Vote Yes on a New Hospital for Southern Humboldt, Urges Letter Writer

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Medical Feature

Image used by H.p.frei (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

To Southern Humboldt Community,

As you all well know we have a vast number of health disparities in our small community. A health disparity is linked to social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantages and adversely affect groups of people, such as, those living in poverty or low-income. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Humboldt County individuals living below poverty level is at an estimated 21.4%, compared to California’s percentage of 16.3%. Many of these disparities are multifaceted and require strategies that involve things that are out of our hands.

One environmental health disparity that we have control over is helping our community to build a new hospital by voting Yes on Measure W.

California Hospital Safety Seismic Law, SB 1953, requires specific retrofitting and/or rebuilding of California hospitals by 2030. This is because “hospitals must remain standing and functional during and after an earthquake for the safety of patients and staff AND to provide medical assistance to earthquake victims” (OSHPD CA). Jerold Phelps Community Hospital (JPCH) cannot be retrofitted to meet these standards and for this community to have a local hospital a new facility must be built.

Often, we only think of ourselves and how things effect OUR life. Let’s take a moment and think about our neighbor instead.

Reliable transportation is required in a rural environment; without this our neighbor cannot drive to the next closest hospital over an hour away in Fortuna. Often getting into town is difficult enough and requires walking, hitchhiking, or the mercy of a friend. Once in town the Redwood Transit System is available; however, it only operates Monday thru Friday, at specific time intervals. Imagine being in pain or having difficulty breathing or routinely trying to hitchhike or ride a bus to Fortuna to receive necessary medical care. According to California Center for Rural Policy, Research Brief 4 (2009), “transportation is one of the many factors impacting health and access to healthcare in our rural communities.” Why would we want to make this more difficult for our neighbors and ourselves?

When looking for employment many medical professionals typically only consider facilities with the latest technology and look, which JPCH lacks due to limitations related to the age and design of the current facility. Recruitment and retention is difficult. I believe as a community we deserve a facility with the latest technology to diagnose and treat our health issues.

As a medical professional I want ease of healthcare access so that my patients can have the best chances for recovery. Wouldn’t we be damaging our community by limiting available services, essentially stating that we are not worthy of optimal local medical care?

A Yes vote on Measure W supports a stronger and healthier community; it shows we value where we live and we care about those who matter to us. Help point us toward a better future for Southern Humboldt.

Heroes didn’t leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn’t wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else’s. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.” ― Jodi Picoult, Second Glance


Julie Moore
Southern Humboldt Family Nurse Practitioner Student

  • Laytonville Rock


  • The hospital that we gave is essentially an extended care facility with an ER and a clinic attached.

    We already have a far superior clinic in Redwoods Rural Health Center. RRHCalready has clean, modern facilities, ab excellent, professional staff and doctor, and RRHC is dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable care, while the SHCHD clinic charges the highest prices within driving range. I know, I researched it. The SHCHD clinic has trouble retaining their doctors, and they’re not diagnostic geniuses.

    The ER at SHCHD is rife with problems from misdiagnoses to absolutely shoddy care, resulting in needless deaths. The most recent, unlamented doctor there was a rabid Trumpist who foisred his political opinikns on a patient, while providing shoddy care.

    Shut the deathtrap down. Bring in a stand-alone urgent care center. That’s serving the community.

    • An urgent care facility is nothing more than a walk in clinic. It offers no emergency services. Ambulances are not allowed to drop off patients at an urgent care clinic. If you shut down the E.R. you are looking at what could be a fatal delay in treatment as the ambulance heads to Fortuna.

      • 2that’s what the ER does in Gville anyhow. Long waits with nobody ahead, exhorbitant charges, poor service. Political rants from the doctor. Transport to a professional facility if you’re lucky enough to survive the treatment. If not, die on the sidewalk after being turned out, or die at home after a misdiagnosis.

      • Fake News For Profit Of Outsiders

        The ambulance takes hrs just to get to us so your ambulance theory holds no weight .There really is no ambulance in southern humboldt .Going to a shitty hospital is a fatal delay of qualified treatment .What was that last tax for? Retrofit I believe and they used it for operating costs .

