Southern Humboldt ER Care ‘Inadequate,’ Complains Letter to the Editor

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Piktogramm KrankenschwesterOn Wednesday, June 8, I had occasion to visit the emergency room of the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District. I was there between 2 and 4 a.m.

The visit was not satisfactory. I saw–if you can call an encounter that lasted less than five minutes that–Dr. Vigil. I came because of severe discomfort in my urogenital region. The inability of the two nurses on duty to operate the computer system–I had to sign in five times before they got it right–did not inspire high expectations in the level of service I was about to receive.

The visit consisted of the following: 1) a urine sample, 2) a saline drip, 3) another urine sample. When this was done I heard one of the nurses call (I presume, Dr. Vigil) and say, “But you have to come down here anyway to discharge him.” You might make the same inference I did. Eventually Dr. Vigil walked into the room and said, “Your urine is clear. You can go home. Goodbye.”

On my way home I thought, “That wasn’t right.” The next morning I was still in considerable discomfort and thought, “If my urine was clear, then it’s likely not a bladder or kidney problem. What else could it be? How about prostate.” I checked the symptoms of prostatitis and found that I had mentioned nearly every one of them to the intake nurse.

The next day I visited Redwoods Rural Health Center. (It’s been years since I was there but there were no appointments available at the Garberville clinic and I needed immediate attention. Dr. Vigil was still on duty in the ER–I called to check–so for me that was not an option.) At RRHC I received from Dr. Scheel the most thorough initial examination I have received from any general practitioner.

After listening to me, examining me, and taking another urine sample, he diagnosed prostatitis and prescribed antibiotics, working together with me to select one of two alternative antibiotics and the duration of treatment. I was very impressed, something I cannot say of my experience at the ER.

Shortly after beginning the antibiotic regimen, I experienced rapid relief.

Like many people, I vote for the property tax surcharge largely to keep the ER open. I hope that the treatment I received Wednesday morning was not typical. However, after that dismal episode, I can only conclude that quality control at the ER is inadequate and ask myself if I should instead have driven to Fortuna or Eureka for treatment. At the least I might have received more attention from the physician, a more accurate and competent diagnosis, and quicker relief from my discomfort.

If I have to do that, why should I pay to keep open an ER I now have so little faith in?


Richard Finch
a patient at the Garberville clinic since 1973

Note: Image used by H.p.frei (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons



  • Richard, I use Dr. Google a lot myself.

  • There has always been a disconnect between the ER and the staff doctors.
    It is like they live in two different reality’s. One that does not communicate properly with each other.

    • The only other time I saw Dr. V–a late night visit to the ER on the weekend for a sudden worsening of a respiratory infection that developed into pneumonia–he told me after looking at my X-rays that he detected changes in my lungs that suggested the onset of COPD. This even though I had pneumonia and my blood oxygen level was still 97%. When I saw Barbara Hayes a while later and told her this and that it came from Dr. V she rolled her eyes and dropped the subject.

    • I should add that during that first visit Dr. V didn’t even offer to prescribe antibiotics for my pneumonia until I asked for them. His response was, “You want antibiotics?” When I said yes because in my experience (in the 80s I was prone to respiratory infections that worsened into bronchitis/pneumonia) they were essential to my recovery. He did comply–after I requested them.

  • My experience: I had to go there to have 16d nail removed from my thumb. After countless unnecessary X-rays, they had to go to the hardware store to get a pair of pliers. I had to inform the doctor to pull the nail through rather than backwards. Then it was the maintenance man who actually pulled it out.

  • If everybody who had a bad experience with SHCHD , from the ER, where people die unnecessarily, to the clinic, to the billing system, if all those people publicly told their stories, it would be completely clear that what we need is a professionally managed ER/urgent care facility to supplement the wonderful care we receuve at Redwoods Rural. SHCHD should quit trying to BS us, overbill us and let us die, cut their dead weight, and do what they mostly do anyhow: residential care for those unfortunate enough to lack any other choice.

