2012-06-01 / Top Stories

PHC Doc Asks Postponement, Gets Turned Down

By Howard Schwach

Dr. Wayne Dodakian speaks at an earlier demonstration to keep the hospital open. Dr. Wayne Dodakian speaks at an earlier demonstration to keep the hospital open. A former Hospitalist at the Peninsula Hospital Center has asked bankruptcy trustee Lori Lapin Jones for a chance to present a plan to save the shuttered facility by postponing a hearing set for May 25 until early June, but was turned down flat by the Jones’ counsel because “there are no more funds available,” court documents show.

In a May 24 letter to bankruptcy judge Elizabeth Strong, Dr. Wayne Dodakian, a former staffer of the hospital and a registered creditor, wrote, “I have come up with a workable option to the sale of Peninsula Hospital Center which would both help prevent the unfolding health care crisis in that isolated community and allow the creditors, of which I am one, a good chance at repayment without sacrificing community safety. I respectfully ask that I be allowed to present this idea in court tomorrow telephonically at the scheduled 2 p.m. hearing or preferably that the hearing be postponed until I get back from California on June 6.”

Dodakian, who earlier sued to have Jones removed from her position, says in his letter that he spoke with her counsel, Holly Rai, and that he was told his request would be denied because there are not sufficient funds for a postponement.

“That reflects a certain level of greed for money and an utter lack of concern for humanity,” Dodakian said in his letter to Judge Strong. In a reply motion submitted the same day, Jones angrily chided Dodakian. “Dodakian, a $495.00 prepetition general unsecured creditor of PHC, seeks to overturn the trustee’s business judgment and stay the proposed sale of machinery, furniture and equipment and personal property of Peninsula Hospital Center,” she wrote. “The objection when boiled down to its essence, reflects Dodakian’s unwavering hope that PHC will reopen. However, Dodakian has not presented any evidence to support that the trustee’s proposed sale in not in the best interests of PHC’s estate and its creditors.”

“Based upon the trustee’s analysis and wind down budget, the trustee concluded that it was imperative that all assets be liquidated to fund a controlled and responsible wind down of PHC in accordance with the closure plan that was submitted to the DOH and in accordance with the trustee’s statutory duties. PHC is closed, and the trustee determined, in her business judgment, that the machinery, equipment and furniture were not necessary for the wind down of PHC,” she added.

Jones said later in her response, however, that “the sale of PHC’s real property is not before the court and the [current] sale in no way prevents the repurposing of PHC’s real property as a healthcare facility.”

Dodakian is in California for his wedding and was not available for comment on Jones’ turn-down of his motion.

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