      • But they you would receive incompetent care by the untrained staff at JPH. The un-staffed lab, the lack of a pharmacy etc. Nurses who can’t find the meds may not help you!
        Unless you are bleeding profusely, stay in the ambo and ask to go to Howard Hospital, Redwood Hospital, Ukiah Med Ctr, or if you have to, St Joseph’s. Anywhere else than JPH! This COULD save your life! Get a helicopter ambo card for all in your family and be careful out there!

        SOMETHING is not always better than NOTHING. VOTE NO ON W!!

    • As far as costs are concerned you’re correct. Unaware of the exorbitant costs I had six routine x-rays of an ankle and wrists. When I received the bill the hospital charged $650 per x-ray! Do the math. I called two radiology facilities in Eureka and the costs for identical x-rays were $85 each. I refused to pay all of the bill and the hospital banned me from being a patient.

    • All of that, Julie, but your letter does not even make any sense.
      Health disparities? What is that? There are no private practitioners here at all, and the only facility is a SNF with an understaffed clinic, trying to portray itself as a panacea. Guess what? It’s much less than that! Your ER is a straight up death-trap! I personally saw a 15 year old girl die on the table from incompetence and mistreatment from the ER doctor and the rest of the knuckleheads working there, probably the worst thing I have seen in 41 years of working in healthcare.
      Economic disparities? Damn girl, so many people make their livelihood off the books here that no one knows the actual economic situation!
      I have worked with Julie Moore. She is a mid level yes-man manager who imagines herself a professional, who currently works with hacks and other yes-men. They all comprise an operation that exists not to serve the community, but to serve the group of employees currently working there by giving then employment. A conundrum, supported by the current board, who is looking to appoint it’s own new member (someone who thinks just like they do, apparently) without consulting the public at all. This facility is run like a private club, and it is for MEMBERS ONLY. (and the members don’t like the com=nsumers of services much)
      So, why should we voluntarily support SHCHD with additional tax money?

      I can’t imagine a bigger waste of my money, after working there, and being a patient there, than supporting this broke and broken “hospital-like” facility. I hope you feel the same! VOTE NO ON THE PARCEL TAX – THROW THE RASCALS OUT!

      If you value your health and life, avoid SHCHD!

      • i’mi’m guessing you use to work there and were fired by Harry and they won’t hire you back…you seem bitter



        • I already stated that I have worked there, a BIG mistake. If you want to talk about it, let me know. Harry was bad, and a big fat liar, but he had a hard job which diverted his attention somewhat from visiting his family in UTAH, and from working all the young women in Garberville… Once he scored, did you see how fast he left?

          SHCHD is a big old mess, but I have no trouble finding work, and have no desire to return to SHCHD.
          The folks who run SHCHD don’t want permanent help anyway, just a constant stream of “someone else’s…

  • I would like to hear that all the support staff (maintenance, dietary, housekeeping, transcription, etc) will make a solid living wage with the same benefits that the medical pros get. These are the folks who have chosen to spend their lives in this community, and these folks generally stay longer than the MD’s, and nurses who are able to get good employment anywhere.

    • The minimum wage at the hospital is $15 an hour, most current employees make more than that. SHCHD pays higher wages than most, if not all businesses in southern Humboldt.

      • And it is a very abusive employer that allows harassment, and employs VERY few people over 1 year. Then, there’s Kent Scown, who just HAS to screw with everyone… Kinda acts like D. Trump! If you want a few months experience before you move on, work for SHCHD!

        SHCHD does not want permanent employees. You can be employed there, but your job will be temporary!

        • AND, as I always say, there is no bad experience, just bad experiences!

          I can work for you, I can work for someone else. Does not matter to me.

          If you pay me enough, I will work for YOU! That’s the nature of employment…

          • Why would you want to with for a place you obviously despise and have such animosity towards? Doesn’t that seem rather hypocritical? You sit here and bash the hospital any chance you get, under many pseudonyms, and yet you’d be willing to work there. Why would you want to go back and why do you think they would want you back?
            This community needs a hospital. SHCHD may not have had the best reputation in the past but I know the current administration is doing everything they can to change that reputation. Maybe before you pass judgement, and continually bash SHCHD anonymously online, why not attend a board meeting to find out what is really going on at SHCHD?

