Letters to the Editor July 21, 2012

By Triplicate Staff July 23, 2012 04:39 pm

Community must raise voice

After 24 days it becomes obvious that my request/challenge to the silent members of the Sutter Coast Hospital Board that voted to hand Sutter Coast Hospital management to a distant and essentially foreign governing body went unheeded.

My call to hear the silent board members is by no means a clarion call. Who am I, after all? But the elapsed time is a run against the clock and I am now assuming they are either too arrogant to feel a need to explain their bizarre actions or they are ashamed for doing so. I see no alternative answers.

Kudos to Dr. Thomas Polidore and Andy Ringgold for speaking, though I disagree with their reasoning. At least they had the courage to speak and so they did. But silence convicts and so must the silence of the sell-outs whose reasons shall always remain withheld from us, leaving a cloud of suspicion over them.

While I’m not sure what level of response I expected from the community, the level of apparent concern overall is disappointing. I understand that young, fit and even the not-so young but healthy membersof the community are focused on more compelling issues in their lives. But states of health can change and the sudden need for hospital care can arise for each and every local resident regardless of political affiliation, religion, race, age or sex.

It behooves each and every one of us to rally to the cause of saving our hospital from the absolutist control of distant and unfamiliar boards. It is not in the best interests of residents of Del Norte and Curry counties to have their health and life-and-death decisions being made by shadow entities in far-flung counties. The illustration of corporate power by Sutter Medical is no farther away than the action by our local board to dissolve at the snap of executive fingers.

Letters to our editors, state representatives, boards of supervisors and the Sutter Health corporation are one avenue of making our feelings known. Another is for your presence on the sidewalks of Washington Avenue in the proximity of the hospital on Aug. 2 as a welcoming committee for the CEO of Sutter Health Corporation. Appropriate signs would convey your thoughts on the prospect of “regionalization” of our hospital.

Above all, attend the upcoming townhall meeting at Crescent Elk Middle school July 25 at 6 p.m.

Dale L.Bohling

Crescent City

 

Why was gun shop left out?

In reference to the Triplicate’s July 7 article pertaining to new businesses (“DN’s parade of ideas still rolling”), it struck me that a new business was left out.

I realize the author stated the Triplicate “took stock of just a few start-ups,” but then went on to list furniture making, a mercantile, a radio station, a motor sports business, the moving of a health food store, expansion of a coffee shop, a bookstore, a tattoo parlor, a thrift store, the Farmers Market and a new restaurant, etc.

What I didn’t see was the mention of a new firearms store that was recently opened. I have to ask myself if this was just an oversight of athriving new business or an intentional deletion of a business the author felt was politically incorrect.

It would be nice to know the truthful answer.

Doug Corrigan

Crescent City

Editor’s note: A Dec. 27 article, “Dressing for success: New owners move business, adding products,” noted that Crescent Uniforms and Supplies planned to soon start selling firearms. It was written by the same author as the July 7 business roundup article.

 

A superb look at prison work

Anthony Skeens’ piece on Pelican Bay State Prison (“A day at Pelican Bay,” July 19) was superb.

Reading the article reminded me of the tough jobs corrections officers perform every day. The men and woman who work at Pelican Bay are so often over-looked and under-appreciated. I have met many who workat Pelican Bay and I always end my conversation with, “Thank You for what you do.”

The article was informative and entertaining and I hope to see follow-up reports in the Triplicate on these unsung heroes in our community.

I say thank-you to not only those who have direct inmate contact, butto the many nameless, faceless people behind the scenes at Pelican Bay.

Excellent job, Anthony!

Roger Gitlin

Crescent City

 

Restraining order good 1st step

I’m gratified to see that a judge has issued a temporary restraining order (“Restraining order in hospital spat,” July 14), stopping monolithic Sutter Health’s effort to take over control of Sutter Coast Hospital, our community’s only hospital.

The term Sutter Health uses for this undertaking is “Regionalization,” which sounds a lot like Obamacare to me. As I understand it, patient care policies will now originate from a remote Board of Directors, presently without local board representation. Moreover, our hospital will doubtless be severely downsized to “criticalcare” status, meaning a big reduction in beds, staff, and in convenience to the public, especially the elderly.

 With “critical care” status, average hospital stays may not exceed. So what if, after surgery, a patient should require a 10- to 15-day staydue to “complications”?

I’m wondering if, after four days have passed, they will place the unfortunate patients into an ambulance, and drive them off to some distant hospital where loved ones, without the necessary driving expertise, will be unable to visit daily or maybe at all. This scenario seems grim, indeed.

 Personally speaking, I’ve been there, done that, surviving a 19-day ordeal due to good local nursing and daily family visitations from a loving wife, who daily helped with the care regimen.

Please join me in supporting our local hospital.

Carter Swart

Crescent City

 

Hospital care hangs by thread

People in the Crescent City area and Brookings need to be aware that the health care to which they have had access via Sutter Coast Hospital is hanging by a very thin thread.

The Sutter Health network (the largest hospital corporate structure in Northern California) not only has the ability to cut access to services at our local hospital, but also is actively pursuing this goal.This story could well be dubbed “Suttergate” because of the backroom antics that seem to be going on.

The hospital Board of Directors in conjunction with “Mother Sutter” are attempting to regionalize our hospital, which would relinquish any input from our community and our local doctors as to what we feel is best for us. The bottom line is that Sutter Health may be trying to convert our hospital to “critical access” status. Unfortunately, to qualify for critical access criteria, we would have to reduce the numberof beds from 49 to 25; patients can only be admitted with a diagnosis that requires a four-day stay or less and the hospital has the option tonot have an ER physician on duty. While I don’t believe that Sutter would axe our ER M.D. position, I do believe they would attempt to receive “critical access” status.

Why?

Because the bottom line with Sutter Health is money and it could receive federal funds by taking this action. So, in my mind, in order togain corporate profits, it is willing to decrease access to our alreadyisolated community. It has done this at Sutter Lakeside (Clear Lake). This would be a travesty for our community.

I urge people of our area to call their supervisors, City Council Assembly members and state senators regarding this matter. Two of our supervisors, Martha McClure and Leslie McNamer, are already willing to look into this matter. I applaud them for this. Where are the rest of you?

Having worked at both Seaside Hospital and Sutter Coast Hospital for 28 years, first as an admissions clerk and then as an RN in ICU in 1986,I feel I have a huge invested interest in this disturbing matter. Remember that the health care of you and your loved ones is on the line.

Candy Weiland

Crescent City