resignation letter, she claimed that the board of the San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital Healthcare District declined her request for an extension on their decision to request her removal until her attorney could return from vacation in order to provide her with “an element of due process,” but was rejected since the agendized item was deemed “urgent.”
The five-member healthcare district board members are publicly elected, and oversee the district’s fixed assets and equipment; while the 13-member hospital board (which automatically includes the five elected officials of the healthcare district) oversee the operations of San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital.
The five-member healthcare district board voted in April to recommend that the hospital board agendize Kaibel’s removal.
The chairwoman of the healthcare district at the time, Lynn Baldi, expressed during the April meeting, “I feel strongly it is important to have hospital board members who strive to support the goals and mission and values of our hospital,” as she believes “is supported under the leadership and guidance of our CEO, administrative leadership, nurses and doctors and all the important supporting team members.”
Kaibel appeared to be confused as to how she was treated.
In reference to physicians and hospital employees, Kaibel’s letter stated, “Sadly, many are leaving and others are working in an atmosphere of fear.” She expressed how “very proud of the accomplishments that have been achieved during my tenure,” which she noted was “the product of two boards working together.”
“I would hope that remaining members would restore a safe working environment,” Kaibel’s letter said. “As a taxpayer (and owner) of SGMH, I will continue to demand the best in any way possible” for the hospital, and declared, “For this reason, and for the sake of my failing health, I hereby submit my resignation effective May 1.”
Her resignation was submitted the day before, and the hospital board did not address the matter since the agenda item no longer applied.
At the hospital’s board meeting, Baldi stepped aside as chairwoman, though remained on the board.
Dennis Tankersley was voted in to assume the board chairmanship. Replacing Tankersley as vice chairman was Estelle Lewis, and replacing her as secretary was Georgia Sobiech. Dr. Bakhtiar Ahmad remained in his position as board treasurer.
No explanation during the board meeting was given for the changes; in an interview after the meeting, Baldi explained, “It’s just time for change, and we need to get all of our people involved.”