  • Roads, dams, hospitals, jobs, have all left the northcoast.
    We don’t need yet another tax to be collected then wasted elsewhere.
    We need accountability.
    We, the people, DO CARE. We care too much. Insinuating that the people don’t care, is highly insulting.
    Try campaigning for an accountability action. Petition the congressman who holds the purse strings in our multitudes of counties. Petition the Governor to stop his train fetish.
    Yes, we need our hospitals. No, we don’t need more taxes heaped onto decades of bad spending. We need action.

    Down in the meadow in the itty bitty pool, swam 3 little fishies & their mommie fishie too. Swim! said the mommie fishie, swim! if you can, & they swam & they they swam right over that dam. The dam dam.

    Sink or swim.

  • Veterans friend

    I am totally opposed to more tax for this hospital. Right now 1/3 of my property tax goes to the hospital. As a senior on a fixed (very small) income this will be devestating and the hospital is of no use to me.

  • Bring out your dead

    The board president business declared bankruptcy just prior to taking a position on the board at SHCHD, that should tell you something about the financial savvy of it’s directors. It’s “easy” to borrow money and go in a hole, anyone can do it. It used to be a shame to run your business and life that way. But now it seems to be the preferred way of doing business, especially in government. Run it into the ground and let someone else pay for it.

    Find a way to reduce health care costs, not increase them. RRHC does a much better job at this.

  • ‘Tis a conundrum. Our hospital is antiquated and inhibits the ability of medical professionals to provide adequate care. Because of this, physicians are difficult, if not impossible, to recruit. Those who are successfully recruited don’t stay due to the inadequacy of the facility as well as the horrendous social problems and inadequacy of adequate housing stock in our community. Can you spell “culture shock”?

    That leaves us with travelers staffing our hospital, temps who may come for as little as a week or two, or as long as they contract with the staffing agency to stay. This is expensive to staff through an agency and leads to high overhead. Temps also lack the commitment to our community.

    We need the new hospital. Traveling to Fortuna, Eureka or out of the area will lead to higher mortality rates for trauma victims and those requiring immediate medical care for issues like heart attacks, kidney stones or gall bladder issues. Telemedical facilities not now available can provide immediate access for our local doctors to consult with experts in specific specialties, saving lives without requiring transport to out of the area medical centers. This will ease the burden of travel that is now necessary for patients and loved ones. Dealing with medical issues is difficult enough without adding the complication and expense of travel and lodging.

    As a patient with several chronic health problems, I am a frequent user of Jerold Phelps Community Hospital. We have a good core of capable and caring nurses, x-ray and lab technicians and administrative staff, however these people are forced to operate out of closets, hallways and cramped offices. It’s surprising that they’re able to operate as efficiently as they have been. I’ve had to be transported by ambulance to Fortuna and Eureka and then by air to hospitals in the Bay Area and Portland, Oregon due to unavailability of beds (a euphemism for “lack of staff”) or ACA-required protocols that ultimately delay admittance to a hospital willing to take on certain patients. How much better to be treated and stabilized in Garberville while waiting for a hospital qualified to accept you than to be transported to Fortuna or Eureka before beginning the stabilization and placement process!

    So, as a community, we are at a cross-road riddled with the all too familiar potholes, catch-22s, and chicken and egg syndromes when it comes to choosing to build and pay for a new hospital. There are partnership grant funds now available from the federal government to finance new hospital construction. A modern facility with up to date technology is key to attracting and retaining doctors necessary to operate our hospital and it takes time to jump through all of the hoops required by regulatory agencies under whose jurisdiction we fall.

    Make the commitment to begin the process of establishing the new hospital!

    • Fly The Heck Out Here

      If you are that sick you might want to move closer to health care for your well being . 2 separate helicopter memberships from anywhere in Humboldt through our local fire dept costs 75 dollars a year for my whole family . They have landed on our property on numerous occasions and saved hours by not going anywhere near that hospital . We have had vets flow to the VA in SF for 75 bucks . A local kid flow to Santa Rosa skipped the hospital 75 bucks .

    • Veterans friend

      If 30 minutes makes a life or death difference for you, you will be dead before the ambulance gets to you. If you want urban convenience, move to the cities. We cannot afford this on our taxes. The hospital serves poor & often indigent people who pay no taxes.