    • I have gotten good care at both Redwood Rural and the hospital. It seems to depend on the PA ‘s more than the doctors. The only missed diagnosis and bad outcome, for whooping cough, was Dr. Quick? Quirk? several years back at RR.

    • veterans friend

      I have received substandard care at both the ER & RRHC….but that is not my concern now.
      The ER is essential. The clinic. (in garberville) is not. We do not need toys like a CT scanner…there is one 30 miles up the road. It is not an emergency tool. What we need is competent full time ER staffing. And a clinic that is completely separate. RRHC & the clinic ought to join forces somehow and do everything necessary to support a real ER. Quit thinking about buying & selling real estate. Start thinking about recruiting a full time competent staff for the ER.

  • The Doctor Will Harass You Now

    The only thing I find surprising about this experience is that he got competent care at RRHC.


    Thank God Harry Jasper is gone and Now we hear some clown wants to spend just a starting estimate of 30 million on a new facility to be paid by property taxes . Our family avoids that place at all costs We want to live !,The nightmares of the care there is too long to get into here but it runs through the veins of the place. A board that has no clue about running a hospital so they give away the bank to high priced consultants and advisers , Then to the actual health care .My dog gets better more knowledgeable treatment at the Vet in Fortuna

  • Dyerville Loop is Not Alderpoint

    Is Dr. V. Dr. Viejo? The guy is a complete idiot.I doubt he really is a doctor. Someone should look into his past. Ive never met a more incompetent fool. i waited 4 plus hours for him to see me one day. He wasn’t busy. he was fucking around.

    • I named the doctor in question in my letter to the editor. I shortened it to Dr. V in my responses. His name is Dr. Vigil (which he and the other staff pronounce “Veal”). I can’t tell you if it’s the same doctor you saw since it’s sometimes difficult to transfer names heard aloud into their written form, especially if the name is an uncommon one.

  • If it helps any, Dr. V is no longer at the hospital. He walked out in the middle of a shift, I think the very next day. The hospital ER is a direct reflection of the people in this community. This community sucks! Wonder why the ER can’t keep good doctors? Wonder why the hospital has a staffing shortage constantly? NOBODY WANTS TO LIVE AND WORK IN THIS SHITHOLE!!! Maybe if the selfish, shitty assholes who overwhelmingly populate this crap circus weren’t so fucking entitled and disgustingly self-absorbed, the hospital could actually recruit decent doctors who would actually want to stay and build a life and a family here. But, unfortunately, because southern Humboldt is a nexus-point for the worst of human nature, that likely isn’t going to happen anytime soon. I’ve lived in so many places across this country, and I have never, EVER, experienced more selfishness, hypocrisy, or arrogance in my life until I moved to southern Humboldt. Everyone thinks they’re the most important person in the world, and everyone needs to kiss their ass and get out of their way. Everyone thinks they’re exempt from the rules/laws that the rest of normal society follows. There’s this delusional bubble over sohum, that will never go away, and it sucks…such a beautiful place, inhabited by such ugly people.

    • I’m responding only to the first sentence in your comment: HALLELUJAH! Now I feel safe giving the ER another try if the occasion arises. I can’t help wondering, though, if it was a case of getting out before the axe fell.

    • Reading the tides

      So please leave
      There are a lot of us who live it here and have created a community of healing and food security. You can get on board anytime you want . You don’t need to sign up anywhere. You can be a human. Sorry the fishbowl nature if a small town gets to you but.. at least we haven’t seen any Donald Trump or Hilary stickers.! So please leave if you don’t like it

    • you might like flint. or baltimore? really, was that “tough love” or “constructive critisism”? sounds like you would have a lot to offer.. long day maybe.. i moved here following in the footsteps of those that made this place the mecca for humanity it is, with rrhc, mcc, kmud, epic, beginnings, etc etc.. they say nothing lasts, but those redwoods out my window are still as fucking amazing as they were when i first saw them 20 years ago. jumping in the mattole is just as riveting as it ever was. we need solutions not ,,that:)^^

