Government

UMC Jacob Cintron And Code Of Conduct

For weeks, El Paso Politics has been reviewing pages of open records from the University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC). Many of the text messages and emails are communications sent or received by UMC President and Chief Executive Officer, Jacob Cintron. Many of the communications we have seen recently are addressed to Cindy Stout, CEO of El Paso Children’s Hospital. As readers may be aware, the children’s hospital is owned by UMC, although it argues that it is an independent non-profit organization. As we have read the communications, we have noted unprofessional communications that would likely to have consequences for UMC employees if they made the same statements on UMC-owned communication platforms or devices, or with other UMC employees or business partners. In the case of Cintron, only the UMC Board of Managers has oversight over him. All other UMC employees are accountable to their supervisors who eventually report to Jacob Cintron, according to UMC’s corporate structure.

It is important to note that the reason we have these communications from Jacob Cintron is because they are subject to the Texas Public Information Act. They are subject to it because they are official communications from the CEO of a taxpayer-funded hospital.

To understand whether the type of communications we have seen in the open records would cause a UMC employee to be reprimanded, we consulted the Code of Conduct for UMC that each employee receives. The version we consulted is dated August 13, 2020.

In the CEO letter in the employee manual, Jacob Cintron wrote that UMC’s values “include exceptional Customer service, Accountability, Respect,” and the values “are the foundation of our Code of Conduct.” In the letter, Cintron wrote that the Code of Conduct defines the members of UMC and that “integrity has been defined as doing the right thing when no one is watching.” [1] It is unclear if those who have seen the communications sent by Jacob Cintron ever asked themselves if anyone other than the recipients would see them, or were they uttered “when no one is watching.” Cintron added in his opening letter that UMC employees should “always treating everyone with respect.” [1]

The Code of Conduct manual states that it applies to all the organizations associated with UMC and to everyone to include the Board of Managers, contract personnel, students, volunteers, medical staff and “everyone that has a business relationship” with UMC. Whether one believes that the El Paso Children’s Hospital is a separate entity, or not, it nonetheless does business with UMC, subjecting its CEO, Cindy Stout to the UMC Code of Conduct. The conduct manual emphasizes “treat everyone with dignity and compassion.” [1]

Under the section on ethical decision making, we were struck with the admonition that the decision-making process includes the question, “would I be comfortable if it were made public?” [1]

In addition, the Board of Managers, who have authority over Jacob Cintron are made to sign a pledge agreeing to be governed by the code of conduct.

Communications Betray Unprofessional Conduct

As readers may remember we reported earlier this month on two instances of Jacob Cintron sending inappropriate communications. In one text message on July 12, 2020, Jacob Cintron discussed the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s mascot in inappropriate sexually explicit language. He apologized for his language after we reported the incident.

In another text message on April 23, 2018, Jacob Cintron wrote to Cindy Stout that they could use the “inexperience” of Nick Tejeda to grow the children’s hospital. Tejeda had recently been appointed the CEO of the Providence hospitals. At best, the two communications between the two executives are inappropriate and disrespectful and at worse they are clear violations of the UMC Code of Conduct that everyone with any connection to UMC are expected to follow.

Unfortunately, those are not the only communications we have noted that Jacob Cintron has made that seem to violate UMC’s code of conduct. The types of communications between Cindy Stout and Jacob Cintron range from sexual innuendo like the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce mascot to discussing what El Paso official or businessman is “pushing” board member nominees. In a text message exchange on May 13, 2019, Cindy Stout and Jacob Cintron were discussing board member nominees. Stout, for example, asked Cintron which board member nominee is linked to a well-known El Pasoan. In one example, Stout wrote, “Jack Chapman – from Ted,” and “Joe Cardenas – from ?”. Cintron responded that “I don’t want Jack Chapman.” To which Stout responded that “I worry that Jack is being pushed by Ted.” At this point, Cintron responds that “Jack is not a good choice. Works for Rick Francis, who sits on Tenet Board.”

But discussing board members is not the only inappropriate messages between Cindy Stout and Jacob Cintron. Sexual innuendo, as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce exampled showed, was part of their communications. For example, on May 10, 2019, Jacob Cintron wrote to Cindy Stout “Large buns!!” in reference to a meal he was having, to which Stout replied, “My buns are single burger size now!”

