After three more residents came forward with allegations of mistreatment at Sutter Coast Hospital at a Del Norte County Healthcare District meeting Tuesday, hospital administrator Carlos Priestly encouraged those with concerns to contact Sutter Coast directly.

The Del Norte County Healthcare District has established a subcommittee consisting of Dr. Greg Duncan and Dr. Kevin Caldwell to investigate hospital complaints aired at the district’s Sept. 26 meeting.

In a written statement to the Triplicate on Wednesday, Priestly said he couldn’t respond to the specific issues that were addressed at Tuesday’s healthcare district meeting. But he issued the following written statement:

“While the healthcare district has focused on the negative patient stories, we routinely receive correspondence from patients and family members acknowledging the great care that they or a loved one has received in our facility. With more than 24,000 visits to our hospital each year, we realize that there will inevitably be people who have a less than positive experience, and while we regret that and strive to make improvements based upon those complaints, we also know, based upon our patient satisfaction surveys, that the vast majority of our patients have a very favorable impression of Sutter Coast Hospital and the physicians and staff who provide their care.”

Priestly noted the hospital has reduced wait time in its emergency department by 35 percent and 66 percent of patients are seen by a doctor within 15 minutes of their arrival. He encouraged people to call the hospital’s administration department at 707-464-8880 if they have concerns.

“We welcome both your positive and negative feedback because after all, our staff takes great pride in serving this community and those in our region,” he said.

On Tuesday, Caldwell said he and Duncan have since heard multiple reports from residents of alleged misconduct at Sutter Coast Hospital and that they have validated the concerns.

According to Duncan, the complaints included allegations of medical malpractice and issues regarding end of life care.