    • This is not the area to hang out if you are in poor health. I hope you have some improvement but the outcome may be the same. Seek competent care and go with god, friend. Many persons with complicated medical histories live here. However:

      I don’t think I should have to pay to support an operation incapable of sensible function. They are just throwing the money away, they are unable to evolve or go forward in any way, and my feeling is that the larger they grow, the more likely that they will fail financially. If the people of the U.S. want to build them a hospital then good luck! SHCHD as it exists, is barely a stopgap, and is a dangerous one at that. It is operated by persons out of touch with the population, and is not a good representation of a public healthcare facility.
      SHCHD is a government facility gone mad. All current board members should be replaced, and Kent Scown and his band of idiot administrators, need to be thrown out.

    • Tim, I know your case is complicated, but I don’t think I want to be taxed so that YOU have a choice. When the tax fails to pass, SHCHD will continue, with donations, government handouts, and higher fees. Let the ones who use it pay for it.

      SHCHD is not elegible to administer MY care, as I consider it to be unsafe for everyone.

  • Save A Life Head South

    Save A Life Head South .They can’t even do a blood test for UCSF correctly . Stanford Doctors are even aware of the shoddy healthcare in Humboldt . We do not need to pay for a new building with an estimated 30 million dollar noose around our community’s neck and that’s a rough estimate try 40 million probably is more like it . Bullshit on the earth quake retrofit excuse .Contractors know the truth don’t try to use fake news and tell us the building cant be fixed to push your agenda ,This proposal is the more waste of our money .VOTE NO IF YOU WANT BETTER HEALTH CARE .

    • SHCHD has consistently failed, for over 5 years, to staff it’s lab with adequate numbers of trained, licensed, competent persons. Using this lab could actually kill you! CMS and Lab Field Services have been after SHCHD over deficiencies in the lab FOR YEARS. Theranos was shut down but SHCHD just keeps botching lab work.

      For your own safety, go to Quest, St Joseph’s, or Howard Hospital for your lab work. The SHCHD board members do!

  • Fly The Heck Out Here

    The last person I would ever let treat me is a Nurse Practitioner .There in lies more than half the problem .

    • The nurse practicioners at SHCHD are much more capable than the doctors. The nurse practicioners and physician assistants at Redwoods Rural are stellar — and Dr. Scheel at Redwoods Rural is great: knowledgeable, dedicated and very compassionate.

      • Medical care is an intensely personal issue. We all have heard raves and rants about the same practitioner. Over the years I have listened to people whose experience with a particular M.D., P.A. or Nurse range from laudatory to bitter complaint. I have investigated horror stories about the E.R. and Clinic and some that turned out to be based on a complete misunderstanding if not third hand B.S.. I have also heard the same sort of derogatory comments about St. Josephs and Redwood Memorial. What is true is that there is an ongoing and acute shortage of healthcare professionals that is county wide not just here.

        • And the shortage will get worse in Goobsterdam, since everyone knows not to go there, unless they like being fired for no reason, working where there is no training and competency documentation, working where there is no safety training or security staff, or working where they don’t contribute to Social Security! Also, at JPH, they frequently operate without regard for State and Federal law.

          Save yourself! Don’t work here! If you do, your job is temporary!


          • You are grossly misinformed. It’s quite sad how inaccurate this last statement is. You obviously have not worked for SHCHD in quite a while.
            They have a security staff, they do contribute to social security, and the state is required by law to inspect the hospital annually, as is required by law for every Hospital.
            Before posting comments it’s always better to make sure you have your accurate information, otherwise you just seem ignorant.

  • Bring out your dead

    For the price of the parcel tax every land owner could pay $60/year for emergency air service, plus sponsor 2 additional families with the service, and be taken to a professional facility with 1/4 of the administrative bloat. Win-win.

    • The first thing an air evac outfit does is to dispatch a ground ambulance in case they can’t make it in. They will not fly in bad weather. I personally drove an air med crew from G’ville airport to Shelter Cove when they couldn’t find a hole in the overcast out there. The other thing you should know is they will not come unless the call comes from a qualified medical responder. A helicopter card is not a replacement for a local hospital any more than an urgent care clinic is.

    • What if you just want to go to the clinic for a check-up, minor injury or prescription refills?