Sexual innuendo and political pressure on governing board nominees are not the only inappropriate conversations between the two. They ascribe inappropriate and disrespectful nicknames to professionals. In one instance, on November 29, 2018, Cintron refers to a female executive at another hospital as a “cucaracha,” a roach in English. Another individual is called “Chunkles” in a February 20, 2019 text exchange between the two. Other individuals are called “Del Shrimp” and “Mr Short Stuff” by Cindy Stout to Cintron in a text message on August 3, 2019.

In another text message, this one on March 4, 2019, Cindy Stout asks Cintron “did you find out where you can get marijuana?” Stout also asked Cintron “did you find your squeeze?” in the same text exchange.

Disrespectful Comments About Death

In an egregious text exchange between Cintron and Stout on July 20, 2018, the two were discussing the death of man near Providence hospital campus. On July 19, 2018, a man died after falling off the fifth floor in a building near the Providence Memorial Campus according to news reports.

Cindy Stout shared the El Paso Times report link to Jacob Cintron. Cintron replied, “What super hero is he?” To which, Stout replied, “One that needed the SWAT team.”

The communications we are reporting are a sampling of the open records documents we have reviewed so far. There are other communications that we will be reporting on later and there are other documents we have yet to review. However, we are left to wonder if the communications we are reporting involved subordinate UMC employees and were made public, would they lead to punitive actions against the employees for their apparent violations of the UMC code of conduct? Thus, the question is, is CEO Jacob Cintron subject to the same code of conduct that he holds those below him responsible to? Is CEO Cindy Stout, who leads an organization that does substantial business with UMC, also subject to the same standards that the UMC code of conduct requires of all, including the Board of Managers?

Source:

  1. El Paso County Hospital District, Code of Conduct Manual, August 13, 2020.

49 replies »

  1. Pretty disturbing news to wake up to.

    These are extremely serious, and in all likelihood, career-ending allegations being made here. Why not publish the actual text messages?

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  2. Pretty sure that other female hospital executive is steve Ortega’s wife, she used to be a CEO here. Plus, talking badly about Rick Francis….this “leader” is toast

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  3. Now I am beginning to have my doubts about Mr. Cintron and Ms. Stout.  I wanted to think that the Hispanic Chamber churro thing was a one-off instance.  How could they be so careless and treat our people with such disrespect?  They are doing exactly the opposite of what the Code of Conduct demands of every one of us.  They preach our C.A.R.E.S. values so much and yet they are turning their backs on it.  This is such a betrayal to all of us.

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  4. Pretty sure Cintron is not supposed to be abusing his position to influence the selection of Board members of the supposedly “independent“ Children’s Hospital. Is this legal? He says “I don’t want” – and by all accounts, it looks like Stout succumbed to his demands and got Cardenas selected. Even worse is Stout apparently having any say-so in the appointment of her OWN Board members.

    What a cesspool.

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  5. Yes, a “cucaracha” is literally 
     a cockroach.  

    But, according to the famous song and lore, it can also refer to a drunken, marijuana-smoking prostitute. Pretty harsh, Jacob. 

    In either case, here goes Mr. Cintron again with his total disrespect for women.

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  6. My question is where is the board on this? Isn’t Veronica Carbajal on the board? All her talk about changing El Paso and she says nothing about this? It’s politics as usual in Hell Paso!!!!

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  7. @ UMC Associate You are only BEGINNING to have your doubts? Have you been living under a rock?

    It is hard to believe that somebody could be stupid enough to put these comments in writing, either email or text message. People with that little sense have no business running a company.

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  8. If you are a current or former UMC or EPCH employee who was either reprimanded or fired for Code of Conduct violations like these, call the EEOC and get a lawyer. 

    You have the right to be treated fairly and equitably at work. Jacob Cintron and Cindy Stout seem to think the rules of conduct only apply to you and not to them.

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  9. The sheer thought of two chummy public hospital administrators mocking someone who took their own life is MOST egregious. 
     
    There is nothing funny about someone jumping off a parking garage in obvious desperation to end their life.
     
    Jacob Cintron and Cindy Stout are in the business of health care and healing. I cannot believe that they would mock someone suffering from obvious mental health issues and utter desperation to do the unthinkable.
     
