Letters to the Editor March 8, 2014

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers March 10, 2014 03:08 pm

Keeping rein on letters on hospital a good idea

I believe that the hospital situation actually has been quite well reported, if not a little over done, letter-wise.

An editor’s job is to do just that — edit. I have had a couple letters that were rejected due to the editor’s job and told to resubmit, of which I did and was printed the second time years back.

Let’s don’t be too ready to label a person until we fully understand what their job requirements are.

I have known Mr. Wiens ever since he has worked at the Triplicate and I believe he does a fine job.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Wiens.

Fred Cox, Crescent City

We need to keep hospital debate open

I’m so disappointed at the Feb. 27 E&P column, “Those letters about hospital need to cover new ground,” saying you didn’t want to publish more letters regarding Sutter Coast Hospital.

This is the most important local issue that will have an impact on our lives, property and community.

Why won’t the hospital agree to a debate with those opposing critical care status? Conditions of the original agreement included that the hospital be an acute care hospital and that control be local.

Let’s not put a muzzle on democracy. We need to have this debate, and get things out in open.

Calie Martin, Crescent City

Ownership of hospital remains in question

I respectfully disagree that “ownership of Sutter Coast Hospital” is all that clear, even since the settlement. Would you consider any of my following questions “new ground” for a letter to the editor?

1.) If Sutter Health already had the right to exercise control of Sutter Coast Hospital, why did the SCH Board of Directors take a vote to regionalize in November 2011 vs. just consolidating SCH with the West Bay Region? 

2) Why didn’t the Board follow through with regionalization after the settlement was issued? Why the Camden Study and it’s much-touted  Steering Committee (community involvement)?

I would send the ownership question to the SCH Board of Directors myself, but, as you probably already know, the board does not respond to nor answer questions from the community. 

Roxie Hazard, Smith River

Dr. Rehwaldt lacks credibility on hospital

I wish to comment on Dr. Warren Rehwaldt’s Feb. 20 Coastal Voices article, “Asante Health would not be a good fit for the North Coast.”

Since Dr. Rehwaldt signed a confidentiality agreement prior to joining the steering committee, I assume all his comments concerning that group have been screened by Sutter Coast. Also, as a member of the steering committee, he voted to approve downsizing.

Rather than quote facts supporting critical access, Dr. Rehwaldt proceeded to attack Dr. Greg Duncan for his lack of time “on call.” This begs the question, “How many weekends in the past year has Dr. Rehwaldt been “on call”?

Perhaps the most important omission in Dr. Rehwaldt’s article is the fact that the clinic that Dr. Rehwaldt works at received a grant from Sutter Coast for over $300,000. This grant is payable at a rate of $115,000 per year for three years. The omission of this information eliminates any credibility I may have had toward this article.

Ralph Hirt, Crescent City

Several hospital issues haven’t been addressed

Many letters have been written detailing the many and various reasons for keeping our local hospital as an acute care hospital. However, I think that there are several major reasons that have not been addressed and brought to Sutter Health’s attention.

1) Approximately 13 miles north of the hospital is a maximum security prison (Pelican Bay) with about 5,000 prisoners, correctional officers, and other staff. A riot there with major injuries could be devastating if the only hospital (Sutter Coast) within 40 miles was downsized to 25 beds (not counting Sutter Health’s fuzzy math and creative bed shuffling).

2) In 1964 a major tsunami devastated Crescent City with 11 deaths and many, many injuries that required hospitalization. Again in 2006 and 2011 we were hit with tsunamis. What about the next time, and there will be a next time. The only question is when and how bad. The potential is there for massive injuries and a 25-bed hospital won’t work.

3) We live smack on top of a major earthquake fault and we are warned over and over that the Big One is coming, the only question is when. With major infrastructure damage to our roads, airport, tunnel, etc., Sutter Cost would be the only nearby medical facility. Will 25 beds and a average four-day stay handle any of these incidents? Not to mention a major flu epidemic, etc.

Our airport can only handle mid-size aircraft. We have only one major road going north, south, and one route east, all of which have been closed by major slides many times, and once when all were closed at the same time for three or four days. All of the highways are only two lanes for miles.

Sutter Coast Hospital is critical not only to our community but also to the southern coast of Oregon. Downsizing will leave us all in danger.

Gay McWhirter, Crescent City