  • Dave,
    We all know that as a board member you have a stake in this. But as a board member, you have a duty to this community, and not just because once again you are asking us to invest in this facility before you even begin to acknowledge or address why so many of us are concerned, angry, or just plain disgusted. Because as a board member, you have accepted the huge responsibility of providing health care. And many of us don’t think that you do provide health care that meets current legal or social standards, and that belief is based on personal experience.

    Look at the number of people who simply refuse to return to SHCHD. Look at the requests for assistance and complaints that the board didn’t bother to review. Listen to the input that the board has been given from other stakeholders. Check out what other facilities, with the same infrastructure and community-size challenges, charge for the same services. And finally and most important, look at the quality of care that SHCHD has been providing since Harry Jasper arrived and Mark Phelps left.

    A bigger, newer hospital will not solve the legacy of problems that SHCHD brings with it. And as the Trumpistas continue their rampage on public benefits in DC, we would be left with a big new hospital that our small community would have to pay more and more for. We can’t afford a new one, and we don’t trust the current one with our health or the lives of our loved ones. Vote NO!

    • I think if you check it out you will find that there is no other community even close to our size that sustains a hospital with a 24 hour E.R. . I may be wrong but when I was on the board that was true. Speak for yourself when you judge the care given at Phelps. I have used the emergency services myself on a number of occasions with good results. The parcel tax has passed with a super majority several times in the past so I assume there are a lot of folks out there who look at less than a dollar a day a good investment to keep an E.R. I could comment on Mark Phelps impact on care and the bottom line at the district but this is not the place and Mark isn’t here to defend himself.

      • Dave,
        Roll out to Cedarville CA. They are WAY smaller, and doing a much better job, but still have a stupid administrator who lies continuously, an abusive and provincial attitude towards staff, and they pay minimal salaries and hire and fire constantly. Sound familiar?

        SHCHD is a train wreck. Many people will oppose the tax, and, sweetie, if you like SHCHD you have been deluded by the nonsense they spout, and possibly have walked through a dope-smoke cloud in Goobsterdam once too often…


    What have we been paying for all these years? We have more than enough taxpayer bottomless pits. If you go there with a big problem you are sent on to Fortuna, Eureka or Redding. When you see how empty the clinic is it should be obvious people go elsewhere.

    We have been ripped off enough by that great liberal gift to humanity Obamacare with high costs for things you don’t want and even higher deductibles making it near useless.

    We don’t need another high cost neverending drag on our income!!

  • Some things are worth repeating

    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.

  • Some things are worth repeating

    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.

  • Don’t know where you got your info but let me respond. No million dollars was embezzled from the hospital. Yes there was a local woman who was CFO 40 years ago who conned a local bank into loaning the district 750,000 dollars. She led them to believe they had title to the hospital as collateral. Which, as you stated, is not legal. A private lender cannot encumber a public institution. The loan was never paid back as it was thrown out during the bankruptcy which occurred shortly after it was made. At the time the district was losing something in the neighborhood of 150,000 dollars a month. The district had been losing money for a long time which is why Jerrold Phelps and Roy Smunck sold it and it became a federally funded not for profit district. The E.R was staffed by local doctors at the time. Modern healthcare delivery is a complex process that requires a many more trained people to operate than in Jerrold Phelps day. The main difficulty in getting doctors and other staff to come to work here is lack of affordable housing and infrastructure. As long as the hospital maintains an E.R. it will never be self supporting. It would have closed a long time ago without the parcel tax. And finally once you close the doors of the hospital it will never be reopened. So temporary closing is not an option.

    • 40 years ago???

      Can’t find the exact dates but the Barbara Mitchell fiasco happened circa 1999.

      The board at the time had no problems with her for months until the shit hit the fan~

      The hospital has already secured the site for the ‘new’ hospital at the old Sprowl Creek school admin site…wonder how the new Howard Memorial Hospitial is doing in Willits? Am I the only one who sees similarities?

      • You are correct on the timing I got the comment on the 1973 visit mentioned mixed up with Barbara’s leaving. I should know better I was the one who asked her to bring in proof of her qualifications which she could not. I was brought on the board to confront her. Once again…. my mistake thanks for the correction.

    • Closing the doors is the best possible option if the hospital cannot be operated profitably and safely. I have seen no indication that this is possible.


