EAST BAY CITIZEN. EVERYWHERE SINCE 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

EDEN HEALTHCARE OFFICIAL ABRUPTLY RESIGNS

THE HOSPITAL SAGA HAS YET ANOTHER NEW TWIST

By STEVEN TAVARES
The Citizen
Eden Township Healthcare District Director Dr. Walter Kran offered his resignation Monday evening.

According to a District spokesperson, Kran's resignation was effective at noon, Sept. 23.

The board member's abrupt resignation further complicates an already topsy-turvy narrative involving Sutter Health and the Alameda County Medical Center's plan to close San Leandro Hospital and convert it to a rehabilitation
facility.

Kran, who retired from medicine in 1994, had struck some as disinterested during public appearances in the past month leading up to a string of strange behavior reported by The Citizen last week.

Fellow Director Carole Rogers revealed Kran had instructed another board member to meet him at his home and follow him to a "secret location" where a mediation conference between Sutter and the District was scheduled to take place.

Last Thursday, both Rogers and Director Dr. Vin Sawhney both told a group gathering at Eden Medical Center that Kran indicated a willingness to attend the district board meeting which was eventually cancelled due to a lack of a quorum. When ask by Rogers if Kran would attend the meeting, he said he would ask the CEO Dev Mahadevan.

In August, Kran oddly abstained from voting on the board's action to make a decision on Sutter's desire to initiate its option to purchase the hospital. The board voted 3-1 against the plan, as Kran said he did not have enough information to vote.

What this means in the short term is unclear. As word of the resignation leaked out at a finance meeting attended Monday night by San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos and the city council, prevailing wisdom sensed a battle could erupt over the important seat on the board between forces connected to Sutter and labor organizers for both the doctors and nurses.

According the Eden Township by-laws (Article III, Section 4) Any vacancy upon the Board of Directors shall be filled by appointment by the remaining members of the Board of Directors, for such term and under such conditions as may be specified by law. With the chance of a board evenly split at two any appointment could raise the ire of either side and further draw out the hospital's murky future.

(PHOTO CAPTION: Dr. Walter Kran.)

This article has been updated since its initial posting.

Check back for more on this story along with coverage of San Leandro's budget forecast and the controversy over funding for school crossing guards.

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