Unveil mystery behind Sutter’s hospital study
Living in limbo might best describe the eerie silence of the Sutter Coast Hospital death watch as Del Norte/Curry County citizens await the impending piracy of their hospital by the health industry giant Sutter Health.
With the PR specialty-Camden Group’s announced “study” completion presented and the $170,000 check cashed we wait on the sidelines as the Sutter Health Executive Board prepares the sanitized pronouncement of corporate take-over of our cherished hospital.
Perhaps the charade of the past several years needs to be brought to the front burner by stating that if Sutter Health legally owned Sutter Coast Hospital it would have long since been a fait accompli, hospital regionalized and downsized, period.
While Dwayne Reichlin’s well-written Coastal Voices article, “There should be no hurry regarding hospital’s next move,” Nov. 12, advocated for a “take your time before you take over” approach, I take the opposite stand and challenge the Sutter Health executives to make their move and make it now. I’m weary of their delicate dance. Let’s get this next phase moving. We are tens of thousands strong and determined to stand up to this goliath. We have our stone picked from the brook.
Hospital study's talks with other companies unknown
In response to your Nov. 14 article, “Hospital Board eyes its options,” regarding the future of our local hospital, Board Chairman Ken Hall was quoted as saying the hospital Board would make a decision on Critical Access in the near future. Mr. Hall also discussed the option of having a company other than Sutter Health manage our hospital.
Mr. Hall, referring to Asante and the other potential partners, was quoted as saying, “I don’t think there’s any real interest there.” That statement is different from what Asante Health System has publicly stated.
Asante operated Three Rivers Hospital in Grants Pass, Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford and Ashland Community Hospital.
The president of Asante Health System provided the following quote to the Del Norte Triplicate (Sutter Health is centralizing,” Oct. 13, 2012):
“As a regional provider of comprehensive health care services for 580,000 residents spanning nine counties in Southern Oregon and Northern California, Asante has enjoyed a great relationship with Sutter Coast Hospital for the provision of high quality care. We would welcome discussing any arrangements with Sutter that would ensure that the residents of Del Norte County continue to receive the excellent medical care they deserve.”
Hospital volunteers make a difference
I am writing in response to Dale Watson’s Nov. 23 letter (“Report overlooks Sutter’s high administrative costs”). I feel the need to correct some wrong information that is being fed to the community. I will only address that which I know to be incorrect.
I am one of those “volunteers in green” that Mr. Watson referred to. I work at the gift shop at the hospital and am a proud member of the Sutter Coast Hospital Auxiliary. We are a group of dedicated volunteers whose main goal is to raise money for scholarships relating to the medical field and one-time donations for much-needed medical items for our patients.
We do this by maintaining the gift shop and putting on various fundraisers throughout the year. I can assure you that 100 percent of the money raised by our endeavors is used for the items mentioned above. We have a membership of 30-plus volunteers and a Board of Directors made up exclusively of our members, voted into office each year by our members. This board controls our money, not SCH, as stated by Mr. Watson.
I encourage all of you to stop by our gift shop to see our unique and affordable gift items; and maybe talk to one of our “volunteers in green” about becoming part of a special group of ladies and gentlemen who are making a difference in our community.
Cathy Burdg, Smith River
Some people were childish about parade
There are things happening in the downtown I think the people of Crescent City should know about. The Business Improvement District Board is being very childish. If the downtown businesses don’t play by its rules, we can’t play with its toys.
Incompetent group in DA's Office not needed
I could hardly believe my eyes when I read how great of a job the prosecutors in the District Attorney’s Office think they are doing (“Micks should fill out DA term,” Coastal Voices, Nov. 23).
Here is a reality check.
The second sentence authored by Lisa Specchio-Wolfe, Annamarie Padilla, Todd D. Zocchi and Rebecca Linkous states, “we are responsible for upholding the law and maintaining order in our community.”
As of today’s date and in the last eight months anyone can walk into a courtroom on any given day and discover that statement couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Our District Attorney’s Office is the most incompetent group I have ever witnessed thus far in the 20 years I have lived here. They do not protect children from child abusers, nor do they protect women from men who have beat them up, held them hostage or otherwise.
And it is laughable that they state, “Ms. Micks has a pamphlet of victim’s rights mailed to each victim.” I can guarantee you, that is all the victims are getting, because they don’t get fair representation, nor do they get protection when they need it most.
I found it especially interesting when they noted that, “she also has an open door policy for the law enforcement agencies to contact her about any cases.”
Report overlooks Sutter’s high administrative costs
After reading the conclusions of the Camden report on the Sutter Coast Hospital problem in your paper some time ago, several inconsistencies still stand out in my mind.
Each alternative explored by the committee assumed that Sutter Health’s “administrative expertise” was an advantage or that losing it would be a disadvantage. If one looks at Dr. Greg Duncan’s figures showing what huge fees Sutter Coast pays to Sutter Health, one has to conclude that the burden of supporting the corporation’s administration with its mega- bunks salary for its CEO is a definite disadvantage.
