Hospital and Dr. Phelps Still Tense

Last week, community members heard that Dr. Phelps was considering leaving the hospital named for his father because of disagreements with the board. Read more about it here.

Consequently, last Thursday’s meeting was packed with  supporters.  Tomorrow’s meeting is likely to be similarly crowded because the following letter was sent out:

Friends,
I am asking you to attend and/or speak at the public comment section of the Healthcare District Bd. meeting this Thursday, May 6 at 4 pm re: your feelings about keeping Dr. Phelps at the District.  So many of you turned out for the last meeting and it was moving and awesome.  If you missed the chance, or would like a second chance to speak, then this Thursday at 4 pm is your opportunity.
After public comment the board will go to closed session to hear Dr. Phelp’s personnel issues which is of course confidential.
One thing is clear:  there are two board members who have stated that the Healthcare District would be fine without Dr. Phelps.  The reasons for their feelings I hesitate to speculate.  But there is no question that not everyone on the board feels as strongly as Ed Smith and I do about keeping Dr. Phelps on staff, as absurd as it may sound.
And that ambivalence, in my opinion, is the reason that our executive committee members Nancy Wilson and Mike Thompson original refused Dr. Phelps and opportunity to speak to them about his personnel issues that he can not resolve with the Administrator, Harry Jaspar.
So I hope to see you and call if you have any questions:  707/223-3788
Darryl Cherney
Healthcare District Board member
Writing as an individual
The email I received said, “If you are unable to attend the meeting you can always email Jerold Phelps Community Hospital at: inquire@shchd.org and voice your support for Dr. Mark.”
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14 comments

  • Hi Kym!

    Im interested to here and read about what is going on, but the link did not work for me.

  • Hi Kym!

    Im interested to here and read about what is going on, but the link did not work for me.

  • Kym… I was president of the RRHC board when Bill Hunter left and joined the Hospital/Clinic staff. It was a terribly emotional departure as Bill was the rock on which RRHC relied for its fine reputation for health care. Many in the community and even board members expected RRHC to be bankrupt in a short time. That was not to be the case. It was discovered that folks needed care regardless of the physician. In a clinical environment a sick person often sees a physician’s assistant. The primary need is basic health care for our community. Bill Hunter eventually left for Eureka Open Door and some clients did follow him there. However, the majority stayed with our local clinics and the clinics worked to provide the best health care possible. Mark Phelps is a fine doctor and the dean of our medical community. It would be a real blow to lose him. Hopefully, these negotiations will have a good result and Mark will stay on here in his home town. It is incumbent on a board of directors to be able to respond to the loss of key personnel. We need to constantly be on the lookout for new blood in the medical community here. Medicine is a very tough business, these days and our community has pitched in with added taxes for the Health Care District. I don’t know Harry Jasper but I do know that the Hospital/ Clinic is currently (or at least, recently) in the black. This is nearly a miracle, in my opinion and wiil continue, I hope. The Powers That Be in Sacramento see our hospital as a pathetic anachronism. They expect it to fail and for us to go to Fortuna for health care. They see this eventuality as efficient and care little for our inconvenience. It is terribly important for our community to keep our clinics financially viable so that they can continue to exist. We go through one health care crisis after the next and we have weathered them so far. Let’s keep cool heads and weather this one step by step.

    • Ben,
      I’ve been trying to follow what is happening and still feeling a little lost. Thank you for giving me perspective and reminding us all of how much we need to cherish our local hospital. I was trying to explain to someone why rural residents feel so disconnected from county and state government–we so seldom see any results from our taxes. We don’t get services that most people take for granted ie sheriffs are distant, most don’t have sewer, etc. The local hospital is one tangible benefit that most of us agree is needed.

  • Kym… I was president of the RRHC board when Bill Hunter left and joined the Hospital/Clinic staff. It was a terribly emotional departure as Bill was the rock on which RRHC relied for its fine reputation for health care. Many in the community and even board members expected RRHC to be bankrupt in a short time. That was not to be the case. It was discovered that folks needed care regardless of the physician. In a clinical environment a sick person often sees a physician’s assistant. The primary need is basic health care for our community. Bill Hunter eventually left for Eureka Open Door and some clients did follow him there. However, the majority stayed with our local clinics and the clinics worked to provide the best health care possible. Mark Phelps is a fine doctor and the dean of our medical community. It would be a real blow to lose him. Hopefully, these negotiations will have a good result and Mark will stay on here in his home town. It is incumbent on a board of directors to be able to respond to the loss of key personnel. We need to constantly be on the lookout for new blood in the medical community here. Medicine is a very tough business, these days and our community has pitched in with added taxes for the Health Care District. I don’t know Harry Jasper but I do know that the Hospital/ Clinic is currently (or at least, recently) in the black. This is nearly a miracle, in my opinion and wiil continue, I hope. The Powers That Be in Sacramento see our hospital as a pathetic anachronism. They expect it to fail and for us to go to Fortuna for health care. They see this eventuality as efficient and care little for our inconvenience. It is terribly important for our community to keep our clinics financially viable so that they can continue to exist. We go through one health care crisis after the next and we have weathered them so far. Let’s keep cool heads and weather this one step by step.

    • Ben,
      I’ve been trying to follow what is happening and still feeling a little lost. Thank you for giving me perspective and reminding us all of how much we need to cherish our local hospital. I was trying to explain to someone why rural residents feel so disconnected from county and state government–we so seldom see any results from our taxes. We don’t get services that most people take for granted ie sheriffs are distant, most don’t have sewer, etc. The local hospital is one tangible benefit that most of us agree is needed.

  • I can understand why you don’t know what’s going on, Kym. Only the board, administration and Mark and Brook really know what’s going on. It surprises me that people are so quick to assume the worst and take sides without knowing what’s actually happening.

    I’m sure there are two sides to this situation and that Mark and Harry will work it out. I don’t think this soap opera is helping to reach a solution.

  • I can understand why you don’t know what’s going on, Kym. Only the board, administration and Mark and Brook really know what’s going on. It surprises me that people are so quick to assume the worst and take sides without knowing what’s actually happening.

    I’m sure there are two sides to this situation and that Mark and Harry will work it out. I don’t think this soap opera is helping to reach a solution.

  • Great points! I will be checking back here often!

  • Great points! I will be checking back here often!

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