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Coastal Voices: Three things to consider in evaluating Sutter Health conflict

For those who missed the recent town hall debate with me and Sutter Coast Hospital CEO Mitch Hanna, this article has the highlights. Although the hospital board of directors have still held no public meetings since they voted to downsize SCH to Critical Access and to transfer hospital ownership out of Del Norte County, I appreciate Mr. Hanna’s willingness to attend the event.

Sutter Health and Sutter Coast Hospital are tax-exempt charities. Sutter Health claims to “act openly and truthfully in everything we do.” As you evaluate both sides of the Sutter Health conflict, please consider three questions:

 


Coastal Voices: Consultant: Only PenAir meets the requirement

As the air service development consultant for Del Norte County Regional Airport, Sixel Consulting Group has worked to encourage airlines to bid on the airport’s new Essential Air Service contract. From the beginning, we sought to recruit as many carriers as possible that could provide a basic level of service that has been proven to work in smaller communities, including: 


Coastal Voices: Redwood Air: Most fliers need southward route

The news came as a surprise last fall. United Express (SkyWest) was ending its long-established flights between Crescent City and San Francisco. The airport sprung into action and hired a consultant to ensure Crescent City air service would be preserved.


Coastal Voices: Vaccination scare preys on ill-informed

Many people right now are concerned with the media’s current frenzy about measles outbreaks and the way un-vaccinated children and their parents are being portrayed.

First, let’s consider the gravity of this “outbreak.”


Coastal Voices: Social media changes how world sees current events

As the current civil rights protests gain momentum and support, I believe it is important to see how the internet has changed the landscape of widespread knowledge. 

During a time of decreased voter turnout and increased global awareness, social media is completely changing the game in terms of information and news. The spread of information through social media has a different pattern than mainstream news channels and newspapers. Social media is interactive and timely, reporting on things as they are happening. It provides time stamps, photo and video evidence and personal accounts that would be erased if one simply looked at census data and statistics or official press statements. This enables people to gather evidence more organically and voluntarily than official press or police. 

 


Coastal Voices: DN: Yes, we can

I have lived and worked in Del Norte County for the better part of 60 years — beginning as a dock boy, then river fishing guide, teacher, coach, sportscaster and two-term county supervisor. Today more than ever, I feel our community is confronted by challenges that demand our participation if we are to prosper in the years ahead. I see three challenges to reach the goal of taking this community to the next level.

 


Coastal Voices: You be judge if gov’t tells you the science is settled

Who knew? For decades the government told us that it was settled science. Eating eggs was bad for you. Yes, eating eggs caused a person’s cholesterol to rise, which could lead to a multitude of heart and vascular problems. Now, that “settled science” is no longer settled. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is recommending that dietary cholesterol for a healthy adult may not significantly impact the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease. In other words, eating eggs is not bad for you. This is very good news for those of us who enjoy eggs. 

Speaking of eggs, I have a personal preference for eggs from local chickens raised by “Alexandre Kids.” Yes, you can tell the difference. The Alexandre Kids raise baby chicks until they become laying hens. The hens enjoy a natural farm life roaming in the local pastures so they produce the most nutritious organic eggs. They are available at Wild Rivers Market and Rumiano Cheese on 9th Street.


Coastal Voices: All who are eligible are equally welcome to VFW

On behalf of the local VFW Post 1381, this letter to the editor is in response to the one titled “All veterans deserve recognition for service,” (Feb. 5). The question the letter had was about a community calendar listing from VFW Post 1381 advertising free membership to veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The author of the letter stated that Vietnam vets were not cared about and are the same as anyone else who served.


Coastal Voices: Sutter keeping local docs in dark about new plan

Many readers are aware of the new local EPO Health Plan being offered by Sutter Health, Anthem and CalPERS. You may or may not be aware that Redwood Medical Offices and several other local offices are not currently listed on the provider panel. Here’s why:

The new EPO plan is an “Exclusive Provider Organization.” This means that in order for you to be treated, you have to go to an approved provider and an approved hospital. None of the local independent (non-Sutter affiliated) providers we contacted were offered an opportunity to join the provider panel before the initial plan roll-out on Jan. 8. We learned of the plan in the middle of January, when patients approached our office with letters from Sutter Health/Anthem Blue Cross/CalPERS, offering them a new health plan in our area. We knew nothing of the plan until patients brought us these subscriber letters, and our patients obviously had many questions and concerns. 


Coastal Voices: Reflecting on state of the county

Editor’s note: This is the annual State of the County Address that was delivered at Tuesday’s Del Norte County Board of Supervisors meeting. A longer version entered into the meeting record can be found at www.countyofdelnorte.us/agendas/bos/publishedmeetings.htm under item 20 on the board’s Feb. 10 meeting agenda. 

2015 is anticipated to be the next positive step financially and operationally for Del Norte County. As we slowly emerge from the economic conditions that have limited Del Norte County’s ability to provide more than basic services, it is imperative that we look forward and plan for the needs of our residents and visitors in a proactive and positive manner.


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