05 Apr 2018
- By Lori Lyn C. Lirio – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
VINCE Castro is no longer the executive director of the Kagman Community Health Center, according to Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna.
In an April 4, 2018 memorandum, she appointed CHCC chief financial officer Derek Sasamoto “effective immediately” as acting executive director of the center “until further notice.”
Muna declined to discuss the reason for Castro’s firing.
Castro’s expulsion came on the heels on his disclosure on Wednesday that the center will operate independently of CHCC starting on May 1, 2018,
Variety was unable to get a comment from Castro, but KCHC board chair Velma Palacios said Muna has no authority to fire the executive director because he reports to the board.
Muna on Thursday said the CHCC management and the board of trustees support the center’s plan to operate independently “but not the process of doing it behind our back.”
She added, “We accept that they are separating. We want to make sure that there will be a smooth transition. We need to appoint somebody who understands…the financial aspect of the transition to make sure that the interests of both parties are addressed.”
CHCC’s interest must be considered, Muna said. “We have to make sure that there is an understanding about the need to protect assets that we purchased over the years.”
As CHCC CEO, Muna said she has the authority over all transactions. “So it is my duty to protect those assets — at least to make sure that those assets are transferred appropriately and under the proper legal authority.”
In an earlier statement, Muna said she and board of trustees only learned that KCHC was separating from CHCC on March 29, 2018.
“Obviously, I was not aware of it, the board of trustees was not aware either. The move was concealed from us,” she added.
Castro has said that the U.S. Human Resources Services Administration or HRSA extended its funding assistance to KCHC which will get more than $1 million for its annual operations.
But Muna said “further discussion is needed and we are simply waiting for full details of the application they submitted to the HRSA to clearly assess the situation.”
Muna said CHCC “will not oppose KCHC’s separation for now to ensure that there will a smooth transition and to ensure that the population they serve will continue to have healthcare services.”
She said “the employees have to be considered too. We want to make sure that employees are taken care of.”
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/103458-chcc-s-muna-fires-vince-castro