Sutter Coast Interim CEO presents hospital update to County Supervisors
Following today's Board of Supervisors meeting, I wrote the following letter to hospital employees, volunteers, and physicians. Please contact me with any questions or comments, as we work to preserve local ownership, and prevent downsizing, of the only acute care hospital in our region. We also need volunteers to help distribute petitions and literature, and gather email addresses of interested residents. Your email address is stored on my home computer and is not released to anyone. Any communication from me will come through Constant Contact, with no attachments, and is virus free. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by my office on 1200 Marshall St. if you would like to help.
Definition of terms for newcomers:
"Regionalization": Sutter Health's system wide take over of once independently owned community hospitals. The Sutter Coast Board deliberately excluded the public from their vote to Regionalize our local hospital in 2011.
"Critical Access": A federal program initially designed to support tiny hospitals by paying higher amounts for the treatment of Medicare patients. Sutter Health is now considering closing half of our hospital beds to "fit" the program, which would result in hundreds of patients requiring air ambulance transfers to distant hospitals every year.
How are these programs related? If we Regionalize, the decision to implement Critical Access, and every other decision affecting the future of our hospital, will be made by a 32 member Board, appointed by Sutter Health, which meets in San Francisco.
The physicians of Sutter Coast Hospital are overwhelmingly opposed to hospital downsizing and to the transfer of ownership to Sutter Health. Our goal is to expand services where feasible. We want the hospital to be open when you need it.
Open letter to hospital employees, volunteers, and physicians:
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. It is only through open communication that we will resolve this issue to the benefit of the residents and visitors of our two communities, and the many talented and dedicated hospital employees and auxiliary members whom I have had the privilege of working with at Sutter Coast Hospital for the past 21 years.