The Dayton Daily News, a newspaper based in Dayton, Ohio, has interviewed one of the whistleblowers who filed a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office about alleged financial misconduct by Fred Manchur, the now-former CEO of Kettering Health. Manchur abruptly retired late last year. In December, Spectrum reported on Manchur’s history of financial extravagance and a potential investigation by the attorney general.
In March, the Daily News and other local outlets obtained copies of the complaints, which accuse Manchur of misusing funds. Dave Weigley, president of the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and former Kettering Health board chair, was also named.
Now, one complainant has gone public. Lori Van Nostrand, the former executive secretary at Soin Medical Center, “complained about nepotism in the hospital system and hospital funds being used for improvements at Manchur’s house, among other things,” writes reporter Samantha Wildow. “She also said there were [a] lot of trips that were non-hospital related.”
“There’s this search nationwide for a CEO, but you still have leadership that participated,” she said about why she filed a complaint with the state. “To me, if you don’t stand up and go against or speak out and just say, ‘This isn’t right,’ you’re part of the problem.”
Van Nostrand, who filed a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in August 2021 according to the complaint, worked at Soin for five and a half years until she resigned in February 2022 after claiming she was retaliated against for comments she made in support of a letter that was circulating among hospital staff criticizing Manchur. Van Nostrand filed a complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
The Daily News also reported on April 5 that Kettering Health officials claim the internal investigation into the alleged misconduct has found no connection to charitable 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,” Kettering Health said in a statement. The Daily News also obtained the health system’s governance policies, which require employees to disclose conflicts of interest.
One former executive who spoke with Spectrum in 2022 about working with Manchur compared the experience as similar The Firm, the John Grisham novel and 1993 movie starring Tom Cruise.
In the story, a young lawyer is seduced by the organization’s culture of perks—an expensive car, a house—in return for loyalty. One former executive stated, “When you go to work for [Manchur’s] organization you have two choices: You go party with Fred and everyone else or your ethics prohibit that and you fall out of favor.”
While Kettering Health has announced an investigation is taking place by an external firm, the health network declined to answer questions from Spectrum about what firm is conducting the investigation, the timeframe of the investigation, or whether a report on the findings will be made available to the public.
Dave Weigley stepped down as chair of the Kettering Health board in January, replaced by Celeste Ryan Blyden, executive secretary of the Columbia Union. The union has directed questions about the allegations and internal investigation to Kettering Health.
Read the latest stories from the Dayton Daily News:
“Kettering Health: Misconduct Complaints Not Tied to Donor Funds” (April 5, 2023).
Alex Aamodt is the managing digital editor of Spectrum.
Title image: Kettering Health main campus. Photo credit: Kettering Health.
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