Guest opinion: Sequoia Healthcare -- Fact vs. fiction
Original post made on Jan 4, 2012
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 12:00 AM
on Jan 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm
Kim Griffin, President of the Sequoia Healthcare District on which I serve, makes outrageous assertions in her OpEd (Fact vs. fiction). Here are a few examples:
Kim says "Clearly, Mr. Hickey would like to see the district dissolved and he intentionally fails to mention that in this case taxes continue to be collected and go toward the general tax fund where our district residents derive no direct benefit." That's a lie! My OpEd said; "The Sequoia Healthcare District should be dissolved, with tax revenue dispersed among the public entities within the district boundaries." And, I ask, do residents derive benefits from the 9 nurses trained with District tax dollars who were employed in Palm Springs?
Kim says, "...he chides the board for our use of public relations or "branding" while forgetting the board was mandated by the civil grand jury to provide adequate information to the public regarding district programs." David Rosner, a member of that Grand Jury stated at the Dec. 4, 2002 District Board meeting that "...it was not the intent of the Grand Jury that the District should engage in a campaign of this scope."
Finally, Kim says, "The grand jury investigation was initiated by Mr. Hickey to advance his political dogma and eliminate the board." Fact: the Sequoia Healthcare District was not on my radar screen until the media (Daily News - July 19, 2002) publicized the Grand Jury report and suggested that "This would be a perfect opportunity for county Libertarian Party leader Jack Hickey to get some of his people elected to office."
Since then I have been elected to the Board 3 times to carry out the Grand Jury's directive!
Jack Hickey, Member, Sequoia Healthcare District Board of Directors
on Jan 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm
Kim says: One would assume Mr. Hickey's sarcastic comment regarding "white knight" Catholic Healthcare West "buying the right to take over (Sequoia) hospital operations" would indicate they did this without board approval; however, Mr. Hickey wholeheartedly agreed and voted to transfer ownership of the hospital to CHW."
There was no sarcasm in my comment. I was pleased in 1996 when the District, led by Brent Britschgi chose CHW to help the hospital recover from the $29 Million deficit incurred by former Sequoia hospital CEO Art Faro. They have done an excellent job, which is why the board, with my support, transferred complete governance and ownership to CHW in 2006. What little oversight function the District had over hospital operations is now non-existant.
Kim also says: "The district's board of directors is composed of elected community leaders with a great majority of district residents overwhelmingly in favor of our efforts on their behalf." What is notable is that in the last election (Nov. 2010), I received 25,133 votes (1,565 more votes than Art Faro). Also, in 2008, I received 30,378 votes with Kim Griffin narrowly beating me with 30,922 as I sought to capture a 4 year seat. (I retained my original seat with 2 years remaining.) My message remains clear, and resonates with a substantial number of voters.
on Jan 26, 2012 at 9:07 am
Kim Griffin's attack on Jack Hickey's philosophy seems arrogant and insensitive. It's interesting how the board of the Hospital District
has so many current and past medical professionals on it. Does
anyone believe that they are protecting the interests of the
voters and taxpayers as opposed to the interests of their cronies? Ms. Kim, a nurse, praises a hospital administrator and endorses the status quo. We actually need more people like Jack Hickey to protect our interests, and anyone who indirectly generates so much vitriol from incumbents must be doing a good job for the people.