THANK YOU! to those people who were able to attend today's meeting!
Unfortunately I could not stay past the Dog&Pony Show (slideshow by the consultants), so I missed so many of your comments.
I'm glad I had an opportunity to speak early, wish I had prepped better, but it was nice to see that long line of people wanting to voice their concerns, their information, and their suggestions.
I truly hope that the Sister, and the Board members present listened and will take heed of the pulse of this community!
I do not see this as an isolated issue just about Redwood Memorial Hospital... all three Hospitals here in this area influence health care here, and significant events at one will be felt by the other two!
Keep the pressure on Humboldt County! Don't give up the fight!
I'd find it interesting if the people who are "disliking" some of the comments here would provide us with their point-of-view. Seriously... what is it about my comments and the other comments that you dislike?
After having attending both employee meetings, as well as the public forum today, I can say that the staff of Redwood Memorial Hospital, the Physicians, and the public have done a great service to the community by speaking out! Thank you everyone!
Still, I'm left with the feeling that the Board will decide to downsize OBGYN services here at RMH, or strip it out altogether and move it up to Eureka. I hope Humboldt County keeps the pressure, the heat, on the Board, but I also hope we can come up with some viable alternatives.
The shortage of Physicians, shortage of Lab Technicians(I work in the lab at RMH), and others is an issue that needs addressing by all of us.
I say let Jack Anderson and other community members take the recruitment reigns for Redwood Memorial Hospital. Let the folks invested in St. Joseph Hospital take the reigns for recruitment up there. Let's see some local action taken place because it's obvious that what the St. Joseph Health System has been up to so far has been ineffective.
I understand the difficulties recruiting new, young, doctors here as well as other medical professionals, but I cannot accept there are "0" doctors interested in working here out of all the graduates at all of the med schools.
Please attend this meeting people! Rumor mill has a certain administrator up at St. Joseph saying this was the only day/time he could attend a meeting… I hope this isn't true! Think of it… a PUBLIC FORUM to discuss a VERY important issue and one of the top dogs says, "I can only be there Thursday at noon"? This would be so seriously wrong if it were true… not all that unlikely… just plain wrong!
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5TH, NOON… Fortuna River Lodge!
Apparently the Admin's JUST sent out an email today about an employee forum TOMORROW! about this issue.
I got a call about it just a minute ago.
Typical behavior… send out an email at the last minute to employees who have a vested interest in the issue.
Tomorrow at the Renner Room, Redwood Memorial Hospital 12:30 and again at 4 or 5pm.
I know I went on the other day about Redwood Memorial Hospital and the St Joseph Health System, but our system has such a large share of the health care business here in Humboldt that what's going on in this county is directly related to the politics of the St Joseph Health System.
Mad River Hospital is important also and I know several people who work there. We need the focus to be on a balanced plan and cooperation between all players so that the people of Humboldt County and our visitors can have good medical care. I don't see that happening currently, but I do hope this current issue stimulates people to take a harder look at what's going on here.
If you can, please make it to the public meeting at the RiverLodge in Fortuna, Thursday December 5, at noon. Screwy time for sure, but I do hope folks will attend en masse!
I'll be there up until the time I go to work at 1500.
I'd like to say that this is NOT just an issue for Fortuna. This encompasses so much of the Southern Humboldt region and even to the north. There are several possible scenarios here: eventual downgrading of RMH to a minor medical facility, closing it altogether, or selling it off.
Stripping Redwood Memorial Hospital of services that are needed even this far south of Eureka can be seen as one of several steps towards those ends. Changing management of the individual departments at RMH so they are all overseen directly from St Joseph Hospital in Eureka is another (this is part of a step-by-step process that although may be part of a financial turn-around plan, still saps Redwood Memorial of it's own identity as a hospital making it more of a satellite facility to St Joe's).
Longer drives to get to Eureka and St Joseph Hospital, if you have transportation available that is, longer ambulance drives to Eureka (that White Elephant - "The Tower" has a very large ED that needs more patients to make it look as though it was actually a needed thing here in Humboldt), concentrating services in Eureka which would probably translate into harder-to-get appointments, longer waiting room times.... is this what people really want in Humboldt County?