    • And you live here

  • Had a horrible experience with their ER staff (including Dr. V) when we had to call an ambulance to bring my mom in there in on Mothers Day due to complications with her COPD. Note that entire time we were in the waiting room (aprox. 4 hours), we could hear every word spoken by the ER staff in the other room. Shortly after she was brought in, DR. V inserted a breathing tube and stabilized her, and it was determined that she then needed to be transferred to one of the larger hospitals as soon as possible. However, Life Flight couldn’t do it because of weather complications. So ,it was decided that they were going to send her to St. Joe’s via ambulance. However, due to none of the paramedics being certified in Advance Life Support (the breathing tube my mom was depending on the keep her breathing), they were going to require a nurse to do a ride along. Problem was that it was approaching the end of their shift, and so none of them wanted to go unless the management would approve paying them overtime. And when the management said no, we got to hear the nurses debate and argue with each other on who was going to sacrifice their time and not get paid to go on the ride to St Joe’s. Dr. V eventually came out to the waiting room told us that he had stabilized my moms condition and that he had done his part, and wasn’t obligated to be involved in which nurse would be accompanying my mom in the ambulance. Eventually one nurse stepped up and decided that my moms health was worth more than her own paycheck. And thus my mom was then taken to St Joe’s.

    • To call this a horrible experience seems to me putting it mildly. It sounds more like a traumatizing experience to me!

  • Such a shame they can’t be investigated, by gov.they aren’t owed by st.joes are they??yikes.i won’t go near their ever again they suck!I’d suffer the drive else where mad river both my kids born there.Mr.finch I’m so glad Ur feeling better.i don’t know why we no Good Doctors here the all get chased off with shitty pay and working 14 wrong

  • Such a shame they can’t be investigated, by gov.they aren’t owed by st.joes are they??yikes.i won’t go near their ever again they suck!I’d suffer the drive else where mad river both my kids born there.Mr.finch I’m so glad Ur feeling better.i don’t know why we haveno Good Doctors here the all get chased off with shitty pay and working 14 wrong

  • I also had a terrible experience at G-ville hospital, From a visiting Doc, I forgot his name, he was from Santa Rosa and came here only a few times a month. he was about 5ft. 6in. and chubby about 200 pounds with thin hair. I had a bad pain in my rectum, he told me it was hemorrhoids and sent me packing, I came back 3 days later and he told me I was just looking for drugs. 4 months later I was diagnosed with stage 3 B Colon – Rectal Cancer, the delay almost cost me my life. So I am with you on this.

  • I have to say that Mr. Finches experience with Dr. Vigil was the opposite of mine. I have been attended to by Dr. Vigil on three occasions over the years. Twice in the E.R. and once in the clinic. On all three visits he was attentive and professional. The two E.R. visits were due to heart related issues and Dr. Vigil responded in a timely manner and the med he prescribed has been a god send in treating my condition. I was also treated by the late Dr. Pleatman and was impressed by his knowledge and manner. On the six occasions that I have used the services of the E.R. here in Garberville I have had nothing but a positive experience. I have also been impressed with the E.R nursing staff and their kind and attentive treatment. Thats been my experience.

    • Dave, aren’t you a former member of the district board and a member of the family that publishes The Independent? Could that possibly have anything to do with the consistent experiences you’ve had at the ER and with Dr. V?

      Separately, are you planning to stand for the hospital board when a vacancy occurs? I hope you are. I wish they had appointed you when the last sudden vacancy occurred instead of the person who essentially gave away the school district property on Sprowel Cr. Rd. to CR for an absurdly pie-in-the-sky vision of a “full-service” branch campus, sold to credulous locals by the flim-flam artist who was then president of CR. The man they appointed didn’t even bother to campaign for re-election or put up posters and was voted out, nearly unheard of here for an incumbent board member.

      • Richard
        I am in no way affiliated with the hospital, but I have had good experiences with both Doctor Pleatman and Doctor Vijil. Doctor Pleatman stayed by my mother’s bedside all night while she was having heart problems, until he could get her transferred to Willits, then to Santa Rosa where she got a pacemaker. On another visit, Doctor Vijil Stabilized my mothers Congestive Heart Failure until she could once again get to Santa Rosa. Both, life saving care.

