Kettering Health: Misconduct complaints not tied to donor funds

Health network governance policies last updated in 2021

Kettering Health officials say their ongoing internal investigation of unspecified misconduct allegations involving hospital management have found no connection to donor funds.

“These allegations do not include funds received through donation to any one of the four Kettering Health foundations, and our internal investigation has confirmed this to be accurate,” hospital officials said in a statement released Wednesday. “Our foundations have stringent polices to ensure that all donated funds are appropriately accounted for, used in line with the request of each donor, and in compliance with applicable laws.”

The hospital network’s foundations are the Kettering Health Foundation, Grandview Foundation, Greene Medical Foundation, and Fort Hamilton Hospital Foundation. The four organizations support Kettering Health’s mission with donations from the public, separate from revenue its hospitals get from providing medical services.

Kettering Health on Wednesday additionally maintained its “commitment and mission ‘to improve the quality of life of the people in the communities we serve through healthcare and education.’”

Kettering Health officials say they have been working with an outside firm to conduct an internal investigation and another to recommend updates to processes and policies in response to “allegations of inappropriate fiscal and operational management at Kettering Health,” which the Dayton Daily News reported on previously in March after receiving copies of complaints filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

“While this work is ongoing, we are taking steps to address wrongdoing and shortcomings we identify. These steps include making necessary personnel changes — inclusive of employees and members of the board — to ensure both individual accountability and strict compliance with updated and comprehensive governance practices,” says a statement from the hospital network released March 27.

Governance policies

The Dayton Daily News obtained Kettering Health’s governance policies, which the non-profit network is required to make publicly available under IRS rules.

Kettering Health’s conflict of interest policy was last revised in December 2020 and approved by its administrative finance council and network leadership group in January 2021. The policy says, “The employees of the Kettering Health are expected to conduct themselves and their business affairs in a consistently ethical manner.”

The conflict of interest policy requires employees to disclose and/or avoid conflicts of interest, which include relationships with vendors; any financial interest in vendors, suppliers, contractors, and competitors of Kettering Health; actions that discourage “a potential or actual customer from doing business with” Kettering Health or otherwise assisting a competitor; endorsements or testimonials without prior approval; and/or actions considered disloyal or “self-dealing.” There are also limitations in regard to outside employment, research, and gifts.

While the conflict of interest policy does not specifically address nepotism guidelines, the policy does address employees’ spouses work, saying, “If your spouse works for a direct competitor of KH and is in a position to influence decisions affecting KH, you must disclose your spouse’s position to KH.”

The specific focus of Kettering Health’s internal probe is unknown. The hospital network announced its actions in response to questions from the Dayton Daily News and other media outlets, which obtained from the Ohio AG’s office anonymous complaints alleging “abuse of charitable funds.”

The complaints referenced former Kettering Health CEO Fred Manchur and Dave Weigley, former chairman of the Kettering Health board and current president of Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists. Kettering Health is affiliated with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Multiple attempts have been made to reach Manchur and Weigley for comment. They have not responded to any requests.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office would not confirm if there are or had been investigations into Kettering Health due to the organization being a non-profit and, therefore, considered a charitable organization. The office cites Ohio Revised Code saying, “any investigation of a (charitable) trust shall not be open to public inspection.”

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