New TLHCD Board Members Seated as Factions Develop

The Tulare Local Healthcare District Board of Directors at the regularly scheduled January meeting. Tony Maldonado/Valley Voice

Two things were made clear during Wednesday’s three-hour-long Tulare Local Healthcare District (TLHCD) Board of Directors meeting: there are now two distinct factions of board members — and they’ve got distinctly different ideas on how to end up with a successful hospital.

The faction of existing board members — comprised of Dr. Parmod Kumar, Richard Torrez, and Linda Wilbourn–continue to trust Healthcare Conglomerate Associates (HCCA) with the management of the hospital’s operations and business decisions, and want to ensure stability and unity around the company’s management operations so that the hospital can qualify for loans that would enable it to finish its tower construction project.

In that vein, the board retroactively approved the $500,000 loan to the Southern Inyo Healthcare District, though members Torrez and Wilbourn said they were not aware of the loan ever being made.

The new faction, comprised of Kevin Northcraft and Mike Jamaica, were recently elected, and Wednesday marked their first meeting. Their self-described platform was to hire outside legal counsel, ensure fairness in the district’s contracts with HCCA, which runs Tulare Regional Medical Center (TRMC) and make the hospital’s operations more open and transparent.

The first goal is, for now, a non-starter. A motion by Northcraft, seconded by Jamaica, to begin the process of hiring outside legal counsel, was voted down by the faction of existing board members.

In addition, Visalia lawyer Michael Lampe revealed that TRMC is financing an appeal of a lawsuit brought by Dr. Kumar and Dr. Benny Benzeevi, the CEO/Chairman of HCCA, against Dr. Abraham Betre–to the tune of $78,603.78.

The $78,000 Lawsuit

Visalia attorney Michael Lampe holds up a copy of a document authorizing payment for a lawsuit appeal. Tony Maldonado/Valley Voice

Lampe spoke during the public comment section of the meeting, revealing a document–which he had brought on posterboard–that showed a cashier’s check drawn against a TRMC Bank of the Sierra account.

“As I think everybody probably in this room knows, Dr. Betre has won that litigation in the trial. Judge David Mathias ruled against Dr. Kumar and Dr. Benzeevi and ruled in favor of Dr. Betre,” Lampe said. “And now, there’s attorney’s fees that have to be paid to Dr. Betre, and that is being appealed.”

In an August ruling, Mathias found that Kumar and Benzeevi with the hospital were wrong to seek sanctions against Betre, and in a later ruling Mathias found that the officials were not able to seal certain documents, which are available here.

Lampe stated that the payment was to continue an appeal in a private case between Benzeevi and Kumar’s against Betre, which the district had initially put funds towards.

This cashier’s check is made out for $78,306.78 to the Tulare County Superior Court.

Lampe represents plaintiffs in a suit against the district, arguing that the use of taxpayer funds in the Benzeevi/Kumar/Betre lawsuit constituted an improper use of taxpayer money, since the district was not named anywhere in the suit–essentially using public funds to finance a private lawsuit.

“It shows as the remittor, it shows Tulare Regional Medical Center,” Lampe said. “This is to bond against the appeal in that private litigation for Dr. Kumar and Dr. Benzeevi against Dr. Betre.”

“If the board didn’t take any action on November 30, and the board didn’t take any action on this case in October either, how did Dr. Benzeevi have authorization to use taxpayer funds to bond against that attorney’s fees award? And I think that needs to be answered.”

A payment receipt from the Tulare County Superior Court clearly shows the cashier’s check is being credited toward fees in the Kumar v. Betre case.

The matter was not responded to during the meeting.

“Bring It To Us Next Time”

The board discussed, for the first time in public session, the recently revealed $500,000 line of credit that HCCA unilaterally extended to the Southern Inyo Healthcare District.

Dr. Benny Benzeevi, CEO/Chairman of Healthcare Conglomerate Associates, speaks to the TLHCD Board of Directors at January’s regularly scheduled board meeting. Tony Maldonado/Valley Voice

Even though the move was made as invoices piled up from a major pharmaceutical supplier, Benzeevi said the arrangement was chiefly created to shore-up profits for the hospital, but he said that HCCA would not engage in such an arrangement again.

He said the arrangement allowed the hospital to profit to the tune of $17,958. In addition, HCCA received $3,125 in the form of a fee for guaranteeing the line of credit — that was passed on to TRMC as well.

“Bring it to us next time, that’s all I’m asking, prior to doing something like that,” Torrez said.

“We’ve expressed individually that we do not want any other kind of connection with [Southern Inyo] financially, and I guess the only problem that I had with it,” Wilbourn said, “is that it would have been nice to know that it was going to go ahead.”

Kumar argued that partnering with HCCA gave both the power of thinking–and doing–outside the box.

“The reason for the HCCA or a management company is that they can do these things–without hurting the district,” Kumar said. “It’s not illegal or whatever it is, it is just a pure business decision.”