        My personal Doctor is Dr. Sheel at Redwoods Rural Health Center. I chose him because he is here long term, and anytime that I want to whine about one of my maladies he is there. And, he listens well, he even lets me interrupt him.

        We don’t live in a perfect world. You are responsible for your own healthcare. Diagnosing illness in a world where some patients are just trying to get some good drugs is particularly difficult. (I know that was not your case) The place to properly address your problems would probably be standing on the administrators desk. Doctors have a tendency to disappear from hospitals where they are not respected, we’ve all seen that happen here. Not much is helped by airing your dirty laundry in the blogs, although the blogs are a valuable last resort. I admire that you sign your name to your complaints, it gives them a great deal more legitimacy.

        • Ernie, from a later comment I left explaining why Kym and I decided to “air [my] dirty laundry”: “The letter Kym published was a copy of the e-mail I sent to two officers at SHCHD, one of whom is the new CEO. Kym held off publishing the letter to see if I heard anything back from them. After more than a week I had heard nothing, not even a diplomatic expression of regret and assurance that the situation would be looked into.” In this case Kym’s blog was indeed a last resort.

        • Ernie, one of the comments that I overheard Dr. V make to nurses while they were all debating on who was going to do the ride along was that he (Dr. V) had quit several months previous, but the administration had asked him to come back for higher pay. And just before he said that, one of the nurses had said she was going to put in her resignation because she was tired of all the BS, One of the other primary gripes the nurses had that day, besides not getting paid for O.T., was that they were short staffed, My mom was the only patient in the ER for the first 3 hours we were there until the paramedics brought in a non critical patient (homeless guy who had a small non bleeding head wound from a fight he’d had earlier in the week). And then the nurses started to complain about how busy they now were and how they’d asked the administration to allow them to call in someone from their on call staff list, but that the administrators told them that since they hire on call staff from as far away as the Bay Area, there’s not always going to be some one available for quick deployment. I understand that it’s not a perfect world, but my overall impression from hearing all the bitching and complaining was that the staff is so disgruntled, the patient’s wellbeing and health are second to the staff’s unhappiness. And if my moms condition had begun to take a turn for the worse, I doubt if the new sense of urgency would have gotten the nurses to come to a decision any quicker about who was going to do the ride along. I did get a good chuckle however when I heard them talking to Life Flight and LF said that if the paramedics could get my mom to Fortuna, they could use a fixed wing fly her to Eureka.

  • With the poor inadequate service we are taxed for, I feel that we need to put our hospital tax to a re-vote. I think our money would be better spent on an Urgent care office. I do not go to garberville hospital for emergency care. I drive the extra 40 minutes and go to Fortuna where they are better prepared to handle any of my medical needs.
    Garberville hospital has referred me to Fortuna hospital in the past so now I start out there.
    I like the hospital in fortuna. The staff is all ways there with fast courteous service.
    We need to stop taxing ourself for bad service. Let us give our tax money to the schools or roads or just get rid of the ridiculous Hospital Tax

  • Don’t ever say that small annual tax we pay isn’t worth it. You’re hearing a few stories here
    and I know every hospital has these same problems but I know that our ER has saved lives and we cannot afford to think we can live without it. Think about others please.

  • Under state law an ambulance can’t take you to an “urgent care” facility. Urgent care facilities are a financial middle way between an appointment based clinic and an E.R.. They are essentially walk in clinics. And having worked in real estate sales locally I can tell you that the hit your property value will take with the loss of the E.R. will be many times larger than the parcel tax that supports not just the E.R. but the healthcare district in total. The main problem, in my opinion, is getting healthcare professionals of all types to come and stay in our communities here in Humboldt. Staffing issues are countywide and only getting worse. The local hospitals have enough beds but they don’t have the people to staff them. Thats one reason why so many folks are flown out to other counties.

