Probe: Ohio Valley General Hospital chief Provenzano stole baby formula
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010
An internal investigation at Ohio Valley General Hospital concluded that longtime chief executive William F. Provenzano arranged for infant formula intended for newborn patients to be shipped to a daughter in Colorado, court documents show.
The results of the probe are included in the filings in a 3-year-old lawsuit filed by Provenzano, 64, of Bell Acres, whose accelerated retirement was announced last week by the hospital.
In the lawsuit, Provenzano claims officials of a health care consulting firm falsely accused him of stealing infant formula from the hospital. The false accusations, Provenzano has charged, were made to Ohio Valley's board and in phone calls "to people in the community, including former hospital employees."
"Mr. Provenzano has never stolen baby formula from the hospital," his lawsuit states.
Attorneys for the consulting firm, Quorum Health Resources, and four of its executives responded with details of the internal investigation, which they said was triggered by an anonymous complaint.
"Upon completion of its investigation, Quorum determined that Provenzano took baby formula intended for new mothers who gave birth at OVGH and provided it to his daughter," the court filing states.
The filing states that Provenzano's daughter, who lives in Colorado, did not give birth at Ohio Valley and "Provenzano did not have permission to take the baby formula."
She could not be reached for comment.
Court records do not disclose how much infant formula was taken or for what purpose.
In his response, Provenzano's lawyers denied the allegations but said that Provenzano did not need permission to take baby formula. Provenzano had offered to pay Ross Laboratories for the baby formula, but the company refused to accept payment.
Officials of Ross, a subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories and the makers of Similac, did not respond to a request for comment.
Provenzano's attorney, Manning J. O'Connor, declined to comment. Quorum's attorney, Anthony J. Williott, also declined comment.
Last week, hospital officials disclosed that Provenzano would be stepping down at the end of this month as president, but that he would remain a hospital employee until the end of 2011, his original retirement date.
Hospital board officials said the accelerated retirement was initiated by Provenzano for personal reasons. They denied the retirement was in any way related to the ongoing litigation.
The retirement announcement followed disclosure that Provenzano's son and daughter-in-law were on the hospital payroll. Dr. David A. Provenzano earned $613,781, and his wife, Dr. Dana Dellapiazzo, earned $130,525, according to tax returns for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, which were just made public.
William Provenzano's salary was $530,010.
Provenzano's lawsuit against Quorum charges that the false accusations made in late 2006 and early 2007 damaged him professionally and financially, including the loss of stock options in Quorum.
According to court filings, Provenzano was brought in to run the hospital in 1986 by Quorum and remained a Quorum employee for more than two decades while serving as hospital president. But Quorum terminated him in 2007 after the investigation because "his conduct was a violation of Quorum's Code of Conduct."
Provenzano then became a direct employee of Ohio Valley and retained his title, according to Quorum's filings.
Quorum's lawyers contend that Provenzano suffered no losses when he was terminated because he continued to draw the same salary and was reimbursed for the value of stock options.
Provenzano, however, contends that he lost money on stock options and was forced to cash out his retirement account prematurely.
Court records show a trial date has not been set.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Panthers free agent safety headed to Steelers
- Penguins notebook: Letang skating, but no return set
- Seton-La Salle again ends GCC’s season in PIAA tournament
- Mars Area School Board rejects drilling proposal
- Upper St. Clair man dies in crash of experimental airplane at Washington County Airport
- District college notebook: Pitt sophomore infielder Wolsonovich fuels upset of UNC
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Classes cancelled Wednesday at Acmetonia Primary School
- Vanished jet’s wild turn adds to mystery
- Greensburg man lending his expertise to new cable series ‘UFO Files’
- Memo confirms VA Pittsburgh officials knew of Legionella threat long before made public