Jamaica asked whether the agreement should have been brought up to the board, citing Torrez and Wilbourn’s comments.

“I don’t know if it was brought to your attention or if you knew about it, but it was brought up in March, when the loan was made out,” Jamaica said. “And it’s gone that long that none of the board members knew anything about it until we all read it in the newspapers.”

“HCCA does a lot of things out of the box. They are in charge of the operations. We look at the financials, and we look at the bottom line,” Kumar responded. “The board sitting here, we don’t make micro-management of HCCA. We set policies and procedures, which we have, and they go do their business deals.”

Kumar cited, as an example, HCCA’s work with Cerner Corporation, a vendor whose products the hospital has purchased in order to create an Electronic Medical Record system; however, the board has, at various times, voted to approve Cerner contracts and projects.

Wilbourn read from a printed motion–that carried 3-2, Kumar/Torrez/Wilbourn voting yes, Northcraft/Jamaica voting no–that retroactively approved, authorized and ratified the line of credit and its transactions to the Southern Inyo Healthcare District; and, acknowledging its full repayment, cancelling the credit line.

Though Benzeevi stated that HCCA would no longer engage the district’s funds in such arrangements, the motion did not have any content that would expressly prohibit such acts.

“We don’t need to keep talking about it in the papers, we don’t need to keep talking about it in board meetings,” Wilbourn said. “It’s done, it’s over with.”

Separate Legal Counsel Not Needed?

Northcraft attempted to make the case that TLHCD needed separate legal counsel appointed in case it had any conflicts or questions regarding its contracts with HCCA.

Bruce Greene, center, a contracted attorney for both the Tulare Local Healthcare District and Healthcare Conglomerate Associates, is pictured at September board meeting. Tony Maldonado/Valley Voice

HCCA and TLHCD currently share the same legal firm, BakerHostetler–and the need for a separate firm was a no-brainer, Northcraft said. Bruce Greene, of Baker-Hostetler, currently represents both TLHCD and HCCA.

“Mr. Greene has already indicated he cannot advise us on [some] issues,” Northcraft said.

Benzeevi told Northcraft he did not believe separate counsel was needed, describing TLHCD and HCCA as part of the same figurative family and a cooperative relationship.

“In a cooperative relationship, those disagreements are discussed and worked through. It is not about seeing who can do what to the other. It’s about working together to try to make things better,” Benzeevi said.

Northcraft repeated that he had significant concerns about the contract that would require outside counsel.

“When we met with you and your brother Iddo, we made it clear that Iddo would never have a major contract with someone else, and share the attorney,” Northcraft responded. “And he concurred that is just a stupid idea for any agency to do.”

“It’s astounding to me that in one month, there’s so much conflict,” Benzeevi said.

Northcraft proposed that the district publish a Request for Proposals for outside legal groups to represent the district on matters involving the contracts between TLHCD and HCCA. That motion failed 2-3, with Northcraft and Jamaica voting yes, and Kumar, Torrez and Wilbourn voting no.

“We will have to discuss our concerns in a public venue, apparently,” Northcraft said, “because we will have no legal counsel to advise us. That’s very adversarial.”

“Mr. Northcraft, you have been discussing in the public opinion about me and my family for a very long time, so that’s nothing new for me. Nothing changes,” Kumar said.

Northcraft disputed Kumar’s claim.

At the end of the meeting, the board voted to appoint new officers: Wilbourn is now the board president, Kumar its vice-president, Torrez continues as its treasurer, and Jamaica is now the board secretary.

The board will hold a special meeting in the coming weeks to discuss financial statements and to schedule the recall of Dr. Parmod Kumar, the board’s longest-serving member.

According Emily Oliveira, County of Tulare Deputy Elections Supervisor, the board has until February 3 to order the recall election.

Audio from the meeting is available below.

In Depth: Tulare Regional Medical Center

100 thoughts on “New TLHCD Board Members Seated as Factions Develop

  1. Wow, such big egos on the part of Bensleazy and Dr. Billionaire. We want both of them gone. They are interested only in their own agenda and that is obviously $$$.

  2. Wow is right!! It is so obvious that HCCA is doing anything they can to go against change and bringing transparency. The two new board members are trying to make the right moves to draw a line and do what is right for the hospital. While the puppet masters(Bennie & Kumar) control the strings!!! All the old board members need to go as they are drinking the daily kool-aid.

  3. Maybe next month they will do another retro order to authorize the spending of $78,000 for Kumar’s and Benzeevi’s lawsuit against Dr. Betre, the Chief of Staff, that they booted out. That is a good way to function, cover your butts after the money has been spent with no board authority. Sounds like Wilbourn is cool with functioning like that. Maybe she can just tell them “not to do it again.” I am sure she will be listened to – NOT!