    This is so disgraceful and disrespectful not only to that poor individual but also all those families who have lost loved ones to suicide.
     
    This is tragic.

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  10. Was Mr. Cintron using his UMC company phone to send these disgusting texts?
     
    If so, this would seem like a clear case of misuse of taxpayer property – A violation of the Code of Conduct?

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  11. Alguien debería analizar las calificaciones de las personas que ha contratado y su relación con ellas.

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  12. Wow, Mr. Cintron seems to be a Serial Violator of the Code of Conduct. And Stout is not far behind.

    Quick question: is NEPOTISM allowed under the UMC or EPCH Codes of Conduct?

    I could be wrong, but is it true that Cintron’s son just happens to work for…Stout?

    If so, yet another example of Cintron abusing his position of power.

    Doesn’t pass the smell test.

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  13. Very alarming that the UMC Board of Managers and Judge Samaniego have allowed this to happen.  

    Cintron and Stout are out of control!
     
    More alarming is that Carmen Arrieta has allowed this to slip past her. As a licensed CPA, she fully understands the fiduciary responsibilities she owes to the UMC as a Board member. And with all her EPISD-scandal experience, she certainly comprehends the tremendous liability that comes from allowing this pattern of conduct to fester.  She seems like a prudent person. Why would she risk her license and career?  When all this comes to a head, she will be held to a higher standard if she disregards her duty of care.

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  14. Hey @ Rosa P – Cintron and Stout are definitely in no position themselves to be fat shaming anyone. No bueno if you are right that “Chunkles” is John Runkles. Mr. Runkles is a good man.

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  15. This does not surprise me. A very respected medical executive, provided a very direct letter to HR a few years ago that spoke on leadership values that referenced Respect and Integrity of the UMC leadership (Cintron), his staff, to include the current EPCH’s CEO. The major problem is no one is holding the leadership accountable. So, how does the board fix it?

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  16. Author – you’ve done a great job here, but what is going on with the media? Are they being serious?

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  17. The El Paso County Hospital District (EPCHD) is committed to ethical and legal conduct that is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations. We have a responsibility to report any fraudulent or inappropriate behavior, or other potential violations of the Code of Conduct.

    Compliance Hotline: 1-888-310-3434.

    Compliance Webpage: http://umcelpaso.alertline.com

    Other Ways to Report a Violation:
    Cathy Gibson, Chief Compliance & Waiver Officer: 915-521-7523
    Jovanie Aguirre, Assistant Compliance Privacy Officer, 915-521-7490
    Office of Inspector General Hotline: 1-800-447-8477
    Confidential, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Callers may remain anonymous.

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  18. If it is so obvious that Cintron is willing to violate his own Code of Conduct in so many areas – why would we assume he is not violating it in other areas?  Perhaps the Board of Managers ought to perform a full audit of his entire conduct as President and CEO of the El Paso County Hospital District.
     
    Maybe start with the section of the Code regarding accepting cash or gifts from vendors – which clearly states that it is a “Key Responsibility” of all associates to “not accept cash or gifts from vendors.”
     
    So maybe, just to be thorough and just in case, they can take a look at Cintron’s conduct related to accepting gifts and meals from vendors like lobbyists or accepting travel perks from pharmaceutical sales reps or the like.

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  19. Media Is Lazy,

    This is why Paredes writes. El Paso’s media is not only lazy, but they are bought and paid for by the few who really run the city. If this information doesn’t serve the goals of the oligarchy–heck, if those implicated are part of the PDNG–then the El Paso media will never report it. They will find ways for it never to make print or the airwaves.

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  20. Hey @Inside – isn’t the UMC Compliance Office and staff under the direct supervision of Mr. Cintron? Unless that office is 100% independent, it is hard to imagine a situation where Mr. Cintron wouldn’t have a the ability to exert his influence on disciplinary outcomes.

    So, here are better and more reliable links where employees and contractors may file anonymous reports about corruption, fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement or misconduct at the UMC and EPCH:

    https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud/index.asp

    https://oig.hhs.texas.gov/report-fraud-waste-or-abuse

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  21. I find it extremely ironic that the UMC CEO, Mr. Cintron, sits on the Governing Boards of America’s Essential Hospitals and the Texas Hospital Association.  These are industry associations whose mission is mainly to champion integrity and quality improvement at hospitals.
     
