If Garberville Hospital ‘wants a future, it needs a better present,’ Urges Letter to the Editor
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To the Community,
An SHCHD representative indicated, in a recent post, that those at SHCHD are “shocked” that they received less than half of the needed votes to pass the tax proposal known as Measure W.
Measure W, which would have added $74,000,000 to our property taxes over 45 years for SHCHD to use as it saw fit, was a non-starter in SoHum.
In my opinion, the rejection of Measure W is a clear indication that SHCHD has lost the support of the community. It is not a matter of the public failing to support the facility, it is a matter of the facility failing to serve the community!
SHCHD is a California Healthcare District, which operates a Skilled Nursing Facility, a General Clinic, and a very limited Hospital/ER. Jerold Phelps Hospital has a limited lab, some XRAY/Mammogrphy, and Physical Therapy.
Let’s remember: This is a publicly owned facility, and the employees of SHCHD are public employees. The District is under an elected Governing Board.
SHCHD is now “table-ing” at the Garberville Farmer’s Market, in yet another of it’s attempts educate, do PR, and gauge the temperature of the public. I presume that there will be more of the usual promotion, and that this effort will feature board members, employees and possibly administrators in an attempt to engage citizens and solicit their opinions. I assume also, that another ballot measure is planned.
I encourage folks who are interested, to adopt the mission of informing the persons at SHCHD that the recent election itself is a clear indicator of the disposition of the citizenry, and that SHCHD should stop wasting time polling and doing PR, and instead start working to hire some providers, and offer the services that the public would like to consume. I recommend that SHCHD explore and supply Women’s Health, Pain Management, Pediatrics, Behavioral Health including Drug Rehab, Oncology, Internal Medicine and Cardiology, and a Full Service Pharmacy.
I also continue to recommend that SHCHD work to repair it’s relationship with the community by operating more transparently, updating it’s own website more regularly, always being truthful, and by making up for the previous CEO’s practice of whimsically firing and banning the rehiring of employees, based on no policies or any sensible procedures as should be expected in a public agency!
SHCHD should always operate honestly, and should avoid misleading the public in every way, and, SHCHD should deliver good value in healthcare, by pricing it’s services competitively and billing competently. SHCHD should always exhibit a spirit of compliance with State and Federal laws, including employment law.
SHCHD should offer decent salaries and competitive benefits to it’s employees, and should have fair, sensible employment policies, reasonable expectations for new employees, and documented training and competency assessments as required by law. SHCHD should always give direction and communicate it’s expectations to employees.
When SHCHD makes the investment in adequate staff, and develops profitable lines of business which the population actually needs and desires, it is possible that the image of the district will improve. When people using the facility receive great service, and desired services, the public perception of the district will become more positive.
When SHCHD does a better job with what it has now, when SHCHD endeavors to maintain a competent, well trained permanent staff of highly qualified locals, when SHCHD works to raise funds through profitable operation, donations from wealthy individuals, government grants and other methods such as a foundation or an Auxilliary, it may become possible to pass a bond or property tax to support a new facility.
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So the message is: SHCHD – make the investment, show improvement managing what you have, and repair relationships. Evolve and go forward! Give quality service, and end your attachments with provincial prejudices, and abandon your tendency to be stuck in the past!It is also my sincere belief that if you just give people something, they will never appreciate it. If people work together and build a new hospital themselves, they will patronize and support it!
Finally, if SHCHD wants a future, it needs a better present! If SHCHD wants a new facility, it will first require a new way of thinking. And,If SHCHD wants to do well, first it will need to do better!
Paul Riley, CLS – Redway