  • My observation since Dr. Phelps left is that there has been a vast improvement in the service levels and professionalism of line staff. My lab tests, x-rays and physician notes are sent promptly to and readily accepted by my Stanford physicians, functions of the administrative efficiency of our local staff.

    Just because someone is a great doctor does not mean that s/he is a good administrator, a specialty unto itself. This is not a commentary on Dr. Phelps’ medical acumen, patient care or compassion, attributes that have not been consistently applied since his departure. Some traveling docs are fine; others should not be working in medicine. It’s a sad truth that until we have modern facility with appropriate technology, we will continue to have extreme difficulty attracting and retaining good doctors. Meanwhile, the cycle continues with new and inexperienced traveling doctors or doctors who travel because they, for some reason, don’t work well in a static environment.

    The law is very specific in requiring seismic standards for hospitals. Sure, we can put up with 13 more years of our aging and inadequate hospital. But in 2030, our hospital will be closed unless it is in a building that meets government standards. Personally, I will probably not be around in 2030, but I care about my family, friends and neighbors who will continue to live in SoHum.

    I have air ambulance membership and my medical insurance covers it. That being said, there have been three instances in the last ten years when weather precluded a helicopter landing on my property or an airplane landing in Garberville, Fortuna, Eureka or McKinleyville when I experienced a medical emergency. Those of you who are now hale and hearty will have a change in your paradigm when your health situation goes south. Until ten years ago, I was the picture of health and would never have dreamed that I would ever be a regular hospital patient.

    I hate taxes as much as the next person, but in this case, our tax dollars will be invested in the improved health of our community.

  • Tim Cochrane

    Were you even *here* when Mark Phelps was run outta town by former CEO Harry Jasper?

    Harry purged the older, more experienced staff and hired NEW GRADUATES for nursing positions, so he could pay them less and skimp on benefits. Just what a rural hospital needs; rookie staff handling medical emergencies and our elders.

    Health care doesn’t even pretend anymore to be anything other than a business. Lab tests and prescriptions for drugs that don’t address the *cause* of illnesses are big money. Maybe the administrators should get their snout outta the trough and kicked down some of their outrageous salaries so competent staff can be hired and retained? But this is what health care has devolved into these days. Just like most other ‘industries’.

  • Guess what? No matter how this election is decided, SHCHD is the operation unable to change or go forward in any way. Why should we vote to tax ourselves for 48 years to support this dysfunctional and moribund healthcare operation which has repeatedly failed to evolve in any way? Why would we want to tax ourselves to support an operation incapable of recruiting, retaining, or training it’s employees? Why would we tax ourselves to support the operation of this facility which consistently fails to supply services we need, like women’s health, mental health, behavioral health and drug rehab? Why would we support a hospital incapable of billing, management, and medical records, a facility that hires consultants to solve the smallest problem, a facility that fails to operate between the lines with regard to state and federal law, and a facility which fails to prohibit and take steps to prevent the harassment of employees by other employees? AND, why would we support a facility which is intent on self destruction by squandering tax money on a half-baked plan to buy property using borrowed money that it will never be able to repay?

    Folks, this tax plan is a straight-up scam to slide through a major new tax during a season when many property owners are absent. Whoever decided to try for 48 YEARS was bereft
    of sense, and does not understand that NOBODY in SOHUM cares about or currently uses this facility, even those who were born there.

    Please educate yourselves and vote AGAINST THIS TAX PLAN.

    Gary Wellborn said to me 2 years ago, “We’re just keeping the doors open”. If that’s all they can do, the doors should be shut. I for one have tired of hearing what they can’t do.
    If SHCHD is to stay open, it needs an entirely new board, it needs to get rid of the folks who have worked there for years, like Kent Scown, and it needs to go forward for once.

    As for Julie and Sarah, you have good hearts, but it’s not a club for your private use. There are lots of other places to work, as I found out when terminated by your little Hospital-like facility.

    As for everyone else, Howard Hospital is in Willits, and is a wonderful brand new facility operated by professionals who are able to provide great services. They have a fully staffed modern lab, and are able to serve you 24 hours/day. St Joe’s is in Eureka, and we all know what they have there, a Catholic Hospital.

    Get a helicopter ambo card and steer clear of JPH. It is a joke, and can become a nightmare. Take it from me, after 41 years in healthcare, avoid SHCHD for your health.


