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Kettering Health Confirms Misuse of Funds at Admin and Board Level

Wally Sackett, Elliot Smith, Fred Manchur, Sharlet Briggs, Robert Smith

An internal investigation at Kettering Health has revealed “inappropriate spending,” CEO Michael Gentry shared in an email to staff on November 7. The Ohio-based health system launched the investigation this year following whistleblower reports of financial impropriety. Spectrum first reported on lavish spending by former CEO Fred Manchur and an alleged investigation by the Ohio attorney general 11 months ago.

Now, Kettering Health has confirmed that funds were misused.

“Organizational funds were used for non-business purposes,” Gentry wrote. “As a next step, Kettering Health will be seeking repayment of these funds from multiple individuals and sharing information related to our investigation with the appropriate authorities. Individuals implicated in the investigation are no longer with the organization.”

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the proceedings, Kettering has sent clawback letters to multiple former employees, demanding repayment of amounts ranging from tens of thousands of dollars into six figures. 

In a statement to Spectrum, Jimmy Phillips, Kettering Health vice president for communication and marketing, said that the organization has been fully cooperating with authorities throughout the process and has shared all the information currently uncovered. “We’re not commenting further right now because we need to allow those entities the ability to make further announcements at the time of their choosing,” he said.  

Phillips declined to answer further questions, including about what firm conducted the investigation. He later did not respond by the time of publication to additional questions about the existence of an enterprise risk management board committee and allegations about the ongoing use of Kettering Health executive relatives as vendors. 

The Dayton Daily News, which first reported the results of the internal investigation, said that an initial statement from Kettering Health originally implicated “senior executives and board members” in the financial impropriety but was then later amended to say “individuals.”

Kettering Health operates 15 medical centers and more than 120 outpatient locations throughout Western Ohio, bringing in $2.5 billion in revenue last year. As with other health care systems connected to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, multiple Adventist leaders sit on Kettering Health’s board. 

Fred Manchur, who had been CEO of the organization since 2010, abruptly retired in late 2022. In March 2023, WHIO-TV reported that whistleblowers had filed complaints with the state, accusing Manchur of misusing charitable funds.

The allegations also named Dave Weigley, president of the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, who served as chair of the Kettering Health board. Weigley resigned from the board in January 2023, citing family health reasons, and was replaced by Celeste Ryan Blyden, the executive secretary of the Columbia Union. Manchur, Weigley, and others allegedly used hospital funds to expense trips and pay the Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to move its office. 

On March 28, the Columbia Union published a statement about the allegations. “Kettering Health made it clear that as issues are identified through the investigation process, they are being addressed immediately, and changes are being made,” the union said. That was its last public comment. 

The Columbia Union has confirmed that its next constituency session will be in 2026. The month and day have not been decided. 

 “How do we put things back together while government agencies from local to national look ever deeper into what happened and who all was and is complicit?” asks Ted Ramirez, a practicing Ohio attorney with 45 years of experience in nonprofit governance on Seventh-day Adventist Church boards at all levels of the denomination. He adds, “Our fervent hope is that the church and healthcare leaders move wisely and timely in the C-Suite and boardroom and ensure the right people are at last in place, lest we find ourselves further undressed in the courtroom.”

News outlets uncovered more information about the allegations through public records requests. Complaints filed with the attorney general’s office allege Manchur used Kettering Health funds to finance personal trips, support renovations of his home, and pay for Weigley’s automobile expenses.

The Dayton Daily News interviewed one of the people who filed a complaint, Lori Van Nostrand, a former executive secretary at Soin Medical Center. Van Nostrand criticized nepotism at Kettering Health in addition to misused funds.

According to a dozen health care executives who spoke to Spectrum last year, stories about Manchur's largess have followed him throughout his career. Noted for his vision and recruiting prowess—widely characterized as a mix of generosity and arm-twisting pressure—Manchur built a notorious reputation among many Adventist health care executives. Nicknames including “Five Star Freddy” and “Fast Freddy” were repeated in several interviews with former CEOs. “In Fred’s mind there is no line between himself and the hospital,” one said.

Changes in Kettering Health Leadership

Manchur’s successor, Michael Gentry, was named to his position in April 2023 and began the role officially in July. Formerly the chief operating officer at Sentara Healthcare and the president/CEO of AdventHealth’s Memorial System in Ormond Beach, Florida, Gentry has twice been named a Top 25 COO in the nation by Modern Healthcare. Gentry is a graduate of Southern Adventist University and La Sierra University.

Shortly after Gentry took charge, several key changes happened in Kettering’s leadership. In August, Kettering confirmed that Richard Manchur, son of Fred Manchur, had been replaced in his role as president of Kettering Health Dayton. It remains unclear whether Richard Manchur left voluntarily. 

While Fred Manchur, his son, and his son-in-law Jared Keresoma have left their highly compensated executive roles in the organization, many of his appointees still hold positions of senior responsibility.

Josué Vega and Alexander Carpenter contributed reporting to this story. 


Alex Aamodt is an editor-at-large and the Roy Branson Investigative Reporter for Spectrum. You can contact him here.

Title image by Kettering Health/Spectrum: Kettering Health event in 2022. Left to right: Wally Sackett, former president Kettering Health; Elliot Smith, manager of spiritual care Kettering Health Main Campus; Fred Manchur, former chief executive officer; Sharlet Briggs, president Kettering Health Main Campus; Dr. Robert Smith, chief medical officer Kettering Health. 

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