Friday, February 14, 2014

Boardmember Who May Have Unwittingly Saved San Leandro Hospital Has Died

Dr. Harry Dvorsky
EDEN TOWNSHIP HEALTHCARE DISTRICT | Dr. Harry Dvorsky, a former chief of staff at Castro Valley's Eden Hospital and elected member of the Eden Township Healthcare District Board of Directors, died Feb.10. He was 90.

The kind thoracic surgeon was known to attend board meetings with his trademark bow tie and served three terms on the health care district board of directors before not seeking re-election in 2010.

Much of his service on the board coincided with tumult arising from the attempt by Sutter Health to take control of San Leandro Hospital. The community hospital was transferred from Sutter Health to Alameda Health System last year, ending over five years of political and legal disputes.

In hindsight, Dvorsky may have unwittingly cast the initial vote that would eventually save the hospital years later.

In February 2010, Dvorsky inadvertently cast the deciding vote directing district lawyers to file suit against Sutter alleging conflicts of interest among participants of a controversial 2008 memorandum of understanding essentially giving away San Leandro Hospital to Sutter.

However, some claim Dvorsky made it clear beforehand he intended to vote against the risky legal gambit. When the vote was taken, Dvorsky surprised everyone by voting yes.

A day later, Dvorsky attempted to rescind his vote, but to no avail. By the time the board met again, the lawsuit had already been filed. The district would eventually lose the case and subsequent appeals, which came with great financial costs. Yet, the protracted dispute went a long way toward exerting significant public and political pressure on Sutter to not close San Leandro Hospital. It worked and the community may have Dvorsky to thank, even if he might not have know exactly what he did that day.


  1. A good accurate report. It is as I recall it to be, but his action cost both sides a lot of money, in excess of $5 million dollars in legal fees. I always felt this money could have gone a long way toward keeping the facility open without al the legal expenses. But your report is right on point; congrats. Tony Santos

  2. No thanks to Tony Santos, always the critic of the District for trying to keep the hospital open. The legal fees were less than $2 million over 4 years. Was that a good investment for our community hospital?

  3. RIP Dr. Dvorsky. Thank you for your contribution and service to the community.