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Original post made
on Oct 23, 2012
As someone who previously campaigned on the same platform as Jack Hickey, I whole heartedly agree with this recommendation to dissolve the Sequoia Hospital (now renamed to Healthcare) District, which was formed specifically to bring a hospital to South San Mateo County. That purpose was served and the hospital is now in private hands. Stop spending public money on private philanthropy (not that some or all of the causes supported are worthwhile, because they are) and let people decide what philanthropic causes to support themselves rather than having a hospital district do so for them with public tax dollars. Listen to the grand jury recommendations which are to dissolve the Sequoia Healthcare District. Vote for Jack Hickey, and only him, to send that message to the District.
Out dated bureaucracies never die, they just find ways to justify their existence. I will cast just one vote, and hope this ghost district board gets the message.
The Sequoia Health Care District funds a number of community health care related programs and grants that directly benefit District residents. With approximately 8.6 million dollars this last fiscal year, the District will return 10.6 million dollars in community health services. The District's Heart Safe program has provided life-saving defibrillators and cardiac compression devices to schools, public areas and first-responders. During the economic downturn we provided funding to food banks and "soup lines" when private funding could not make up for the increasing gaps. We also fund Meals on Wheels, which provides meals to the elderly or disabled who are unable to prepare a warm, nutritious meal or obtain food on their own. This service currently provides meals from the poorest to some of the wealthiest District Residents.
Our Chronic Disease Management program provides education and training for a number of illnesses; keeping residents healthier and sparing more health dollars by preventing complications of their illnesses. The District's Healthy Schools Program has provided more school nurses, health education, counseling and physical education to all school districts within the health care district. Providing this service to our children is another cost-saving preventative program.
The Health Care District works in conjunction with Sequoia Hospital and Sequoia Hospital Foundation to monitor the needs of District Residents with a considerable stake in the new Breast Health Center and plans for a Case Management Program designed to keep District Residents out of the Hospital. The Health Care District continues to fund the County clinic as well as surrounding community clinics that serve District residents. This provides access to care and prevents costly use of local emergency rooms that would otherwise be used for primary care.
Currently approximately 51% of county revenue goes to Jails and Courts. There is no guarantee where the current tax dollars collected for the Health Care District will go. The only thing certain is that money will continue to be collected. As a registered nurse; I do not view health care, nutrition, or lifesaving medical equipment as "philanthropy". I know it is a necessity, cost effective, and generally expected to be available when ultimately all of us require it. Voters now have more control over utilization of tax dollars that go directly to health care programs within their own District. The board (with the exception of Mr. Hickey) and the District Director constantly assess and evaluate our programs making necessary changes according to community needs and the many changes taking place in health care. The Health Care District once owned the Hospital, continues to support it and provides services that every one of us will eventually need. The Grand Jury has never opined that the District should not exist. This is a rumor Mr. Hickey and his disgruntled cohorts continue to spread, but I am happy to remind them of the following 2004 Grand Jury Report:
"The Grand Jury determined that the SHD continues to represent and serve the healthcare interests of the District and divestiture of direct responsibility for owning and operating the Sequoia Hospital has not diminished the value provided. In fact, separation has allowed for the redirection of resources to additional and complementary services that support both residents of the SHD and the County."
It saddens me that anyone likely to require health services would so quickly deny those now receiving them. Mr. Hickey chose to run for an additional seat on the Board despite the fact his current position does not term until 2014; forcing the District to spend $160,000 on what otherwise would have been an uncontested election. That is a tragedy when one considers District programs that would have greatly benefited by what I consider a lot of money. No Board member should have the right to enforce the tax payer to foot the bill for an election he cannot lose or advance their own political agenda.
Kim Griffin, RN President, Sequoia Health Care District
I joined Jack Hickey's slate in 2010 for the sole purpose of honoring the 2000-01 Grand Jury recommendation. If elected we were going to stop the collection of taxes from the property owners period.
Here is the 2000-01 Grand Jury Report. See for yourself if Kim Griffin is being honest.
Kim, welcome to the Town Square Forum! You should drop in more often. As a nurse, your thoughts would be welcome on the $10,000,000 Sequoia Healthcare District Nursing Education Program topic.
Web Link You might even stimulate public participation in our upcoming meeting on the subject.
You and the other majority members on the Sequoia Healthcare District Board of Directors have refused to seek voter approval of the philosophical role which was assumed following the sale of Sequoia Hospital. The District continues to collect property taxes originally assessed to build, operate and maintain Sequoia Hospital.
I called this election to create a poll of voters whereby they may support or oppose the dissolution of the District. This will be $160,000 of taxes well spent, particularly when compared to the $4,000,000 spent on nurses who are not serving residents of the District. And, there's the $182,000/year CEO managing a staff of 4, 2 of whom are employed halftime (with fulltime benefits!). See: Web Link
If you support dissolution of the Sequoia Healthcare District, vote ONLY for John J. "Jack" Hickey.
Kim, you should also weigh in on the topic regarding the Sequoia Healthcare District "Report to the Community" which hit mailboxes yesterday. Web Link
This 4 page, 11"x 17", full color, tri-fold brochure was sent out despite my concerns expressed to our $182,000/year CEO. On October 17, 2012 I suggested that the brochure was intended to influence the outcome of the election, and asked that the mailing be delayed. Kim, you were copied on the CEO's response and as Board President, could have directed him to delay the mailing. The CEO's response:
"The sending of the annual report to the Board in advance is a courtesy not for your approval. Neither the Board president or the majority of the board has asked for approval so as I understand the situation this is a staff responsibility. There will not be a delay."
See "Report to Community or Electioneering Communication at Web Link
I can only hope that voters see the report for what it is.
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