  4. If Dr.Kumar is such a honorable man as they tried to portray last night at the meeting, why does he honor the wishes of his district and step down. His arrogance prohibits him from doing so. He claims him and his family were attacked by the committee for accountability. Apparently he did not read all of the nastiness that came from his followers. Many of us and our families were attacked with slanderous crap.

  5. “We don’t need to keep talking about it in the papers, we don’t need to keep talking about it in board meetings,” Wilbourn said. “It’s done, it’s over with.”

    I wonder if this is what she will say to a burglar who burglarizes her home.

    She is not only despicable, she is a moron too. She does not even know what she is speaking.

    How the hell people elected her?

  6. Who are Teresa And Kim? Why do they represent the employees of the hospital who elected them to be spokespersons? Do they actually work for the hospital or are they just mouthpieces?

    • My name is Teresa and I spoke at the Board meeting. NOONE tells me what to do or makes me say anything. I’m not “on the clock” like some of you mutter. I come on my own free time. Just so we are clear “justacitizen”. Every employee that works at that hospital has every right to be at those Board meetings like anyone else that is a citizen of this town. I am a taxpayer, citizen of Tulare and a proud employee of TRMC. If I have reacted to negative comments and said things to offend people, I am sorry. I know of the social media attacks, and it’s wrong. I’ve been on the recieving end of it, too. I speak my mind like everyone else, freedom of speech and opinion are a part of this democracy. I’ve been blocked from Citizens for Accountability because they only want THEIR side. If you don’t agree with their stance, you’re blocked. They’ve condoned viscious comments for months, against our staff, and I’m sick of it. The stories I hear from community members is dispicable about doctors telling them NOT to go to our hospital. That’s ILLEGAL. A patient has a right to go anywhere, but they trust their doctor and listen to them and because of HIPAA, unless a patient tells you that their Dr did this, the community doesn’t know. This has to stop.

      • But it is doctors’ duty to not send patients in way of harm.

        HCCA Tulare hospital is a dangerous place.

        If my doctor forces me to go to a place that is not safe, I will sue his a$$ for malpractice.

        • Mario, no one forces you anywhere… patients listen to their doctors. It’s illegal to tell a patient where to go. They have a right to choose. Our hospital has the same excellent staff, Directors, Nurses, CNA’s, RT’s, Secretaries etc that those same doctors worked with for YEARS with excellent care of our community…. and it was ok then, but not now?… What’s changed? Only thing since 2012, is Admin and the doctors that are sending their patients elsewhere want to be in charge of the hospital instead of who currently is. When did those doctors ego’s take priority over serving our community in Tulare? It’s truly dispicable what’s happening in our town. We should all come together and serve the sick in Tulare, after all isn’t that the oath they took to serve all? But instead they battle for power with lawsuits for what??? Power ??? It is truly disgraceful.

  7. It is obvious you are very frustrated by the criticism that is being directed toward the hospital. My question to you is, how does one get the Board to listen to what the community is telling them. The community did not support Measure I, they voted Bell and Gadke off the Board and now, Dr. Kumar will face a recall election. The community has spoken, they want their hospital back. The Board should listen to the community rather than listening to Benzeevi who is only interested in our hospital because he is ripping it off to the tune of $9,000,000 per year.

    • We do have our hospital, so I don’t understand why you think we don’t, Dave.
      If the people had an issue with Dr Kumar, then why didn’t anyone do anything about it the last 20 years? He’s been elected time and time again. Dr Kumar has done amazing things for this hospital. He serves so many in our community that other Drs wouldn’t . Look into why GI doctors don’t take call on the weekends at KDDH? That’s bad on Kaweah, someone could die, and that isn’t serving the community. Thank God Dr Kumar is available to take call, he is always available. I can’t say that for some other GI Drs.
      HCCA is helping our community have a hospital. They’ve made our hospital survive during difficult times.

      • So does that mean you are okay with their exorbitant salary? Do you have concerns that long-term staff in needed positions were let go so they can still draw that high payout? What has HCCA really done for the hospital?

        • HCCA has kept us financially strong for almost 3 years. Where were all these people 3 years ago? Not one came forward to help save the hospital? We had 24 days cash on hand and the Board had to make a decision….bankruptcy?… HCCA stopped us from closing. I have voiced my opinion before that layoffs are awful. It happens when a company has to make hard decisions. Thankfully HCCA has saved 100’s of jobs, when we have more employees than patients!

      • We DO NOT have our hospital.

        Our elected representatives cannot even set foot in this hospital without permission from HCCA.

        It is a HCCA hospital, not ours anymore.

      • For millions dollars income, there will be plenty of GI willing to work what Dr Kumar does and some more.

        Ever wondered why there has not been any new GI established in Tulare in 30 years??
        Hanford, Porterville, Visalia, Delano – all have many GI doctors.

        Tulare has been blocked by Dr Kumar. It is a violation of anti-trust laws.