  • Modern snake oil salesman

    I have some new hospital snake oil that will heal all your infirmities. Snakes aren’t what they used to be, it’s much more complicated now. If you will buy this new snake oil hospital we will be able to bring in the best and most exotic snakes from which to make oil. Just rub a little oil on your groin and loosen up that wallet and everything will be dandy. My future will be secure. So just open up that pocket. Let me show you the path to a bright future. And if by chance you won’t pay I will have a lien on your kids property.

  • There is a, seemingly, perpetual ad in both local papers, for nearly every position at the SHHCD. Please discuss.

    • Modern snake oil salesman

      All except for bean counter positions, we got those locked down. We need more oil.

    • This facility turns over so many employees for no reason at all other than day to day financial necessity. They hire people and tell them that “It’s a family, we want you to join the community”. What they don’t tell you is that they will throw you out of the “family” without reason sense or shame, at any time they decide they don’t like you a little or can’t afford to pay you. The reason they always have the same positions open is because they have no intention of hiring anyone competent to work there permanently. SHCHD only makes permanent employees of those who will work for the low salaries which the organization desires to pay. SHCHD may hire to fill short term needs, but will always bring in someone else if the next person can be hired for lower pay. SHCHD has had some of the poorest quality administrators and HR hacks, and the crookedest CEO’s in the business. These persons are happy to spend high for travelers and consultants, but give almost no training or direction to the persons hired as “managers”
      Meanwhile SHCHD whines constantly about their “high turnover” as if it is the employee’s fault. This is a perpetual message from SHCHD. The fact is, there is a revolving door at the entrance. Many people who are actually recruited, leave within a week when they take in what is occurring at SHCHD. I wish I had!
      SHCHD has actually turned over more than 30 persons in one small department, within the last 5 years! This Hospital-like facility has such a bad reputation that even travelers won’t go there!

  • Modern snake oil salesman

    Hospital snake oil
    ˈsnāk ˌoil/

    a substance with no real medicinal value sold as a remedy for all diseases.
    a product, policy, etc. of little real worth or value that is promoted as the solution to a problem.
    “the new tax plan was denounced as snake oil”

    From the G doctor

  • I refuse to back a loan of any kind that the hospital would be looking for too build a new hospital. Our economy is too fragile for that type of loan behavior. Your in the black Jerrold phelps, I say apply for another waiver when it comes time and just keep on killing us as you have always done…No self Tax here! If I’m serious about my health care I use Redwood Rural and they will send me south!
    You can have the best building in the world but if the doctors are bozos, how does that help us? I vote NO! R.I.P. Kathy Epling (one of the greats that trusted you, Jerrold Phelps. She didn’t need a great building. She needed the bozo in charge to send her for a cat scan, just down the road)!

  • I recently had a medical experience where i wouldnt have made it to Fortuna in time. In fact i had been in the Fortuna ER the night before because i didnt want to go to Garb Er. But my care in Garberville and the doctor on call were way better than Fortuna. I will gladly pay a couple hundred more dollars per year to have access to a hospital and an ER here in Garberville!

  • But, am I willing to pay a couple hundred a year for 48 YEARS so that YOU can have a choice?

    NOT AT ALL! I wouldn’t send your dog to SHCHD.

    In my world, SHCHD is not eligible to administer my care, and has poor quality written all over it!

    Even if the MAJOR NEW TAX fails, the SHCHD will live on! It will just cost more to use! Which is fair to those who feel compelled enough to use it

    Don’t buy this! VOTE NO ON THE PARCEL TAX!

  • This seems like the worst possible time to borrow money for a hospital, with the future of insurance payments and healthcare so uncertain.

    What will they do if California’s Medicaid expansion rolls back, or all of the people who are ‘self-employed’ around here have a harder time getting insurance?

    And even if there’s a shiny new building- if the schools are mediocre and there’s nowhere affordable to live, quality dr.s , nurses, employees and their families won’t stay in the area.

  • Exactly. It takes a REAL town, not one full of druggies and growers.

    The point here, is that everyone who owns property, we’re not all going to use the facility.
    Why should we pay, for 48 years no less, the costs of operating it?

    Whoever DOES want to use it, for whatever misguided purpose, or who NEEDS to use it, which seems unlikely to me as I would go somewhere, anywhere else in every circumstance, these persons who think they have to use JPH should bear the cost.

