Letters to the Editor Nov. 19, 2013

Written by Del Norte Triplicate Readers November 20, 2013 04:24 pm

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.

Camden Group built its case on a holographic construct. With over a $170,000 price tag, why should Camden Group care about possible missing critical data? Additionally, if Sutter Health is so PR-minded, why is it so adamant about not sharing the minutes of its meetings with the public?

I spent 1½ hours listening/looking at the Sutter Health link of the presentation, in which many points were presented, while a comparison was made of Sutter Health as a partner with four other potential health care partners. Our nearest in proximity and geographical comparison, Asante, received an outright “straight arm” with the presenter’s remark, “does it make any sense” ... for Sutter Coast to partner with them. 

Having personally utilized Three Rivers in Grants Pass as well as visiting my daughter during her three-day stay at the Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, I can both attest to the high level of care and professionalism experienced under the Asante standard.

Why, if Sutter Coast is losing so much money as claimed by Sutter Health, is it spending so much money to wrest ownership of Sutter Coast? Does that make any sense?

Dale L. Bohling, Crescent City