  • Sohum my whole life

    In November 2015 I went into the er in Garberville for severe leg pain. The dr. Said I strained my leg and to keep it elevated.. but in fact I had a fully blocked vein with a blood clot. They all most killed me.. and left my 2 kids without a mother… I went in recently for a major anxiety attack to wear my body was seizing up and the same dr. Was on call he didn’t give a crap about my health he just wanted to give me drugs. No order for blood work or anything. I got even more anxietied out because it was him and refused to hAve him touch me and I went to fortuna.. Garberville is a joke. I’m definitely filing official complaints.

  • I am aware that the property tax surcharge does more than keep the ER open and is crucial for the entire operation. I have had few problems in the past at the Garberville clinic, only really last fall, when Barbara Hayes had retired and they were in a state of staff transition and I received inconsistent and contradictory care and treatment. (I wrote a letter to the editor then about this situation.)

    I have seen Dr. Matuskiewicz several times and think he’s an excellent doctor–professional, enthusiastic, and easy to talk with. We’re lucky to have him. BUT the parcel tax is sold to voters on the basis of keeping the ER open. I wanted to open a dialogue about the ER to see if others have had the same subpar experience there I had the other night, in order to convince the new administrative staff that something needs to be done about the inconsistency and unreliability of service there, what I referred to in my original letter as inadequate quality control.

    The letter Kym published was a copy of the e-mail I sent to two officers at SHCHD, one of whom is the new CEO. Kym held off publishing the letter to see if I heard anything back from them. After more than a week I had heard nothing, not even a diplomatic expression of regret and assurance that the situation would be looked into.

    Does the new administration not realize that getting the parcel tax renewed is top priority? That without it passing, all other issues at the district (including plans for a new site) will essentially be moot? They need to work on generating some good will, and the longer complaints about the ER continue, the more difficult that will become.

  • Please check the spelling of Dr. V’s name. I was told that it is Vijal and pronounced vee-hall, with the “j” pronounced like an “h” in the Spanish system. I was told that his one week a month in Garberville allows him to volunteer full-time at a Native American clinic in the southwest. I had a very positive experience with Dr. Vijal in the ER, and I was grateful to have a place to go for urgent care in our community.

  • Mr Kirby is now giving us scare tactics. Must be a republican fear monger. All critical care is shipped out of so hum unless they need to stop the bleeding .Don’t waste the time and head elsewhere

  • Richard..,I am not related to the Independent Kirby’s. And yes I was on the healthcare district board of directors back in the 90s and early 2000s I also served on the Redwoods Rural board prior to that. During my time on the district board we heard a number of complaints about medical delivery in general and some serious individual cases concerning all the district services not just the E.R.. I wish I could tell you I had confidence in all the providers that passed through the institution then and after my term but i’d be less than honest. The fact is there never was a time when we experienced the comfort of having a surplus of applicants for any providers position at the district. Overall we were fortunate enough to have a lot of capable people working in less than ideal conditions. I will say that the majority of the complaints when investigated were more about misunderstandings rather than failure to meet an acceptable level of care and that one persons “beloved” provider was another’s quack. I share your feeling about Dr. Matuskiewicz. He is my primary care guy and his advice and care has been spot on. As long as we contract for rotating E.R. docs the bedside manner and expertise will vary and I can tell you that the district has asked that certain E.R. M.D.s not return to Phelps E.R.

  • From an earlier comment that I somehow missed (these threads are sometimes difficult to follow completely): “If it helps any, Dr. V is no longer at the hospital. He walked out in the middle of a shift, I think the very next day.”

    My response to this news: “HALLELUJAH! Now I feel safe giving the ER another try if the occasion arises. I can’t help wondering, though, if it was a case of getting out before the ax fell.”

    For me the immediate part of the issue has been settled. Now the administration needs to address the overall situation of quality control. I know it’s hard to find competent doctors to work in the ER. I did hear good things about Dr. Plaitman before his unfortunate death. Let’s hope they can arrange some system to restore faith in the ER, and get that crucial parcel tax passed when it comes up for renewal.

    For me this comment thread has ended. I will be leaving no further comments or replies on this issue for the time being.