The leadership of St Joseph Health System both in and out of Humboldt County has a history of making massive errors, helping to alienate the local population and medical professionals, as well as basically throwing good money after bad. Remember back around 2006 when the Admins of St Joseph Health systems here pissed off the local Radiologists?
Here's a little quote from NCJ article on this...
"Back then, local hospital watchers agreed that driving the radiologists away was probably the biggest bonehead decision St. Joe administrators made in recent years, and there were many to choose from.".
It is amazing to see them continue to make poor decisions, throw money away, but stretch out their hands to the community asking for support.
There is no admission that they make these colossal mistakes time-and-again. Blame regulations, the poor, state and federal reimbursements instead. Yes, these are all elements of the larger problem in U.S. healthcare, but here in Humboldt County we have the dealings of St Joseph Health System adding fuel to the fire.
This is a much broader issue than just being a local town issue. The community Redwood Memorial Hospital serves is greater than the boundaries encircling Fortuna. People need to start educating themselves on what's going on here and start getting active to let St Joseph Health Systems know how much health care in this area means to everyone. Redwood Memorial Hospital... and Mad River Hospital... are not insignificant, unneeded, or disposable.
No comments.... really?
I'll comment... it appears by the actions of those in charge that the St. Joseph Health System has a low regard for what the people of Humboldt County want or need. Their primary concerns are pushing their hard-line Catholic agenda in this secluded area (they've been establishing their monopoly here for years), and being more corporate instead of more community health conscious.
I'm not surprised that Mad River's numbers have grown... St. Joseph Health System has routinely pissed off the medical professionals in the area, pissed off the other community members, then held out their hand asking people to donate money for poorly-planned projects like the White Elephant in Eureka (aka "The Tower"). Historically, Redwood Memorial Hospital has operated in a more efficient, more economically stable manner than St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka. We went through all this the last time they tried to take OB/GYN services from Fortuna to Eureka. The numbers were there then.
There are great employees at both campuses and at General Hospital... it's the poor leadership we have had year-after-year (Joe Marks, Mike Purvis..... ), and the blind leadership from Santa Rosa and Orange, who are assisting in taking down health care in this county.
Poor management decisions leading to overspending, continued "missions" to places like Napa for the administration, managers from Eureka overseeing both hospital campuses and making poor choices are driving down morale and driving up costs here. The stress is palpable so much more than in years past. In Fortuna, at Redwood Memorial Hospital, we have people talking more and more about retiring or finding some other way out of here, solely because the administration seems to lack the ability to recognize the "Human" aspect of Human Resources and show a genuine concern for the community.
I asked Joe Marks and one of the Sisters once during an employee meeting (back when we were going through this several years ago), if the plan was to strip Redwood Memorial of it's viable services, use those services to prop up St Joseph Hospital so it could be sold, then leave Humboldt County for good? The Sister went on about how important Redwood was to Humboldt County and on about the significance of it's history here and that they would never do such a thing.
Well, here we are again.
Just a small example of the games played... the town meeting... Thursday, December 5th at the River Lodge in Fortuna... it's at NOON! How many people do you think can get away from commitments at noon to attend a public forum? How many people who depend on RMH and it's OB/GYN services but live miles away from Fortuna will be able to drive up here for a meeting at noon? Not to mention the physicians and employees of the health system who will be working and unable to attend. Whoever set that one up is either plain ignorant or maybe pretty damn sneaky.
I not only work at RMH, I use this hospital for my own medical care, my family's care, and it serves my community... the people who fix my car so it runs safe and reliable, the people who fix food at the establishments I go to for breakfast/lunch/dinner, the people who provide me with so much more, helping to meet my personal needs day-in and day-out. This hospital is important to me and those I live with in Fortuna. The Sisters of Orange and their Corporate leaders should be better stewards of Humboldt County's health care.
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In Print This Week:
Apr 27, 2017
vol XXVIII issue 17
North Coast Journal
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