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.
It is the time of year when I have to stop and realize how blessed I have been to have had the privilege of being a Warrior player, coach and fan and getting to know and work with the hundreds of young people I have grown to love and respect.
It is always fun to look back at individuals or teams that have given me such great memories.
Colin Blankenship, class of ’85, is one of those special people. I had the privilege of being one of Colin’s football coaches while he was at Del Norte.
Colin was a true multi-sport athlete, playing football, basketball and tennis while a Warrior.
He started his football career as a freshman on the JV team, which had a 5-3 record. He showed that he was going to be a skilled player
both as a defensive back a nd a receiver. As a sophomore he continued football at the JV level and moved to varsity as a junior.
During his senior year he was selected to the Humboldt Del Norte League All-League Team.
The following was written by Father Adam Kotas of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Crescent City. Other local clergy members are invited to email holiday messages to
Having celebrated Thanksgiving, we are now hastily getting ready for another festivity: Christmas.
Both are occasions to be thankful, but are we really grateful? I am reminded of one Peanuts comic strip where Snoopy took one look at his dog food on Thanksgiving Day and said, “This isn’t fair. The rest of the world today is eating turkey with all the trimmings and all I get is dog food.”
So often we too fall into this same victim mentality just like Snoopy. But, just like Snoopy realized he is not a victim but rather victorious, we too, can come to that same conclusion in our life through an “aha moment” called grace.
You see as Snoopy stood there and stared at his dog food for a moment he comprehended finally the message of this sacred season during which we celebrate both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and so Snoopy in his newfound understanding through grace said: “I guess it could be worse. I could be a turkey.”
Many times we are just like Snoopy, complaining and ranting and raving about how bad our life is. We have a victim mentality. This holy and grace-filled season reminds us to stop complaining and to rid ourselves of our victim mentality.
I just don’t understand it!
Shopping for Christmas (or just simply trying to pick up a few needed things) is difficult enough without having all these special days when the stores are crowded and people so focused on their own wants that they have no patience for others.
Before I needed a handicap parking space, I never noticed the cars parked in them that displayed neither plate nor placard indicating their legitimacy. Or the obviously healthy young woman who says laughingly to her friend, “It can’t be a problem, I’m only going to be a minute,” as she exits the car she has just parked in a handicap space. Or the folks, gathered in the middle of the aisle in the store deep in conversation who see you using the motorized shopping cart and act as if you aren’t even there. I suppose they think it’s no problem — after all, you are sitting!
Perhaps the pain is making me grumpier than usual. (I’ll be getting this hip replaced in a couple of weeks.)
But what about all those other folks — the ones whose needs for access are even greater than mine?
It’s usually in my New Year’s column that I address the need for more courtesy and understanding of others. A sort of resolution thing for the new year. But lately, in addition to my own hassles, I’ve heard so many others complaining about a lack of respect, both in the stores and on the road, that I decided perhaps before Christmas might be a better time to plead for us all to be more considerate.
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.
We sent this letter recently to the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors:
The District Attorney’s Office prosecutes the criminal cases in Del Norte County. We are responsible for upholding the law and maintaining order in our community. The four criminal prosecutors work under the leadership of the district attorney or acting district attorney to ensure that justice is done in every case.
It is a difficult task, considering the numerous criminal cases we file each year. Every case is unique. Many of the cases are complex. The criminal prosecutors need an intelligent, strong, and ethical leader who can establish teamwork, trust, and continuity in our office.
Ms. Katherine Micks has done an exceptional job facilitating all of that. Ms. Micks stepped into the role of acting district attorney after our office fell into disarray. She is an intelligent, strong, and ethical leader, who already had the trust of the office from her prior years of service here as the assistant district attorney. We, as the prosecutors, work well under her and fully support her.
She has established the teamwork and continuity that we need and also improved efficiency and morale.
Ms. Micks reorganized the office and also streamlined the prosecution process. She initiated team meetings with the prosecutors, investigators, and support staff. She also has an open door policy for the local law enforcement agencies to contact her about any cases.
Football season for the Warriors is getting close to an exciting close and Warrior basketball head coach Blaine Lopez is welcoming the 2013–2014 hoopsters to the basketball court.
This is always a great time of the year as Thunen Gym will again be packed with loud, supportive fans. It is also a time of year when I look back at the Del Norte basketball season that turned out to be one of the most exciting, most fulfilling experiences of my athletic career.
This was the 2001–2002 Warrior season, and I was neither a player nor a coach. The team’s head coach was Kirk Burrows, who had a very successful career with the Warriors during one stretch. He was assisted by Dale Thomas, who is a former Warrior head basketball and football coach and a recent inductee into the Del Norte Athletic Hall of Fame.
While attending an early season game, I saw that an athletic trainer was needed to help with the care of one of the players with a sprained ankle. I volunteered to help and from that day forward I got to attend every practice and every game, home or away, to take care of their training needs.