  • I guess I am the oddball, but I have never had a bad experience at either the clinic or hospital. I think the difference is how I treat folks there. You see, I realize that I am nothing special and deserve nothing more than the next human in line. I show up on time to my appointment, am polite and respectful, and always pay my bill in full without a bunch of bullshit excuses and scams. My service and care received have been excellent. Maybe folks could work on treating others how they like to be treated and see if that helps.

  • Dyerville Loop is Not Alderpoint

    Vijal, Veijo? you mean to tell me that there is a doctor in the hospital and were not even sure of his name? I asked him, viejo? as in, “old”, in spanish?. He said yes.. its the same guy for sure. Hes an imposter. Four hour wait, he didn’t even take my blood pressure a second time. That was the same day the nurses were playing word games, the new word was , shieza, as in shit, in german, the nurse was walking down the corridor saying shit, shit, shit, in german over and over and over. Then she couldnt get the ex-ray machine to work… i suggested it needed to be cranked up. . that day was like being stuck in a bad three stooges movie. And then there was the time my buddies prostate was swelling his eurethrea shut, none of the nurses knew how to put in a catheter.T wo and a half hours later a doc came in and as i recall got 1 1/2 gallons of urine. He was ready to commit suicide from the pain.

  • Just wanted to add that there is another underlying issue regarding physician staffing, and nursing probably also. I have a friend who’s a Veterinarian and desperately wanted to move to this area but every time a property comes up for sale, someone buys it for twice what it’s worth in cash. How can any “normal” working people or health care providers afford to move to this area?

    • On the bright side, when they get run out of town for quackery the overpriced home will sell for twice what it’s worth, and a retirement bonus as they run from town with their physicianly bloated paycheck

  • Friends, For the last 20 years, the Healthcare District has been run like a criminal operation. The parcel tax is due for a vote in 2017 and I doubt it will pass, which is profoundly necessary as a wake up call. $1,000,000 was embezzled from the District while the board either sat on their hands or financially benefited from it, through getting jobs at high salaries. The building was mortgaged illegally (a government building can’t be) yet no criminal investigation was called for. Currently there is one feller there who has specialized in ripping off at least one old woman of her home and putting her in the nursing care facility there. Evil. The pension fund is often unfunded. The healthcare is ultimately abysmal. Dr. Phelps, who saw 3000 faithful patients, was run out of our town by the board and administration. Some of the same people who ran it then are running it now. I don’t care if one person had a good experience–it doesn’t mean the other 1000 who didn’t are wrong. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    The place is damned close to being a sadistic, satanic cult with a good twist of reported sexual harassment of staff and even patients. Anyone good is driven out. While it’s true that good people can’t find a place top live, that consideration has never been taken into consideration when the scores of good nurses, doctors, technicians and other staff who still live here were driven out of the district. In other words, we still have good staff we could get back if the Administration and board weren’t fiends. But the voters have never chosen to replace the board with the various people who have challenged it, so it stays the same.

    Should the place close–no. Should the next parcel tax be funded–hell no. (Remember it can always be voted on again and again once changes occur.) Should anyone go there who can even remotely afford the time to go to Fortuna, Eureka or Arcata–definitely not. Even a pyscho killer doesn’t kill everyone he walks by but the numbers of people mistreated and injurred badly by the Healthcare district is legion.

    • I allow a lot of leeway when criticizing people and places of power (such as public entities.) But I caution people reading this that these are strong statements with no proof to back them and no one willing to sign their name openly to these statements.

    • I would take on your B.S. point by point but its pretty obvious you don’t have a clue. I’ll just say that your attacks on the board are really low considering these folks are the reason the district still exists and they give of their time and expertise for the good of the community in a thankless job.

  • ONE LAST COMMENT: This morning I received a telephone call from Matt Rees, CEO of Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District. He explained that he was unable to speak with me before this because he was out of town all last week. He confirmed that Dr. V is no longer associated with SHCHD and that the district is working on improving the quality of service at the ER. Additionally, he told me that the district is currently in discussions with a highly qualified physician and that there might soon be a second M.D. joining the staff. A productive and reassuring communication all around. I was very impressed with Mr. Rees’s calmness, focus, and ability and willingness to listen.