  8. Teresa you say you believe in democracy. Then why when we speak up at meetings or voice our opinion, we are called out. You travel a one way street. I listen to both sides. You make us out to be terrible citizens of Tulare. I have nothing against the hospital or the employees. I have many friends that have chosen to leave the hospital because of the board and HCCA. Dr. Kumar IS a GI doctor who loves money and power. He has a lot of big money and power backing him. Who can go up against that. Hopefully, this recall will be successful. Then I will go back to using Tulare District Hospital!

    • I am willing to listen to both sides. I’ve talked with many on the opposition of our hospital. I’ve been blocked from the “Citizens” site, as a citizen of this town, along with several others that aren’t allowed to speak their voice. Everyone is allowed to speak their minds at the Board meetings. The citizens need to be heard during public comment, and more than one person spoke longer than 3 minutes… it wasn’t exclusive to one side… but it’s usually the same people saying the same thing over and over again, at the meetings every month. It’s nice to have a change and hear other voices that deserve to be heard. The positive stories should be heard. The newspaper never mentioned one word about the accolades we’ve achieved at the hospital and that was a huge part of the meeting. They are all about spreading the negative stories. That shows you how biased the paper is. Sad, isn’t it.

  9. Teresa, it seems to me as if you believe it doesn’t matter what the citizens are saying. They have spoken loud and clear, they no longer trust Dr. Kumar, they certainly don’t trust Dr. Benzeevi and they want their hospital back. The Board has made some really bad decisions during the last 4 years. Individually, I am sure they are nice people. As a board they have failed the community. In a democracy, the majority rules. I believe the people want change.

    • It’s sad that out of 65,000 people in this town, only around 11,000 voted during Measure I.

      Likewise. Looking at the amount of registered voters, for Board seats, how many didn’t vote….

  10. Dave this is very cynical and self-serving to one’s purpose. Where Was this group of accountability people when the hospital was in despair for lack of a better word-near financial hopelessness.

    Why are they at attention now? Sounds very self serving. The community would have welcomed this group 6 or 7 years ago, why because this would’ve all made sense.

    And now after all the progress made by HCCA with a financial failing hospital this accountability group wants to come and try and take TRMC back- back to what? Financial ruins.

    I’m very suspicious when people show up at the wrong time , and in my opinion citizens for Hospital accountability has shown up six-plus years too late in my book.

    Let the progress move forward and stop your path of destruction to the only community hospital we have.

    • ” financial hopelessness” was manufactured by Dr. Kumar and his crony Shawn Boluki so that Kumar can take over the hospital under the excuse of saving it.

      They could not have got anyone to agree for the sale (disguised as management) contract if hospital was showing real profit.

      Where were you Teresa when this ” financial hopelessness” was being created?

  11. Sorry, but if you believe the hospital is progressing you are going to need to show me your facts. The Citizens For Hospital Accountability has every right to question HCCA. It seems to me that all HCCA needs to do is be transparent unless they are hiding something. Their behavior makes a body very suspicious. You seem to dislike the citizen group. I appreciate their effort.

    • Not paying their bills for medication …. is that what you call financial stability ??

      Not paying doctors, cutting employees’ pensions, not matching 401K, not paying vendors, …. are these signs of financial stability??

      Not letting public know of financial status of hospital ……. Is that not smell of something very shady??

  12. Torrez and Wilbourn should also be considered for a recall. Their main goal is to serve Kumar and Benzeevi/HCCA. They have lost what little trust the tax payers had in them. This hospital board will continue to be tainted with those two onboard (make that three counting Kumar).

  13. I totally agree.

    Both Torrez & Wilbourn are very weak. They are there due to lack of public interest. Their modus operandi is to sell their soul to Kumar for some bread crumbs. That is their livelihood.

    Torrez could not put food to his table if he was not “blessed” by Kumar.

  14. Maria FYI my name is Kassandra I’m not Teresa, yet this seems to be the MO for some people . Accuse and say whatever makes you feel better.

    Within the circle of trust I feel secure and safe knowing HCCA is stepping up when NONE and I mean NONE of these other people associated with Citizens would.

    • Maria,
      I’m Teresa (see my name below)
      Valley Voice can see my identity privately and yours. They breached my privacy for only me, last year with all this political discussion. That showed me their bias. Press identifying someone that wishes their name be kept private for safety, was wrong of them. Anyone on here can speak their mind, freedom of speech. I heard this recently, and it is completely true.
      “If you don’t read the paper, you’re UNIFORMED… if you do read the paper, you’re MISINFORMED”.

      • Teresa, can you tell me where we’ve misinformed anyone?

        I’d be happy to work on corrections where they’re needed. Feel free to reply here or catch me via email at [email protected].

        My inbox is always open for you or anyone else who feels we’ve made an error.

        Thanks for your help!

        • So is that the email we send editorials to? We’ve had people tell us that they write letters defending our hospital, and the care we give. It’s interesting how those never get printed in the paper, but all the negative things said at the Board meetings are. Why didn’t you print any of the accolades TRMC achieved? All positive things our staff have done. Just curious why you focus on nothing good?

