Letters to the Editor June 29, 2013

Written by Del Norte Triplicate Readers July 01, 2013 05:52 pm

Hospital could not survive without Sutter

I am a lifelong resident of Del Norte County. I have worked in the community for 30 years; currently with Sutter Coast Hospital for the last five. I am the lead admissions clerk.

There is a lot of drama and politics being played out in our community in regards to the future state of our hospital. I am writing to support the Sutter Coast alignment with Sutter Health.

In my 30 years of working in the community, one of my previous jobs was working at a local financial institution. I started there about the time that Sutter took over the running of Seaside. We very cautiously took payroll checks from Sutter Coast, because in the very recent past there had been issues with payroll checks bouncing.

Now I realize change is painful for many of us. But the truth is with the changes that have happened in health care in the last 10 years, if you can’t change and grow, you will fail.

Hospitals and doctors get paid less and less by insurance companies with each new regulation. That is why health-care costs have skyrocketed! Basic economics tell you that.

With all of the new regulations mandated by government, Sutter Coast is poised to be working in the red again this year. Sutter Coast could not survive being a stand-alone hospital in our community while working in a deficit. We are lucky in that Sutter Health is able to absorb those losses, and help us maintain our facility.

There are over 400 employees that work here, live here, spend here, and vote here.

Personally, I like having a job. I like being able to provide for my family. I agree, I don’t like all of the changes that we might have to make, but the choice for me is pretty simple. I would rather have a hospital here aligned with Sutter Health and all that entails, then have to travel to Eureka or Grants Pass for emergency care.

I urge you to look at the big picture, not just what has been.

Melissa Norbury, Crescent City

Sutter Health wants best for its hopitals

Doing the right thing sometimes requires the courage to challenge current processes and implement change.

I was fortunate to join the Crescent City community in 2009 after leaving a company that I had been in service with for 17 years.

During my years of service at my previous employer, I had been part of centralization, then regionalization. Both of these restructuring processes were necessary to keep the financial health of the company intact. The loss of my position was not due to the regionalization of my company, but due to the company’s takeover by an outside company.

If it is working why change? This is really the nuts and bolts of the concerns that I have heard from my neighbors and friends.

I applauded the prospect of regionalization. It is exciting to have the joined knowledge and support of others! Sutter Coast had budgeted for an overall loss for 2013. Sutter Health accepted our projected loss, and provided Sutter Coast with the needed money to keep our community hospital running, employing our neighbors, and most importantly taking care of our patients.

How long could I keep my household running with a loss? It wouldn’t be long before my world would be turned upside down.

The strength of this restructuring allows a larger purchasing base to bring a larger discount to the equipment and supplies which are needed to treat our patients. Sutter Health knew that by joining the purchasing power of our hospitals and clinics and in standardizing material and equipment; we are able to provide better patient care with new equipment at a lesser cost.

I like to think of it as the reasons I shop at Costco or Walmart. These two companies buy in bulk and are able to pass the discount on to the customers. Sutter Coast wants to be the best of the best and Sutter Health wants all of its facilities to be the best in class. To do this, they brought in many new pieces of equipment and processes which we did not have the money to purchase on our own. Sutter did this to keep our patients safer through better services.

Sutter Health regionalized my position in 2009. I am still working at Sutter Coast and living in this beautiful community. I am proud to work for a company that is looking out for its employees, physicians, and most importantly our patients.

Rochelle Rodriguez, Crescent City 

Shame on supervisors for mistreating Gitlin

I attended the Del Norte Board of Supervisors’ meeting on June 25. Elections are behind us until next year, so members feel safe insulting voters who come to the meeting. If it were not the law, voters would not be allowed to speak, or even attend Board meetings.

Conclusion: Winners listen. Losers wait their turn to speak. Extreme losers insult their constituents and fellow board members while waiting for them to stop talking.

Case in point: Take a Bite out of Blight. One of the supervisors coordinated cleaning up county property next to Walmart by the Boys Scouts (thank you, guys). The labor was free to the county. The group cleaning up requested that the property be posted with appropriate signs estimated to cost about $2,100. Not only did four of the supervisors rail against the costs of the signs, and embarrass the volunteers, they practically burned at the stake the one supervisor who got all the work done at no cost to the county. Barbecue, Del Norte County-style.

A simple thank you, a simple let’s see how signage might be handled less expensively, a simple lets put that on a later agenda, or lets see if there are some signs lying around somewhere in the state of California that could be donated to Del Norte County.

Only, how dare you ambush us into allowing you to clean up that dangerous lot by not telling us that at some time in the future there could be costs requested.

Thank you, Roger Gitlin. Shame on the rest of you.

Victoria B. Dickey, Crescent City

Shame on saying no to $2,000 signage

At the last Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Roger Gitlin got the Boy Scouts to clean up the blighted property near Walmart.  Chairman Mike Sullivan seemed reluctant to hear Gitlin’s initiative, but supported it.

The meeting really got good when Gitlin made a motion to have the county put up a temporary fence on its own property to keep vagrants from trespassing on it and messing it up.

Gitlin is strong on getting rid of blight.  Too bad the other supervisors wouldn’t support him. He couldn’t even get one of them to second his motion, so it got tabled.

How sad it is that they don’t seem to care about how bad some county property looks.  Explains a lot about our past here, doesn’t it?

All this would have cost the county is $2,000. Shame on them. Consider how much they are willing to spend on other things that appear to be pretty frivolous at times.

We are glad Roger Gitlin is on the Board of Supervisors and that he is continuing to fight for what is right.  So, I guess illegal drug activity and homelessness in a public area is okay with four of the five Supervisors. None of them live next to Walmart.

“Out of sight, out of mind.”

You want a clean Crescent City? Handle this problem and it will be a great start.

Bill Turck, Crescent City