  • Yeah,,,thanks a lot to you both …not.

    • Dave,
      Would you like me to decide which letters to the editor are published based on whether you like the sentiments or not? Should I publish based on whether I approve? Or is it best to let articulate letters to the editor with people willing to sign their name be published no matter whether I agree or not?

      When the Community Credit Union didn’t like a letter to the editor, Shon wrote her own response and sent it to the editor. We published it. You can do the same.

      The community is better served in my opinion by as much free access to public speech as possible. You can disagree. Feel free to write a letter to the editor and sign your name. I’ll publish it.

      • I don’t really have an issue with Richard’s letter because he signed his name to it. There is a very good reason that letters to the editor in the papers require a name and address. The biggest pain in the ass about blogs is that jerks hide behind anon labels and slander and insult good people. You should have known that publishing that letter was going to bring the cranks and creeps out of the bushes. These trolls don’t have guts enough to put a name on it so why print it? The fact that LOCO had done the same thing with a complaint about St. Joes and the response went downhill immediately should have told you that blogs are not the place for any real dialogue around these issues.

        • I agree that letter to the editors should require names and addresses. And I agree that comments on blogs written anonymously should be taken with a grain of salt BUT in the case of the St. Joe’s letter to the editor (on RHBB not LoCO) in at least one case medical staff wrote in a comment anonymously corroborating many of the problems. Then asked me to take it down because even writing anonymously they were afraid of being discovered and losing their job. Allowing anonymity allows people to speak more openly without fear of reprisals. (And sadly also to spew nonsense without their neighbors seeing what idiots they are being.)

          There is a long history going back to America’s founding fathers of anonymous people starting a conversation that the community is afraid to talk about openly. No, I don’t give as much credence to someone who writes anonymously but dismissing a number of concerned people seems unwise.

    • Dave, what a sour response. You object to a problem being brought to attention, discussed, and resolved? From my conversation with Mr. Rees, my impression was that he perceived a problem also and proceeded to deal with it. That inspires confidence in his dedication and ability, at least in me. Yes, lots of people go off topic on general rants, but that’s to be expected in the blog format. I ignore those who clearly have an ax to grind. But I paid attention to those who detailed experiences they had with the issue I raised, problems with treatment at the ER and in particular with Dr. V. I’m sorry you object to free and open discussion. It’s a Constitutional right, you know.

      • Richard I am always amused by folks who bring up “free speech” and the constitution in these comment sections. This is a frikin blog….none of that is relevant here. The content is governed by the whim of the host. It can be censored or amended without recourse. The fact is that had the district E.D. had not been out of town your letter would not have been published and all the negative B.S. printed here would not have happened. And as I said if you don’t have guts enough to put your name on it then it is irrelevant.

  • Well doc Phillips brought me into this world 1960 back then it was a wonderfull hospital every time I got hurt he fixed me when I was a child you could say I got hurt alot he set my nose when I was like 5 yrs old smashed flat I fell down ,and hit my nose on a concrete curb I tore a.big gash in my leg he sowed it up the man was a saint ,I never waited in the emergency ,but back then there weren’t as many people my neighbors were all my family out on the flat if you lived in Humboldt County long enough you know that I was talking about the airport ,and that being said it was the best hospital around .

  • Years ago in 1973 my husband had a motorcycle accident and went to So. Humb. hospital. The 2 ER docs were supposed to be the best and I watched in the doorway while they pushed and prodded and he was unconscious. They couldn’t even administer an IV. Thank goodness for Nurse McCormack for doing that. Probably why he is alive today. The girl that was doing x-ray didn’t know how to operated the machine, and by the time they got done he was in a comma. He had a broken collarbone ( loved watching the ER doc lifting his arm up in the air). After 4 days of laying there unconscious I arrived and the doctor said that they were making arrangements to send him down to the bay area for treatment but he was so strong that he woke up on his own. Be sure that is the place you want to be before you sign yourself in. You always have the right to say I want to go somewhere else if you can speak or have someone to speak for you.

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