          • Teresa, editorials would go to [email protected] or [email protected]. The ultimate decision to publish any letter rests with our editor, not myself. However, while I am not the editor — I write, design, and work on our website — I can’t remember any time we’ve ever looked at a letter that came in and decided that it won’t run because of its viewpoint.

            Indeed, we have gone out of our way to make room for statements from HCCA in the last two issues – even when they have come in close to publication time:

            https://issuu.com/ourvalleyvoice/docs/vv_issue_86_combi/10
            https://issuu.com/ourvalleyvoice/docs/vv_issue_85_combi/10

            Additionally, just a few issues before that, the most recent letter we received re: Dr. Kumar went in unscathed:
            https://issuu.com/ourvalleyvoice/docs/vv_issue_83_combi/10

            For better or worse, the overwhelming majority of the letters and comments we receive are not in line with your viewpoint — it’s not because we receive them and throw them into the memory hole.

            Once again, I encourage you to send any errors or inaccuracies you see in our reporting to me via email, or point them out here so they can be addressed.

      • Teresa–
        I don’t know if you wear a uniform or not, but I’d like to thank you for affirming our commitment to freedom of speech.

    • I tried to respond to the writers that mentioned me above. It isn’t allowing me to reply, or maybe they don’t want me to have freedom of speech here.

      • Teresa, unfortunately the combination of your being a relatively infrequent commenter plus posting four comments within the span of ten minutes set off our spam filter, causing them to go in a spam moderation queue.

        If we weren’t allowing you to reply, your replies would not have been re-approved by hand.

        • That’s interesting, but there are way more comments from other people on here that aren’t me, but I’m “flagged”… that is truly hilarious.

          • Teresa, you don’t comment here nearly as often as the others, so the anti-spam solution we use hasn’t categorized you definitively. Considering the amount of spam we get, I have the settings set aggressively and deal with the messes after the fact.

            As always, my inbox is always open should you have any questions, suggestions, or corrections: [email protected]

  15. I noticed a small group of people were blaming HCCA for spending the $85 million of the issued bond money.
    I AM A TAX PAYER SO I WILL SPEAK. When in reality over $86 million was spent between 2007 -2013. HCCA started managing the hospital in 2014 and from what I have looked into HCCA spent the remains of money to cover the building along with some other needed items. This was a continuous LIE Citizens CFHA was spreading to make HCCA look bad.

    Again another interesting fact is that local physicians starting back in 2012 were sending their patients elsewhere. This sounds like a boycott to me. Once again HCCA wasn’t even on the Map. Where have these physicians been sending their patients. Not to mention that some of these physicians utilize Tulare taxpayers money to set up their own practices. As a tax payer that infuriates me.

    Next, it looks llike from 2011-2013 again before HCCA the hospital had a loss of
    2011 $10.5 million LOSS
    2012 $8.5 million LOSS
    2013 $$4.4 million LOSS

    HCCA in the first 3 years showed profit which in return went towards the Hospital.

    The Citizens group seems to be very invidious towards HCCA with mostly non factual information being spewed to the public. What’s happening at TRMC over the last 3 years is what I would call AMAZING! And I’m happy to still have a hospital in my community.

    We are so grateful for all the jobs saved at TRMC during a time when local doctors chose to boycott our community Hospital in hopes that the hospital would fail and over 500 people would be without jobs.
    Again AMAZING work HCCA for coming into our community and making sure we still have a hospital.

  16. Kassandra – you are forgetting to state that you are administrative assistant to Samantha Bland (at Hillman clinic) and are NOT living in Tulare.

  17. Keyka here we go with more LIES LIES LIES. I’m 100% NOT Samantha Blands ANYTHING. And if i’m not mistaking a few post up somebody accuse me of being a person named Teresa .

    You know if you continue to tell these aweful mistruths about people soon you will believe your own lies.

    Now Keyka do you have something constructive you would like to add.

  18. Kassandra, are you aware that TTMC pays Benzeevi over $3,000,000 per year to manage TRMC while Lindsay Mann at Kaweah Delta makes a little over $600,000. Are you aware that HCCA is surcharging all TRMC salaries by 30 percent, another $6,000,000 annually. This is being deferred to be used to buy our hospital once he bankrupts it. Keep drinking the kool aid while the hospital goes to Benzeevi.

  19. Those profits are from inter-governmental transfers that Bolouki wasn’t taking advantage of. Profits are also from cuts and skimming on everything. There has been no growth just decline under HCCA, that alone shows they have no skill to lead the hospital.

    Benzeevi has been around prior to the manipulated takeover when there was supposedly “no other options.” He first took over the ER contract from his employer, then a scant 5 months later he is reinvented to be HCCA. He is very well aware of what went on in 2012 since he was there.

    Continuous attempt of rewriting of history.

