Friday, December 24, 2010

Former OVMC CEO Sues a Wheeling Hospital

Headline: News Register
 Brian K Felici sues OVMC
December 23, 2010

An aside:

It's is early Christmas eve. I was surprised to read the local headlines yesterday, as I hold many secrets about OVMC as well as other health care instituitions in the Ohio Valley. I chose to speak out. And, likely, my comments will stir a few people as both my husband's Tom and my families are well-known and respected in the Ohio Valley.

For four and a half years I have had to keep a secret, a nasty tactic to intimidate me and thwart justice. Carelink Health Plans, Inc. of West Viriginia, a subsidiary of Fortune 500 Company Coventry Health Care Inc of Bethesda Md,  personnel told a WV judge that I "may be dangerous." The reality is just the opposite. They are dangerous as is everyone connected with them. Ironcially, I guess I am their continued success as an "excellent" health care provider.

Former CEO says he was guaranteed full salary in contract

December 23, 2010 - By SHELLEY HANSON Staff Writer

WHEELING - The former chief executive officer of two local hospitals is suing the facilities' parent company for alleged breach of contract and fraud.

Brian Felici, former CEO of Ohio Valley Health Services & Education Corp., the parent company of Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital, filed a complaint in Ohio County Circuit Court against the corporation and American Healthcare Solutions, which is the company hired to shore up the hospitals' finances.

In the complaint, Felici claims the corporation breached its contract by not paying him after he resigned April 7 as CEO. The corporation, he claims, agreed to pay him $303,000 a year for a three-year contract - Oct. 1, 2009 to Oct. 1, 2012 - plus bonus compensation of up to $100,000 for each year of the contract.

"The contract states 'that in the event that Mr. Felici's employment is terminated by OVHS&E without just cause or by Mr. Felici for good reason, Mr. Felici shall be entitled to receive the total compensation due to him under the then-current term. Such compensation shall be paid to Mr. Felici in a single payment, due 30 days after the date of termination,'" according to the Nov. 23 complaint.

Hospitals spokeswoman Shayna Varner said she is aware the complaint has been filed in circuit court.

"OVHS&E denies the allegations of the complaint filed by Mr. Felici in the Circuit Court of Ohio County, West Virginia, and intends to vigorously defend against that complaint," Varner said.

Felici could not be reached Wednesday for additional comment. However, he notes in the complaint that after the hospitals' board of trustees hired American Healthcare Solutions he was informed that he would be replaced as CEO.

"OVHS&E informed the plaintiff, Brian Felici, that it would honor the terms of the employment contract and asked the plaintiff to gracefully resign so that the move would garner favorable public relations for all parties involved," the complaint states.

The complaint claims the corporation notified Felici July 8 that all payments and benefits would cease. It also claims American Healthcare Solutions "intentionally interfered" with Felici's contract.

Felici's suit also claims the defendants intentionally inflicted "severe emotional distress" because they knew Felici "was relying on the payments and benefits" in the contract.

In addition to lost wages, Felici also is suing for loss of earning capacity, lost benefits such as life insurance, pension savings plan, automobile allowance, vacation and more. He also is suing for mental anguish including aggravation, annoyance, inconvenience, anxiousness, fear and humiliation, along with attorney fees and costs.

Felici, who recently was hired as CEO at Wetzel County Hospital, is demanding a jury trial.

My posted comment, Post 6, December 23, 2010:

This day, a young, brilliant, beautiful woman fights for her life. Again and again. My friend of nine years suffers from a debilitating illness, bipolar illness. It was under Brian Felici’s administration, that my husband Tom and I met with Brad Schnarr, the former Director of Hillcrest, to tell a troubling story.

Hillcrest director, Brad Schnarr, did not listen to the evidence. OVMC’s wrongful treatment brought a life of hell to a trusting young adult and her good, loving parents. The hell continues this day.

My friend has been hospitalized for over one month at two different psychiatric centers – never again to be Hillcrest. Doctors have little hope. If we cannot bring her back, I must no longer keep my mouth closed.

Brian K. Felici is aware that to effect change sometimes one must have the courage to sue. But what he does not know is that he is responsible for the poor conditions at Hillcrest and the lack of professionalism of some of its staff. And that may be criminal.

25th Comment Posted  December 24, 2010

Christine, I'm so glad you saw my post. I lost my only unborn baby when I was 40. My troubles began shortly after. 3 day migrane headaches, mood swings, the whole nine yards. As I said, after 7 doctors my angel came in the form of Dr. Kenneth Allen when I came back home to West Virginia. He put me on something called Parladel. I am completely recovered as far as I know. Even the late Dr. Anderson didn't know what was wrong. Maybe it is your answer. I pray it is.

26th Comment Posted December 24, 2010

Skunky, Thank you for your concern.

Please Google "Christine O'Brien Stenger" and, if you carefully read, you may begin to understand that the problem goes much deeper than the operation of one hospital. As Fr. Jerome McKenna, my former spiritual director, told me before leaving Wheeling a few years ago, "There's a systemic evil in the health care in West Virginia." At the time Fr. Jerome was the Vicar General of the catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, a man calling for social justice. I have personally learned that this deceit extends into many other health care institutions in the Ohio Valley. Carelink Health Plans, Inc. would like you to think I may be violent and dangerous. That’s a story for 2011 that will hit the front pages of the newspaper if they have the courage to cover it. May the truth set us free so that we can all begin to live the Hope the season of Christmas brings.

~Christine O’Brien Stenger

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