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Sequoia Healthcare District's HeartSafe Program revisited

Original post made by Jack Hickey, Woodside: Emerald Hills, on Aug 22, 2014

In my role as a "watchdog" on the Sequoia Healthcare District Board of Directors, I receive monthly copies of the Cash Disbursement Journal. The following caught my attention:
There were airfares for Hector and Rhina Paredes for a cardiac screening meeting in March, totalling $843. Their SaveALife Foundation has been advocating screenings for several years. Web Link I connected this to a trip to San Diego by Glenn Nielsen and Kim Griffin for cardiac screenings training on April 26, reported in minutes of the June 4th meeting. The Cash Disbursement Journal showed their airfare and lodging cost $885.10.

In my original topic,HeartSafe - Saving Lives or Life Support for the Sequoia Healthcare District Web Link, we left off with a flip-flop by the District. On the verge of extinction on June 5, 2013
when the CEO Report in the Districts Board packet said:

"It is our belief that the placement of AED's has been accomplished, the grantees understand that they are responsible for the annual maintenance, and that the program can move to the phaseout stage. As a result as of September 1st we will no longer employ a program manager."

The details behind the ensuing flip-flop lead me to suggest a counterpart to the term "collateral damage". Call it "collateral benefit".

Hints of a turnaround appeared in the minutes of that June 5 meeting, in which the CEO stated this about the HeartSafe program:

"There are options to either scale back the program and eliminate the program manager's position or review the direction of the program as part of the strategic planning process."

That was followed by this from the minutes of the August 21, 2013 meeting:

"Mr. Michelson announced that a taskforce consisting of himself, Directors Kane and Griffin are meeting with Mr. Nielsen to review the HeartSafe program. The taskforce hopes to present its findings and recommendations by yearend."

And, from the October 2, 2013 meeting minutes:
Item 5B. HeartSafe Task Force Report
Mr. Michelson reported that the HeartSafe Task Force, consisting of Directors Kane and Griffin, Mr. Michelson, Ms. Kurtzman and Mr. Nielsen, has met twice with community participants to discuss ideas related to current and future activities. The committee will be meeting again to finalize program options and financial projections to submit to the Board in December.

To complete the flip-flop, we have this from the December 4, 2013 meeting minutes:

Item 5.d. Consider HeartSafe Program Options
President Shefren asked if there was public comment on agenda item 5.d. There was none.
Mr. Nielsen presented a three year, $527,154 budget for the HeartSafe Program based on the following options:
• The program will no longer primarily focus on placing AEDs within the District but will be open to future requests.
• The program will work with local cardiologists and Sequoia Hospitals Health & Wellness Center to develop a support group for the parents of children suffering from abnormal heart conditions with the goal of offering professional and peer-to-peer support for parents and families.
• In addition to currently lending AEDs to groups holding a special event,
consideration will be given to lending the units to families with have a family member at home who is susceptible to cardiac arrest.
• Mobile CPR training would take training classes to schools, businesses, and public locations.
• CPR training will be the foundation of the HeartSafe program and promoting of hands-only CPR to existing HeartSafe clients, District grantees, district residents, high school freshman and seventh grade students will become the primary focus over the next three years with a three year goal of training 10,680 people.
The budget amount for 2014-15 of $218,562 includes $67,000 estimated construction costs for a CPR training classroom in the Districts storage area.

The key item in the last report is this:
"The program will work with local cardiologists and Sequoia Hospitals Health & Wellness Center to develop a support group for the parents of children suffering from abnormal heart conditions with the goal of offering professional and peer-to-peer support for parents and families."

Director Kim Griffin works for her husband's Children's Cardiology of the Bay area. One of their services is athletic screening. Web Link Go back to the "...trip to San Diego by Glenn Nielsen and Kim Griffin for cardiac screenings training..." and we have what I call "Collateral benefit"

It appears that Kim Griffin was the prime mover in getting the board to do a flip-flop on Heartsafe. Never mind that athletic screening is offered free by UCSF. Free Health Screening Gives High School Athletes Peace of Mind. Web Link

When I informed Board President, Jerry Shefren of the situation, he suggested that I request an item be placed on the agenda at the next Board meeting.

Comments (7)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cardio Queen
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Aug 22, 2014 at 9:35 am

UCSF in the City, or offered in a branch down here in the district?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 22, 2014 at 11:03 am

They are located in the City, but I believe their services are available, or can be made available, to schools in the district. I'm checking.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 22, 2014 at 7:12 pm

What we have here is a Board President who looks the other way when a director, who is a nurse working for her husbands "Children's Cardiology of the Bay area" business, attends a cardiac screening training session in San Diego on the districts dime. What's even worse, he assigned this director to the Heartsafe Task Force where she skillfully resuscitated a program which District CEO Lee Michelson had scheduled for a phase-out. Also on that task force was Heartsafe Program Director Glenn Nielsen who was facing unemployment as of Sept. 1, 2013. Sounds like we have a few winners here.

On the bright side of things, we may see CPR training classes in our schools. I'm 80 years old, but I seem to remember CPR training in my school.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 22, 2014 at 8:07 pm

pogo is a registered user.

There is nothing more permanent than a temporary tax... or ANY government program.

What a shame. This district has outlived the hospital it was intended to support.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 23, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Actually, the hospital "it was intended to support" is doing quite well on it's historic site at Whipple and The Alameda. It is fully owned and operated by Dignity Health.

The Sequoia Hospital district, alias Sequoia Healthcare district, no longer owns a hospital. It can not continue to exist as an independent agency. It will either be dissolved, or absorbed into a countywide healthcare district.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 26, 2014 at 11:27 am

In the original article, I neglected to mention that "Item 5.d. Consider HeartSafe Program Options" was approved by a 4/1 vote, mine being the lone dissenting vote.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 27, 2014 at 10:40 am

Clarification:

When I informed Board President, Jerry Shefren of the situation, he suggested that I request an item be placed on the agenda at the next Board meeting. "...if you feel this is appropriate for Board discussion."

He apparently didn't think it was appropriate.

That was my rationale for stating:

What we have here is a Board President who looks the other way when a director, who is a nurse working for her husbands "Children's Cardiology of the Bay area" business, attends a cardiac screening training session in San Diego on the districts dime.


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