  20. So basically what you’re alluding to is HCCA did a great job making sure they applied for all the potential financial benefits possible for our community hospital.

    If doctors would just stop boycotting the community hospital for no reason at then and maybe then we could get back to what’s important and that is the citizens of Tulare and a Need
    For a new Hospital and new doctors.

    The Cituzens Group in my opinion has done enough damage to this hospital. It’s very rare that you hear them say anything nice in respects to the hospital .

    • Why are doctors boycotting TRMC?

      The same 100+ doctors who have supported TRMC all their life.

      Care to think?

      100+ doctors cannot be stupid or wrong.

      Think Tulare. Think.

      • just because a doctor has privileges at a hospital, doesn’t mean they practice there. We are about a 100 bed hospital. That would be a ratio of 1:1, Dr to Patient ratio. We have “maybe” 20-25 doctors that actively practice at our hospital. Keyka, your “100 Dr boycott” comment has no foundation.

        • Keyka who is feeding this information to you. I know my Friends Doctor is boycotting TRMC and she says he has no good reason as to why when she asks him . He was asked so he did. I told her she may want to reconsider her doctor because he seems to be a follower and not a leader.

  21. Yes Jack, I did and I disagree with Dave. My opinion is that this community hospital was in shambles when they arrive and they are well deserving of that money for all they have done . I’m a tax payer too and I know and read everything so I know how hard they are fighting to keep the hospital moving forward

    • How did they do the “magic”?

      They cannot be firing staff EVERY year.

      They cannot possibly take away their pensions EVERY year.

      HCCA cannot be not paying doctors EVERY year.

      Tell me ONE FRIGGING thing they have done to increase REVENUE.

      Cost cutting can go to zero expenses but no further.

      What do they do after that?

      The reason you are pi$$ing in your pants is because now you know your stealing party is over Samantha.

      Now it is time that government comes to check books and you ALL go to JAIL.

  22. Kassandra you have to be kidding. Benzeevi deserves $9,000,000 per year? The hospital is in a “shambles” now. The community has spoken via Measure I, the defeat of Bell and Gadke and the successful petition to put Kumar on the ballot for a recall vote. The community will never support the hospital until Kumar and Benzeevi are both gone. Do you work for TRMC?

    • Dave Mr Benzeevie does not get $9 million a year. Once again another comment to mislead people in Tulare. Please STOP the Lies all your doing is hurting the citizens. Let them know that if not for this company HCCA the hospital would more then likely not exist.

  23. Hear Hear.

    Tulare people have woken up. They now see the theft clearly.

    People will not support this hospital as long as “foxes are guarding the hen-house”

    Shame on TRMC leaders. Shame on you.

  24. Hi Dave… No I do not work at the local hospital. And I was not surprised at all that measure I didn’t pass even with all the negativity from the Citizen Hospital group regardless it was not going to pass.

    As far as ” The people have spoken” I totally agree that the VOTERS have spoken but as far as the majority of the 65,000 citizens with only a little over 25,000 as voters and with only 7,000ish casting ballots I view this as a very small portion of the areas population.

    And as for the community not supporting the hospital well this one I know for a fact is because Our own family members have been advised by their doctors not to use TRMC until they get rid of HCCA and Dr Kumar. Mind you that this has been going on since 2012. Our family memberl said they felt intimidated and forced to do something they really didn’t agree with, but because it is their doctor they felt they better listen or they maybe dropped as a patient.

  25. Keyka PLEASE!!! A few Thousand people out of what did I say 65,000 have been ill Advised By a group of individuals who have been spewing LIES about The hospital.

  26. So you are saying that people who kicked out Shammie Bell by landslide were <> and were stupid enough believe >>LIES<< ?

    So you are saying that people who defeated Measure I by landslide were <> and were stupid enough believe >>LIES<< ?

    You just insulted all Tulare people in a major way.

  27. Why dont then HCCA present financial information and clear up what you call “LIES”?

    800,000 was spent before even when Parmod Kumar said it will be approved in a board meeting before it is used. Is that a LIE?

    HCCA gave our money to Inyo hospital without even telling the board at the same time they were FIRING employees.
    Is that a LIE?

  28. For millions dollars income, there will be plenty of GI willing to work what Dr Kumar does and some more.
    Ever wondered why there has not been any new GI established in Tulare in 30 years??
    Hanford, Porterville, Visalia, Delano – all have many GI doctors.
    Tulare has been blocked by Dr Kumar. It is a violation of anti-trust laws.

  29. Let’s talk, perhaps you can get HCCA to back up Your claim of “moving forward”. They have did away with monthly financial reporting and now gives only very broad quarterly reports. They have to borrow $800k to pay overdue bills and lie to the public to get it. The go completely against their contract and basically loan themselves $500k without even informing the Board.
    Is this your definition of moving forward?

  30. Martin nobody use the word stupid. This is part of the citizens groups mind manipulation towards the people of Tulare.