    I also know he sits on the Board of the Texas Quality Foundation, another organization dedicated to promoting high quality standards with organizations “committed to a journey of excellence.” 
     
    What a farce. What were they thinking when they put him on their Boards?
     
    As a health care provider, I am sure these respected organizations would not tolerate being associated with the prohibited conduct that Mr. Cintron has exhibited against women, colleagues, Hispanic business owners, victims of suicide, prominent members of our community, overweight staff members and short people.

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  22. Are these hospitals financially viable? Are they delivering quality healthcare outcomes compared to peers? If these things are in order, let the little shit go and get back to your job.

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  23. That’s right @Jerry Kurtyka. I totally agree with you. Let’s allow these two great executives to continue to break the rules and defile their own Code of Conduct. This petty healthcare ethics stuff is totally insignificant. Who cares about professionalism and integrity; or even, the law? Instead, we should be focusing on hospital profits at all cost and above it all. And with respect to quality health care, whats wrong with having a totally demoralized workforce and few malpractice lawsuits here and there? As long as our hospitals make money, to heck with personal dignity and ethical standards! Let’s go, Jerry!

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  24. I sometimes think that people are appointed to boards and commissions here only to perpetuate gossip, trivia, and drama. Much less public office. It keeps us distracted from the real issues like what is going on? That hospital was designed to be a slush fund for UMC but it backfired on them when Medicaid reimbursement rates changed. Do you suppose this current drama has anything to do with that or with keeping us distracted from it? But no, the snowflakes need their drama so let’s bitch about personal texts.

    The CPA you mentioned gave us the stadium cost estimate and the QoL cost estimates. How did those work out? EPISD? Why do you suppose she is on the hospital board?

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  25. Alguien podría querer investigar si / por qué / cómo la hija de Cindy Stout (CEO de Children’s instalada por Cintron) podría haber sido contratada apropiadamente por Cintron para supervisar las prácticas médicas u otros servicios médicos en UMC. Y si está bien, ella podría haber seguido adelante, según escuché, y haber creado un nuevo puesto para y haber contratado al hijo de Cintron para trabajar con ella. Sus calificaciones anteriores: un maestro de escuela. Óptica deficiente. Además, aparentemente Cintron contrató médicos para trabajar en UMC, y escuché, una de cuyas únicas calificaciones era ser su amigo. Si tal escenario fuera cierto, y si eso no fuera lo suficientemente malo, ¿cómo se vería si uno de estos médicos terminara teniendo numerosas complicaciones y apariciones ante el Comité de revisión por pares? Ahora, ¿qué pasa si ese Doctor no fue expulsado de UMC debido a que Cintron interfirió directa e indirectamente con el comité de revisión por pares? eso no sería bueno para los pacientes. el gobierno debería ver si este tipo de comportamiento está bien. Sigue el dinero…

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  26. @Jerry K – didn’t Veronica Carbajal try to be our mayor? Now she sits on this board and has now fallen in line….too bad, people talk so tough on the campaign trail only to be exposed as frauds. Plus, she’s riding the coat tails of Max and the billionaire and trying to take credit. Funny.

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  27. That dr.canales and his staff are very incompetent to be working at childrens. They dont have the knowledge to care for our kids at all. There has been alot of bad vibes in the icu and hemoc department since they got transferred there. Alot of kids dying, alot of a rumor spreading and doctors dating younger nurses to cover all of their secrets. This place is trash pure trash plus they charge alot of money on top in the insurances. I work there and I know this and more.

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  28. Sounds like the CEO hasn’t been faithfully performing his duties.

    Definite pattern of unethical conduct and unacceptable professional demeanor.

    And there is more to come???

    Literally like a house of cards.

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  29. I understand little Spanish, but am I actually reading here that Stout’s daughter works for Jacob Cintron? And that Cintron’s son works for Cindy Stout???

    Did these CEOs hire each other’s children???!!!

    This can’t be true.

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  30. Did Cintron and Stout conspire against the Board of EPCH and plotted to undermine the sanctity of this nonprofit Board’s appointments process??

