Thursday, February 17, 2011

St. Rose To The Rescue

By Steven Tavares

A lawyer for Hayward’s St. Rose Hospital gave the first public acknowledgement Wednesday it is seeking to operate San Leandro Hospital.

“If this progresses it will provide a way for the District to benefit and protect the health care needs of the district,” said Bob Heath, an attorney for St. Rose Hospital. He cautioned discussions are “ very much in a preliminary stage.”

While the statement made Wednesday night to the Eden Township Healthcare District Board of Directors was brief, it confirmed interest by St. Rose to enter the two-year battle to keep San Leandro Hospital open.

Scant details were offered by Heath other than St. Rose's offer to operate San Leandro Hospital and join the Eden Township Healthcare District. Later in the meeting, the District board unanimously approved a confidentiality agreement between St. Rose and the District over details of their negotiations.

Support for St. Rose’s involvement moved many local leaders to attend the monthly meeting, including State Sen. Ellen Corbett who told the board, “I support your efforts,” in additon to encouragement from San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy and Councilman Jim Prola. The inclusion of St.Rose, located off Tennyson Road, has also brought Hayward city leaders into the fray, including Councilmen Bill Quirk and Marvin Peixoto.

Quirk assured the board of the city council’s support for the St. Rose proposal in the future, while urging for the need to maintain the already dwindling capacity of hospital beds in the area. “All of the surrounding community will be hurt tremendously if we don’t keep these 90 beds open,” said Quirk. “There’s a real shortage of beds for acute care beds right now.”

For any plan to succeed, the District will need the blessing of Sutter Health, who plans to purchase San Leandro Hospital and lease it to the Alameda County Medical Center for acute rehabilitation . Such a move would mean shutting down the facility's surgery and emergency room services, something the public has vehemently opposed. Sutter’s execution of its right to purchase the hospital under the controversial agreement made with the District in 2008 is the subject of a continuing legal skirmish in the courts.

“Sutter Health is the missing piece of this puzzle and the most difficult part of this campaign,” said Mike Brannan, a labor representative for the California Nurses Association. “I’m convinced with all of us working together with a real viable alternative with St. Rose that we be able to convince, cajole or pressure Sutter Health into doing the right thing for our community.”

POLITICS HOMEGROWN eastbaycitizen.com


I applaud St. Rose's efforts here. We need solidarity against Sutter. It's run by a bunch of thugs.

Actually I was at another meeting, but I applaud Mr. Mahoney's efforts to save SLH. The fact remains that it will require funding to subsidize the operation of SLH. Perhaps Mr. Mahoney has access to funding from sources as yet undisclosed, perhaps federal grants. As for all of the "support" voiced by politicians, talk is cheap! Where's the money to materialize that "support" in a meaningful way? Last I checked, cities, counties, the state and the federal government were all broke. I wonder why!

How much funding is needed to start the operation of a hospital? Look at Marin General, San Pablo & Redding who were all in the same straights. St. Rose has had the support from the county, state & feds in the past. There are funds available to help with this process. We only need Sutter to figure out that the community will not stand for their intrangesence and keep up the pressure as Mike Brannen says. We can call for a major Rally with thousands of people to support St. Rose and the District. Hang on to your seats (and subscribe to the "Save San Leandro Hospital" Facebook.) What it did for Egypt, we can do for San Leandro. Power to the people!

We did it before and we can do it again. If we get out another 1000 people kicking and screaming at Sutter, the community and news media can't ignore what they are trying to do the sick, the taxpayers and the weak. I work at SLH, I know what goes on. I see how Sutter is taking advantage of us and you and it sickens me to no end. I thank God we have Steve reporting this story and time he puts into helping get the word out. This is what I call journalism and everybody thanks him for it .

What happened to my post. Try again: read what Rico says. Where is St Rose going to get funds to run hospital? Doubtful this can occur and before SL can get fed funds, it needs to be classed as a "disproporinate hospital." This cannot be done in near term. interesting employee who takes sutter's money critizes the organization. how come?

San Leandro Hospital can and will be successful if it is run by people who care about it. Sutter Health never cared about SLH and never wanted to have two hospitals within 5 mile from one another. There are many facts supporting this view and I don’t have to list them all. One can look at Sutter’s behavior toward this hospital in the past four years and will find the truth. This is a fight that the community will win by standing together and one voice. We all welcome and appreciate St. Rose’s interest in keeping our hospital as an acute care facility.

For the guy who wants to know where the fund is coming to run the hospita? it will come from the same place where St. Rose is getting their funds. You nay sayers always see glass half empty not half full.

Dr. Rico, now that you are no longer employed by Sutter as you claim, it is time for you to come on board the save the SLH movement for the community you once were helping when on the ETHD Board, lets just say I believe that you can once again be an asset to this community as you once were, with your knowledge and courage we can use someone of your caliber. All you have to do is forget what Sutter was to you and now in your later years step up and help the community you once were helping medically. I for one would welcome your support and it would show Sutter that you care more for this community than they do, it has been and will continue to be a fight for survival to keep this community covered with an acute hospital and emergency room. I am also sure you realize that the people who live here as well as those who work here at the hospital want and need the hospital, and dont be like the anonymous clowns who dont have the guts to put their names where there mouths are, at least we know who you are so Sir I will ask you just this once forget the past with Sutter and look to the future with healthcare here in this community. PAPA JOHN

John, I have NEVER been employed by Sutter or Eden Medical Center. On the contrary, when Sutter announced that they had decided NOT to replace Eden Hospital, I, with Dr. Ratnesar, was at the forefront of the District's effort to reverse that decision. The result was the new hospital in Castro Valley AND a commitment to keep SLH open an additional 24 months in an effort to turn it around.