    Next, Thousands upon thousands of companies do quarterly financials how could you possibly have a problem with that. In My opinion I feel as if you people are out to destroy the hospital not save it.

    Martin layoff happen everywhere it’s unfortunate but it happens I’m confident that all the people that were laid off will find other jobs within the medical field.

  31. Let’s-Talk with Kassandra seems to be saying: If she says it’s so then it’s so. Anyone out there who disagrees with her is “misinformed” or ‘manipulating” her words. Kassandra seems to be handing out a lot of “alternative facts” in her talking points. Kassandra also seems to know a great deal inside information for someone who claims to not be an inside player for HCCA.

  32. Mariyanne Dr Kumar is a very honorable man the people he has taken care of in the community appreciate him. The only reason that this recall has proceeded is because of the LIES citizens group has spread going door-to-door.
    I have friends that were there victims of these LIES about Dr Kumar

    I’m happy Dr Kumar didn’t back down from the LIE that The citizens for Hospital accountability are spreading. I’m Thankful Dr Kumar is standing up for the people in his district that are completely aware that he is being sabotaged against.

  33. Barbra you are so misinformed the majority of that information is public. Never the less Barbra does this mean that everyone from Citizens for hospital accountability works at the hospital too because they sure do have a lot of insight of the hospital. . Or Brabra would you just say that maybe their wasting the tax payers money with frivolous lawsuits and ordering of documents. You pick Barb. Regardless I’m feed up with Citizens Grouo wasting the tax payers money.

    • Not all your so-called information is coming from the public. But by the look of your typos and currently lacking the ability to put out coherent talking points you really seemed stressed out. Perhaps you could go to the good Dr. Kumar and ask him for something to calm your nerves. By the way Kassandra as a tax payer for this hospital for over 40 years I do not think this group is wasting my tax dollars.

    • K:
      If you have a kid who has passed 5th grade, please have him/her correct your grammar & syntax before you post.

      It is embarrassing to see what is the education level we are dealing with in people running this hospital.

  34. I do not think there are more than 5 doctors left to work at this hospital.

    Dr. Zulim was recently fired when she filed a complaint about staff shortage in operation theater.

    This hospital scares me – it is good for Halloween celebration but not to take your family for care.

  35. Barbra and Martin I’m far from stressed out , but I do thank you for your concern. Sorry for the Typos and that it upset you. That was not my intent. I’ll try to NOT to use my Micro-Phone anymore during such conversations. I do not want you to focus on something as Meaningless as “TYPOS ”

    Now back to the issue at hand. The Boycotting Doctors seemed to be very content with sending all their patients to TRMC until about 2012, I know this because I have many friends and family that utilized TRMC per thier Doctors. With that said, I along with many others ask… what happen in 2012? Reminding you that this is Yeaes before HCCA came into this arena.

    Furthermore, Martin I do not work for the Hospital , but if this is the lie you must tell to make yourself feel Enriched please by all means do so.

    I’m so taken aback by the way The Citizens group and its followers have chosen to denigrate the fine citizens of Tulare who disagree with them.

    • All I will say to Kassandra is that young Dr. Brian Bell seemed to spout off all kinds of knowledge of hospital business and he doesn’t work there as far as I know. Why don’t you ask him where he got all of his information? Citizens for hospital accountability is a legitimate group of intelligent people who want to see the hospital thrive under management that can handle it, which isn’t HCCA, plain and simple!

  36. You are beyond condescending. I can wager my house that your one of the Citizens for Hospital Accountability people and I would not choose you as someone I would want to run my community hospital. It seems to me you may lack kindness and compassion.

    NO THANKS CITIZENS FOR HOSPITAL ACCOUNTABILITY

    I’LL TAKE MY CHANCES WITH HCCA

  37. Sorry Gonzalez this lie is one you can’t spread because Rebecca Zulim is actually a personal friend of mine and she is very content with HCCA. How do you guys determine what deceitful LIES you will tell for the day.

  38. Now they closed Lindsey clinic. They told patients to go find some other clinic. This is one fast shrinking hospital system. Management is not aiming to serve patients. They just want to milk out as much money as possible before it is nothing more than a carcass.

    Shame on us for letting them do to our hospital.

  39. Gonzales I’m not sure about Dr Kumar, and I’m not a rumor type of individual as you seem to be .
    I’ll just use First initials. i know of a Dr “K” “NOT Dr Kumar” that does have a mistress and wife . How do you feel about that? Maybe you should attack him in the public sector. This I know to be factual.

    Gonzales If this is not factual information to yourself or others then this is called a “RUMOR” of uncertain or doubtful truth. Let your friends at CFHC know.

    Steven I am 100% Sure that our hospital was in a form of financial devastation. I use this hospital as does my family so we are very exhilarated that HCCA has kept the doors open.

    Furthermore, I would rather have a clinic close then a hospital wouldn’t you Steven?

