Insulting the community's intelligence

Dear Editor,

It seems while our family was getting a couple of first hand reminders of how awesome our community EMS, Fire Departments, law enforcement and hospital staff (i.e. admitting, nursing and practitioners) are, I missed the latest misconstruing of our infamous hospital CEO.

So I thought I might clarify for her as much as possible, short of using crayons and finger paint.

History is more than pictures and lip service. I’ll let Webster explain “stewardship;” the activity or job of protecting and being responsible for something.

Our community members have taken their roll very seriously for decades. Obviously the CEO has never taken the opportunity to hear the warm dignity exuded when our community members talk of building services that meet our community needs. The very services the current administration cut in half.

Senior leadership and the board has gotten “complacent;” marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.

Serious issues like losing providers, clinics, an assisted living, cutting hours, EMS and practitioner rates and laying people off, while allowing ridiculous raises, the expense of a coffee shop on strapped budget, and spending money the system doesn’t have on projects that can wait. All of this while the board and administration is basically telling the community just give us your money, sit down and shut up. So very many people have given the board the benefit of the doubt by suggesting “it’s the tail wagging the dog” and that they are buying into what admin is saying regardless of proof otherwise. How else who you explain it?

I’m not sure what the CEO was referencing to with the third comprehension issue, “Not considerate”… I am assuming it was when we were referring to “meeting community needs.” To meet community needs; you need to understand the community you work for not just see them as numbers and a burden.

For an excellent example of what meets our community needs please refer back to the original system admin and the board were entrusted to maintain.

If she was referring to the communities request to have a traditional practitioner call schedule, this is not uncommon and is very customary in rural areas where patients have closer ties to their practitioners. It’s referred to as “continuity of care;” If I have to explain that after all her “years of industry experience” she might as well pack her bags.

Furthermore, no matter how many different ways she tries to put words in our mouth about “issues with hospital staff” it’s still not true. It’s not our friends, family and neighbors we have a problem with, it’s the administration not doing their jobs and getting paid too much for not doing them.

The hospital staff are the only ones that make that place tick. They are the ones who make admin look good. Yet they are the ones getting hours cut, rates cut, and getting “laid off” while admin got raises. If it weren’t for their remarkable ability to handle whatever walks through those doors and the professionalism to deal with the crap admin throws at them there wouldn’t be a hospital.

We all got a firm understanding of the CEOs sense of “transparency” when she, Duncan and Howe were all demanding community interaction at board meetings should be restricted. Or the December meeting when it was decided that “verbal reports would not be given due to the public being present.” And there have been several people at the board meetings but when the material is received and discussed by the board prior to the board meetings its impossible for the attendees to be involved. I guess she got her way again.

Because of their ability to be selective about payor types “private hospitals” have traditionally had more money to develop different services. They have the option of testing other ventures, i.e. a resort hospital for Canadians, failed programs like ACES, etc. but they usually do better research and have more financial backing.

A “public hospital” system is meant to meet the community needs. By their very structure and requirements money making departments are expected to support other necessary services. Which is why many in the industry were confused by the CEOs January statement that this “can not continue.”

No one said warrant payments were put on hold, but we know the repayment plan that was working was put on hold. The treasure’s office can verify that it was working and the McKinstry report refers to the same promise made to the community saying there was no money to work on the surgery unit until 2013 when the warrant obligation was met.

Her insulting the communities intelligence is a perpetual issue for so many more people than she wants to realize. Minimizing it to “heath care is hard to understand,” is just another insult. The systematic dismantling of our community healthcare system built by the very people the administration have “stood tall against,” telling them they had no knowledge of or choice in how THEIR system runs and the board letting it happen is the ultimate insult. Their arrogance is exemplified in the CEOs closing statement “you can believe what I said or you don’t have to.”

Most were leaning toward ignorance in light of shutting down the preventative services that has been the focus of Obamacare and pushing surgery in such a high poverty area.

As far as her being weary of being accused of being dishonest, Effective Communication is crucial when you have been entrusted to safeguard a legacy that involves so many dedicated investors. And when you either can’t comprehend correctly or are deliberately misconstruing vital information while telling the people who are directly affected and who you work for you don’t have to listen to or deal with them, your are either incompetent or dishonest. So, which is it?

And while I see, S.T. Johnson is doing a great job of explaining the full story; a perfect example would be the info regarding the Critical Access Hospital status. Those in the industry know that only about half the nation’s hospitals applied for CAH status, what that status means and that there are other destinations that are beneficial they just require more accountable reporting but once again she is either not knowledgeable about the issue or deliberately only giving partiality information.

The difference in being viewed as dishonest or viewed as ignorant is your willingness to be educated and not lash out at people or having “exceptionally misinformed” lap dogs trying to discredit people who obviously have a great deal of knowledge about the issue being misrepresented.

Rosa Snider