    I don’t want to pay so that YOU can have this choice. SHCHD is moribund, a very poor quality option. The new building MAY be built with Government handouts, but the current crop of knuckleheads in charge will NEVER make it profitable.

    SHCHD is a joke. VOTE NO ON MEASURE W!

    • If you don't like it, move away

      Where would you get your weed, Paul, if the growers weren’t here? It’s the farming community that keeps southern Humboldt functioning and profitable.
      Get off your soap box and go smoke another joint.

      • Oh yes, and SHCHD does not drug test it’s employees, and has no “fit for duty” policy.
        This should concern everyone misguided enough to use SHCHD.

        Generally speaking, health care employees should be clean and sober in order to serve the needs of the community and for the welfare of our patients.

        Drugs are another issue entirely. Pot is available and grown all over our state. Soon it will be grown on farmland in the valley.

        This is a comment about a MAJOR NEW TAX ON PROPERTY to support a broken healthcare operation
        with huge management issues. VOTE NO ON W!

  • SHCHD most definitely does have a “fit for duty” policy. Again, check your facts before posting comments. When you continue to post inaccurate, and defaming, comments it makes you appear ignorant.
    It’s apparent that you have I’ll will towards the healthcare district, which I’m assuming stems from Harry Jasper’s tenure (who probably fired you, because that was probably one of his favorite things about being the CEO)– since most of your ranting is based on outdated information. Why don’t you stop by and speak with the current board and administration at a board meeting? You may be surprised at all the improvements since the new CEO was hired.

  • Over the last 2 years, I visited SHCHD twice, once as a patient and once to speak to an employee I know.
    I am far from ignorant, and am not uninformed… AND, “fit for duty” is a pre-employment drug screen, and a program of random and for-cause screening, not just an intolerance of impaired employees as a policy.

    But this is a discussion about the proposed new tax on real property, which I currently oppose since I feel that persons wishing to operate and use the facility should bear the costs of maintaining and operating it.

    It seems irresponsible to ask for such a long term tax to support a facility which attracts so much negative affect, and one whose performance appears, historically, to be universally poor.

    It is interesting that the folks who used to say that things were “so much better” since Mr Jasper’s arrival, now seem to blame him for everything… When I worked there, it was another former CEO who was the problem… Hmmmm…

    A simple thing to do, if we are really trying to repair the district, might be to go through the list of persons fired by the now-out-of-favor previous CEO, who are also locals possessing licenses and experience pertinent to the current needs at SHCHD and seek to convert them to supporters of the district by removing the “not eligible for rehire” from their files, and attempting to repair the relationship of the district with the severed employee by seeking their assistance in staffing the hospital.

    It will always be difficult to staff when SHCHD has such a poor reputation among needed professionals. It would be well for SHCHD to stop complaining about high turnover and their inability to develop staff, and do what it takes to employ for the future, not just the present.

    I have worked in other district hospitals; they all face the same challenges. District Hospitals are struggling to survive, are a bit precious, and they employ various methods towards funding.

    Government facilities, however, often appear to waste, mismanage, and betray the public’s support and trust, and attract negative press.

    The federal and state governments, meanwhile, legislate and raise our costs, obfuscate, complicate and roadblock healthcare at every turn, while failing, ultimately, to support healthcare financially, saying: sink or swim.

    My opinion is, if folks really need a local option, the facility should fund-raise, attract wealthy donors, and, operate with fiscal responsibility, charging rates which will support itself. If this is unsuccessful, SHCHD should bring in private business to operate the facility in a businesslike manner. It is not the responsibility of property owners to finance services for those who merely want “a choice”.

    It is my perception that SHCHD has consistently failed to go forward, evolve in any way, or operate, using the public funding it has received, in a manner which is in the interest of the community and which addresses the needs of the current population of SOHUM. Can this be repaired with a property tax?

    We are not here in the SHCHD to serve those currently drawing salary at SHCHD, our mission is supposed to be to serve the community.

    I am not able to support the proposed new tax on private property, since the term of the tax is far too long and since SHCHD has not indicated that it is responsible or well managed enough to go forward. The amount raised with the tax would not “build a new hospital”, not even close. It would only allow the current board and administration to stumble on towards certain financial and operational problems to come….


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