Dr. GnanaDev Leaving As County Hospital Medical Director In June

COLTON – Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Medical Director Dr. Dev GnanaDev has announced that he will not ask for his medical director contract to be renewed when it expires at the end of June.
Dr. GnanaDev, who will continue to serve as chairman of the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) Department of Surgery, has served as medical director since 2000.
Arrowhead Regional is the main campus of the San Bernardino County Hospital.
In announcing GnanaDev’s exodus as medical director, the county referred to the post he is vacating as  “a part-time position.” The press release announcing GnanaDev’s leaving said the “reasons for his decision” were based upon a “mutually agreed upon decision between Dr. GnanaDev and the county of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors to expand the medical director position to a full-time job” and that as a consequence GnanaDev had a “desire to continue devoting more time to his surgical practice.”
Chairman of the board of supervisors Josie Gonzales said, “We face unprecedented challenges in health care, particularly because of health reform and the rapid pace of change in the industry. In light of this, we feel that expanding the medical director position at ARMC to full-time status will help position our Medical Center to meet these challenges.”
Gonzales indicated that the board will begin a nationwide search soon for a full-time medical director, with input from ARMC Director Patrick Petre and Dr. GnanaDev. The medical director oversees programs of medical students, interns, residents, physicians, surgeons and other medical personnel in accordance with standards established by various federal, state and local accrediting agencies. In addition, the medical director along with the ARMC director plans the hospital’s medical programs and determines what facilities and personnel are required to carry out those programs.
During Dr. GnanaDev’s tenure as medical director, ARMC has enjoyed vast growth in the area of patient services, clinical training programs for physicians and other personnel. He helped to establish or expand ARMC’s level II trauma center, the busiest for adult trauma care in the county, ten residency training programs, a level I primary stroke center, palliative care program, and consistent, high quality care.
But there has been rocky sledding at ARMC under GnanaDev’s watch and charges of conflicts of interest involving GnanaDev as well as lapses in medical care. One issue in this regard is GnanaDev’s role as medical director while he was simultaneously the head of the surgical company that is contracted to perform all manner of surgeries at the hospital. Moreover, there have been persistent reports that under GnanaDev, the hospital’s normal triage protocols were bypassed to provide preferential treatment including surgeries and diagnoses, and the provision of treatment, drugs, pain medication and other medical services to individuals of stature and power within the county’s governmental structure. According to sources close to the hospital’s operations, there were binders designated “Do Not Bill” and further documentation showing that a host of county VIPs, including Gonzales, were given expedited treatment at the hospital which went uncharted on the hospital’s standard data recording system.
On November 4, 2010, the FBI, accompanied by district attorney’s office investigators, served search warrants at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. Investigators working on behalf of the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles seized more than a score of boxes full of documentation relating to both operations and billing practices at the county hospital. No charges have been forthcoming in the more than 17 months since that raid, although there have been rumors of GnanaDev’s imminent departure ever since.
Neither the county nor GnanaDev, who in December was appointed to the Medical Board of California by Governor Jerry Brown, made mention of the allegations of conflict of interest, favoritism to elite county officials or the FBI investigation in announcing his departure.
“My heart will always be at ARMC,” Dr. GnanaDev said. “But the reality is that I simply can’t devote all of my time and energy as a full-time medical director because of the challenges my surgery group is facing, my desire to continue practicing as a surgeon and additional time commitment with other projects, such as the California Medical Board and EMS Commission.”
County spokesman David Wert said  Gnana-Dev  “has played an important role in helping to establish the Medical Center as a premier, full-service hospital.”

Leave a Reply