Where the buck stops for NVH

Dear Editor,

NVH CEO Linda Michel said some tough decisions had to be made to get NVH back in the black. Apparently, raising the administration salaries $423,000 since 2010 while NVH literally had it’s hand in the pockets of Okanogan taxpayers was one of them.

The surplus would vanish if the Drip Line; which has never shown a profit; and is  physically in the lobby of the hospital were put on the hospital books where it belongs instead of on the Extended Care books.

Michel states she is tired of the scrutiny of her and her administration. Seriously, you are a public servant taking care of the public’s hospital! Why would you fear public scrutiny and not welcome it to demonstrate what a good job you are doing? What is with all the delay tactics when someone requests the hospital financial records?

Let’s review NVH under the stewardship of Linda Michel:

  1. NVH no longer has it’s Oroville or Tonasket clinics.
  2. Assisted Living was closed despite the public offering to take out an additional bond  to save it because that could hurt the hospitals efforts to get funding in the future. It was mentioned at a meeting that the hospital had no plans for the building. As soon as the building was closed, a full blown plan appeared for office space, etc.
  3. The state audit that was released early this year citing NVH for breaking numerous RCW’s concerning construction and costing the taxpayers millions of dollars. I submitted a letter to this paper shortly after it happened demanding to know exactly who was responsible for this outrageous incident. The silence is deafening.
  4. Now we have the same dog and pony show that surrounded the Assisted Living  closure happening with Extended Care. Early this year, there was a murmer that Extended Care is losing money. In September, there were adamant statements from the Board and Linda Michel that Extended Care is absolutely not closing. Then the community outreach to save the Extended Care. The next step will be to announce it’s closure sometime next year. Then suprise! A full blown plan for use of the now empty facility will magically appear.

The only thing left to close is the VA clinic. Has anyone heard any murmers about it losing money yet?

In my letter earlier this year when the state audit came out, I stated Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that read “the buck stops here.” Every good or bad thing that happens in an organization is ultimately the responsibility of the person in charge, whether they own up to it or not. Linda Michel’ s salary of $176,000 is 10 times more than a lot of people around here make in a year, as are the salaries of her administration. They don’t understand the resentment from the hard working taxpayers paying those enormous salaries? To illustrate obliviousness, when Marie Antoinette was told the people have no bread to eat, her flippant response was “then let them eat cake.”

Linda Michel plans to retire and get out of Dodge. Seriously, I think that myself and all the other taxpayers who got sold this bill of goods deserve a refund first.

Dave Wolosik