    Sure sounds like it here:

    “Stout wrote, “Jack Chapman – from Ted,” and “Joe Cardenas – from ?”. Cintron responded that “I don’t want Jack Chapman.” To which Stout responded that “I worry that Jack is being pushed by Ted.” At this point, Cintron responds that “Jack is not a good choice. Works for Rick Francis, who sits on Tenet Board.””

    Will someone please tell me where Cintron is given the authority to influence Board member appointments of the El Paso Children’s Hospital?

    After all, the EPCH is supposed to be an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Right?

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  31. @Defund – I voted for Carbajal in the primary because she had a reasonable plan for the arena that did not play into the hands of Mountainstar. Being on an important board does not make you a stooge for the Cabal unless you do fall in line and surrender your independence and integrity. The city needs independent thinkers in key positions and they are not always popular. Follow the money.

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  32. @Jerry K – Carbajal’s integrity is definitely suspect now.

    “Carbajal silent during sexual harassment allegations”…I can see the hit piece already.

    Poor thing. NEXT!

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  33. Someone should request the letter filed in HR (Public Information Request) referencing Cintron and his staff’s ethics, integrity, and values. Apparently, someone called them out a few years ago and mentioned behaviors that are footprints to what’s happening now.

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  34. @Jerry K – OK, fine you like Carbajal. But what about Dykes? Isn’t she also a lawyer that ran for office?

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  35. Can’t stand the thought of Cindy Stout and Jacob Cintron sabotaging the appointment of Jack Chapman – an upstanding employee of WestStar Bank.

    Whats really bad is that Stout – who ostensibly killed Chapman’s appointment to her EPCH Board – had absolutely no problem allowing the children’s hospital foundation to recently accept a very generous gift from = WestStar Bank.

    What a traitor!

    Rick Francis must feel like a real chump.

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  36. Ever since we elected El Paso County Commissioner David Stout, he has been an unwavering and staunch “champion” of our Children’s Hospital and the UMC.

    He has been very vocal about the “problems” of the past under Valenti. He wasn’t one to publicly mince words about specific issues regarding Valenti’s alleged ethical lapses or other shortcomings.

    And after happily hiring Cintron to fix the mess, he even went as far as publicly urging Cintron to “prioritize building employee morale and engaging employees in finding solutions for improving UMC.”

    Well, Commissioner Stout, where are you on this mess? What’s with the deafening silence regarding Cintron’s blatant violations of the UMC Code of Conduct?

    Are you no longer concerned about employee morale or improving the UMC?

    Why so quiet now?

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  37. WestStar Bank and its employees do so much for El Paso. Every Board member of WestStar gives so much to our community. They don’t deserve to be treated this way. I am personally very sad to read about this.

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  38. @Speechless:

    If true, it would seem that this instance of “trading hires” of their close relatives would be prohibited conduct under anti-nepotism provisions of the Texas Government Code.

    Cintron, a public official, most certainly appears to have full control of Stout and the EPCH and thus can be said to have final hiring authority where his son supposedly works. Stout is clearly his puppet.

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  39. @Puro. I don’t know Ms Carbajal and have never met her. I voted for her because she was the only candidate with a plan for the arena that the city is on the hook to build per the 2012 QOL. Her plan did not involve playing into the Mountainstar city welfare kitty.

    That’s all I will say about it.

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  40. It is OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT for Jacob Cintron to interfere with the governing body of the Children’s Hospital and to tamper with their appointments process through Cindy Stout (Not to mention all the other confirmed breaches of the UMC Code of Conduct).

    Let’s see what else comes out.

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  41. This dr.canales and his nurse practioners killed my special needs daughter. They were not sending none of the things she needed to survive. At the hospital they never checked up on her at all always gave her the wrong medicines o always complained and nothing was done hopefully they get taken out of this hospital and all.

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  42. It is naïve and irresponsible for members of the UMC Board of Managers to think this serious situation will simply go away if they just ignore it long enough.  The public deserves to hear from them.  Failure to promptly inform the public about Jacob Cintron’s misconduct will only stoke the flames.  This would be poor business judgement and a tremendous failure of their duty of care.

    Transparency is the best policy.

    Like

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