The report states that Sutter Coast is losing large sums of money. The expertise that it is paying so dearly for may not be so expert after all and of no advantage. These are the expert administrators that took over the profits that the volunteers in green earned in the gift shop.
The most attractive option considered by the report includes a governing board containing local representation. It does not specify any method of selecting these representatives other than appointment by Sutter Health.
Schools’ $1M expense on phones, clocks imprudent
I have read and reread the Nov. 16 article “Schools get $1M upgrade” that disclosed the school district’s decision to spend $1 million on an upgrade to the district’s phone, clock, bell and intercom systems.
Am I the only one who finds the School Board’s decision to spend money in this way a cause of concern and trepidation? Aren’t the phones and bells and clocks that they now have in good working order? They were working the last time I was on school property.
Apparently one of the selling points of the new system is that the superintendent will be able to speak to all the students in the district at one time. Why is this important?
Does the School Board think that in the event of emergency the on-site teachers will be paralyzed with indecision and not know what to do? Does it think that the on-sight administrators will refuse to take action unless they receive instructions from on high? Does the school administration fear that the land lines and their cell phones will all go out at once and they will not be able to communicate with the schools?
This decision by the School Board to invest $1 million in phones, clocks, bells and intercom systems hardly makes sense in the best of times. When we consider that it is going to borrow the money to do these things by selling bonds, its decision is even more bizarre.
Hospital study smacks of undue influence
Seemingly, Del Norte/Curry area residents are approaching the point where our full service hospital will be lost. With the Triplicate reporting the completion of the Camden Group’s study and the Internet posting of same (suttercoast.org) the home stretch is dead ahead as CEO Linda Horne announced a brief public input period after which a decision will be forthcoming.
The Steering Committee comprised of 15 community and business members was conceivably steered by inclusion of CEO Horn and the chairman of the Sutter Hospital Board of Directors, Ken Hall. Also among the members was John Menaugh whose past CEO position on Sutter Coast may have heavily weighted his independence.
Sutter Health may have a ready excuse for the inclusion of the two hospital Board members and a former Sutter executive, but to me it smacks of undue influence. The kicker of course is that the Steering Committee was handpicked by Sutter Health. In cards it’s dealer’s delight to have control of the shuffle.
Its control all the way with Sutter Health picking the study group and doling out the stats and data that it (Sutter Health) wanted included in the study and withholding that which it chose not to have analyzed. In a word, there was no independent study.
Our president, what a guy ...
I can’t understand why some people are being so hard on Obamacare. Our president just may be ahead of his time with mandatory coverages.
Science is moving so fast that it is conceivable (no pun intended) that men will one day be able to get pregnant and bear children. That’s probably why Obamacare mandates that men be covered for maternity and newborn care.
Yes, I believe that he is a true visionary. He realizes that many people losing their current health insurance coverages may become depressed because their new Obamacare insurance will double their existing premium and increase their deductibles, causing many people turn to illegal drugs. That’s why he made sure that mental health services and addiction treatments were included in every policy.
Yes, I am sure that’s why the president made sure that insurance companies cancel all policies that failed to include those essential elements.
Our president, what a guy ... always looking out for us.
Bob Berkowitz, Crescent City
Would like to have seen more Hmong coverage
Monday was a nice day for a parade; sunny, warm. The Veterans Day Parade was not so large this year, yet as a Vietnam combat veteran it is always nice that we have it.
The Tuesday paper left me confused. The largest group, and for sure the most colorful, and even one of the grand marshals, rated no photo and little press.
I took many very nice photos of beautifully dressed Hmong people. I shared combat stories will them, as I was on the Laos border during my time in Vietnam.
Here are real combat veterans working for our country, here is a group of people who have found a new place to live.
If the Hmong had not been in the parade, much of its size and color would have been lost. I send photos of them to my veteran buddies throughout the United States, to friends in England; all have replied on the beauty and the fact that these people are so much a part of this community.
Play about community evocative, worth seeing
I urge you not to miss Lighthouse Repertory Theatre’s “This is Crescent City.” We went last night and today I am still feeling the emotions evoked by this incredible musical.
It tells the story of us, of our town, our neighbors. What makes us not just the last town on the continent, or the first, but what builds us as community ... the human side of us.
I knew these stories intellectually, but it took seeing these performances to truly bring these lives into my heart. There weren’t many dry eyes last night. I never cry, ever, and I was sobbing last night. I am still feeling the effects today.
I want to stand on the S curves with signs urging everyone not to miss this home-grown story of our home.
Catherine O. Despres, Cresent City
Don’t let S curve veteran monument dream die
It must be over five years now since the city, through Police Chief Douglas Plack, approached the VFW about erecting a veterans monument at the “S” curve. There were committees formed and untold meetings — does it sound familiar so far? — with questionable progress.
I’m going to pat myself on the back here as I was the one who first gave $2,500 to kick-start the project. My intent was to get things started instead of just talking and planning.