SLH continues to operate in the red so it must be subsidized in order to continue operating. Sutter is no longer willing to carry that burden so the heart of the issue of saving SLH is finding a source of funding to cover the losses. Simple as that!

Dr. Rico, government budgets are hurting because the private sector has been allowed to abuse the public for quite a while now. The wealthiest corporations IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD take advantage of massive tax loopholes which allow corporations like Exxon and GE to pay ZERO U.S. income taxes in recent years. Taxes on the top 1% of rich individuals have also gone down substantially as a percentage of their income. We now have the lowest tax collection rate as a percentage of GDP since 1950, making the TEA party claims of "tyranny" particularly foolish.

In addition, deregulation of the financial sector allowed the markets to create unsound financial "products" which have helped create numerous bubbles; when each of those bubbles burst, there has been substantial transfer of government funds to the same people and institutions which created the crisis. It's quite the racket.

Don't forget the extraordinarily undemocratic budget and tax rules which burden our State Legislature. To raise taxes, it now requires a 2/3rd vote of both the Senate and Assembly, but to cut taxes to the wealthy and corporations it only takes 50%+1. What a surprise that in the supposed "shared sacrifice" California budgets of recent years, services to the most vulnerable were cut and taxes for the poor and middle-class were raised while taxes to corporations were reduced by billions, all at the insistence of the minority party and our recent Governor.

By the way, the government is not "broke". That's a foolish claim. It is the new conservative talking point, though. Glad to see you're "catapulting the propaganda." If our country were truly "broke", we wouldn't be spending our money on the most massive war machine the world has ever known.

"We're broke" is used to argue that we just can't afford to keep our Emergency Room open or allow the average worker to maintain decent wages and benefits or ensure that our elderly and ill will not have to choose between paying for food, housing, medications and heating. Keeping our budget solutions restricted to these subjects is now praised as "having the courage to make the tough choices".

Tough for who?

Rico is an ass. he's always disliked SLH. Id put all my money down that he knew before hand (just like bitch-a-lany) that getting a new Eden built required doing a back door deal to close SLH. unfortunately for the public he covered his tracks to well and we'll never actualy know if that's true. but it's not that far fetched. fuck you Rico

Not much point in trying to maintain intelligent discourse when this is the response. When you resort to personal insults you reveal the weakness of your argument. Also too gutless to identify yourself!

As for disliking SLH, I worked there for 13 years starting in the old building and continuing in the current building. I actually have many fond memories of SLH.

John Evans, I believe you are misinformed, but your diatribe was interesting and revealing if not informative. What it has to do with SLH is not clear

I'll stay anonymous but tell you that I work at slh and worked there while you were still there (before you jumped ship to Eden). you have never had a kind word for slh. don't forget your the one who wrote that worthless letter of crap trying to explain to the community why SLH is better off closed. don't sit behind your computer screen and try to save face by acting like you would even be happy if it stayed open you spineless prick. be a fucking man and just say what you want to say. you want it closed. when the san leandro community kicks sutter out you can keep your ass in Castro valley because san leandro doesn't need you or your self righteous propaganda bullshit

I don't know what letter you are talking about. If you have such a letter please post it. I think you have me confused with someone else. I never wrote such a letter. For the rest of your nonsense I dare you to face me and tell it to my face, coward.

Prime Healthcare, Inc. has made the front page of the SF Chronicle for questionable billings to Medicare!

"Last time I checked, cities, counties, the state and the federal government were all broke. I wonder why?"

This was Dr. Rico's defense against the politicians who spoke out in support of negotiations with St. Rose which could save the ER and other services at the Hospital. He drew public budgets into the discussion.

There's no attempt by him to make the case that a single part of my post was "misinformed"; he merely makes a blanket statement.

John Evans, the government is broke because people like you run the private sector into the ground. Thank GOD we have a 2/3 requirement to raise taxes. Where the hell do self righteous Socialists like yourself think that taxes should be easily raised? Where to come up with this arrogance. You're arguments are worthless an have been proven false.

Dr. Rico, if Sutter doesn't want to run SLH because it is losing money, WHY DOSEN'T IT WALK AWAY FROM IT AND NEVER LOOK BACK?

The plan, initiated by the former Alameda County Director of Health Services now retired, was for Sutter to transfer the SLH to Alameda County (the people) to house the services that must be moved out of Fairmont. Doesn't that qualify as "just walking away from it?"

Yes and no, Dr Rico. We both know the truth is about "competition" in this town. So let us not paint over that. I don't think Sutter has any "good corporate citizen" bone left in its body, despite the copiuous feel-good advertising it does in the media. They truly don't care for having this business stand and trive in SL. They want it gone. That's the bottom line here. Rememeber, perception is reality. They are perceived as greedy corporate SOB's who want this cake and eat it in its entirety. Their myopia is that SLH would keep sucking up the 81% Med-Med patients TO THEIR BENEFIT. That's what confuses me. Eden's 60% Med-Med ratio will go to 70% plus if they close SLH. And that is a lot of redline dollars down the drain for the venerable Sutter.

Anonymous at 10:02 PM on 2/19, Such a penalty you have given Dr Rico by telling him to stay in Castro Valley and not show his face in San Leandro. I can not imagine why he would want to come to SL, no reason, nothing here, just a scary mess in the flatlands. Thank the lord I live above 580 off Lake Chabot Rd and work in Pleasanton, no reason to set foot in SL proper, it is an absolute hole.

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