  40. Financial devastation but lending money to a far away bankrupt hospital ?

    Just so that money can be diverted to Dr. Kumar’s pocket in the name of medical director fee? At the tune of $750,000 !!

    Financial devastation yet paying 3,000,000 to Benny – and for doing what? – just firing nurses — causing serious patient safety problem !

    Financial devastation and paying Alan Germany for first class airfare to travel from his home in another state !
    Why not hire someone local?

    Financial devastation and paying Dr. Kumar’s private legal expenses from hospital funds – money that could have been used to maintain patient safety.

    .. not much of keeping hospital door open – HCCA is keeping the manhole to sewer open. This hospital is a scary place.

  41. K:
    You are a professional troll paid for by our tax dollars (through HCCA).
    You have been given job to come here, spread lies, frustrate people with illogical remarks and crowd others out.
    Your goal is make user experience so off-putting that people stop commenting here.
    Why dont you come to facebook page and comment with your real identity?

  42. Has anyone heard recently that HCCA has purchased land and is going to build their own hospital by the outlet malls? That’s what I’ve heard, and wondering if anyone else has any knowledge regarding this?

  43. Yeah I ran into my buddy who’s a local banker here and they were having a meeting with the architects and Beenzivie. I look at it this way regardless Tulare needs a hospital.

  44. Tony I Was wondering how long it was going to take The Valley Voice to remove the person impersonating me
    ” Kassandra Alter Ego”
    Troll Kassandra”

    Although I do still see that person there , so I hope this paper doesn’t just pick people’s comments who they want on here. Everyone has a Voice and everyone has a opinion.

    • Hi, Kassandra, the reason a recent comment — up for about 30 minutes — was removed, and I needed to post a reminder, was that someone impersonated another person and spoke, in the first person, as if they were them. It was pretty clear that this wasn’t the actual person.

      For the sake of example, I will say that someone impersonated me, posted as “Tony,” and wrote “I take candy from babies.”

      Now — of course I don’t take candy from babies. In fact, candy’s pretty cheap since it’s a few days after Valentine’s Day, so I’d just go down to the Walgreens. But the issue is that if someone posted as “Tony” and said that, people might believe that I truly take candy from babies. That’s the problem.

      If someone posted as “Tony’s Alter Ego” and said “Tony takes candy from babies” — that seems pretty clear that, off the bat, it’s not me. And they’re talking about me in the third person.

      That’s the case in the two examples you cited.

      I don’t like those types of comments. They’re troll-ish and don’t contribute anything to the conversation. If they continue en masse, I may need to see if we can revisit that, or ban the appropriate posters as necessary.

      But, as you’ve said, everyone has a voice and an opinion. That’s what makes our comment section a lot more lively than the other newspapers — by and large, we try to keep things that way.

      Hope this helps. Please feel free to reply here or email me at [email protected] if you have any other questions.

  45. Deliberately offensive or provocative online post with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them. At this point I am convinced that this is one the most biased news papers I’ve ever seen. Why, because when it comes to the definition of a TROLL your number one suspect is Gonzalez Time and time again he is able to post negative mean remarks .

  46. Yes Lucy I did hear HCCA purchased land to possibly build thier own hospital. How exciting for the citizens of Tulare. If they did explore that option it would put to rest the continuous Sabotage from the Citizens Group.

  47. There is so much that I would like to add with many of these comments but unable to do so at this time due to time constraints.

    But I would like to address that someone attempted to impersonate me last week by putting a comment as it was from me. It indicated that I changed my mind because I was given false information that I didn’t research and that I thought HCCA was the best thing for our hospital.

    I want to stress that I absolutely do not feel that way for so many reasons. My opinions were developed by researching data and not what someone told me. The disappointing thing from HCCA and some of their employees is that they fail to recognize that a good majority of the community is not supportive of their actions because they actually did research.

    So it doesn’t matter how many times that you indicate that we are trying to sabotage with lies and deceit it just isn’t true. We are bringing out the truth, the community is bright enough to educate themselves and make their own decisions. I can speak for the Citizens Group as a whole to state that we would never support impersonating someone else.

  48. Deanne no one said they were you. This is my opinion and mine only. I do believe in HCCA now and support them. Please don’t flatter yourself with the thought that anyone would want to be you.

    I along with many other Citizens support HCCA. With that said I also have to respect people that may not. Im so sorry that something as minutiae as another individual with your same name stresses you out.

    Is this the reason my post was deleted due to the FACT that people from Citizens Group has claimed they are being impersonated. This is the definition of “Bias”

    I hope it makes you feel more secure me using my middle name.

    Please grow up!

    • I think the comment from last week was pretty indicative of what the attempt was. I definitely don’t feel flattered and I feel pretty grown up so don’t worry about that.

      I seriously doubt that is your real name and based on how last week’s comment was written I have a pretty good idea of who would be writing it. The same cheerleader since 2012. Good luck to you.

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