EAST BAY CITIZEN. EVERYWHERE SINCE 2009

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

'The Fight Goes On!' Eden Healthcare District To Petition State Supreme Court

Jan. 4, 2012 | Despite defeats in two lower courts, the Eden Township Healthcare District voted 3-1 to petition the State Supreme Court in its conflict of interest claim against Sutter Health.

"The fight goes on!" said District Board Chair Carole Rogers after the announcement Wednesday night that followed a special closed session meeting in Hayward.

Rogers was joined in the majority with board members Dr. William West and Les Friedman. Dr. Rajendra Ratnesar voted against the proposal. The board's fifth member, Dr. Vin Sawhney did not vote because of a potential conflict of interest, according to Rogers. Sawhney disclosed he received compensation from Sutter Health for indigent care provided within the past year.

The decision to petition the State Supreme Court, if accepted or not, is the end of the road for the District. If denied, the state appellate court's Dec. 21 decision against the District takes precedent.

With legal fees over the past two years approaching $3 million, the move will further inflate the District's outlay at the expense of other ancillary activities the health care board endows in the Eden area.

"It's something that we all ask ourselves, 'is it worth it?' I'm criticized left and right for spending the District's money on legal fees and not handing out grant money," said Rogers.

The District's ability to fund various community grants has been suspended for much of last year. Despite pushes by Rogers and Ratnesar to reinstate the grant funding process, it remains shuttered indefinitely.

Resoundingly, though, Rogers and the board say the protracted legal and political fight against Sutter to save San Leandro Hospital is worth additional time and treasure. If the court accepts the District's petition, Rogers believes a Supreme Court case could keep the hospital open another year. Sutter first announced it was closing San Leandro Hospital in September 2009 until the same District board voted to take Sutter to court.

The District's lawyer's have until Jan. 30 to petition the high court. Rogers says the board has not seen the final documents or what legal questions they will pose the court. The court has 60 days to respond.

32 comments :

Carol Rogers is right, she has been criticised rightly for spending $2M on lawyers and continuing to spend our money. It is time to get over it. Pull out like Ratnesar. Stop wasting money.

How much is a life worth? Can you put a price tag on it? San Leandro hospital doctors and nurses saved my life. I know they do this every day. If the hospital closes lives will be lost. What business are you in? mortuary?

My employer Sutter is insisting on closing SLH, and then out of the other side of their mouths they claim to be a community based hospital organization ? I still pose the question, what benefit will the community receive by closing the hospital a decrease in the population by citizens expiring because they cannot get to a hospital in time, or maybe the benefit of not having the needed x-rays, lab tests, ct scans, ultrsound exams, and other needed tests because they have no transportation to get to other facilities where they can recive these exams. If my employer were truly community based and really a non-profit organization they would help the community by keeping the hospital open. I cant say that personally Sutter has not been a fairly good employer, but it is definitely not the Sutter that they would have the public believe they are when it comes to the coommunity of San Leandro, Oakland, Hayward, Ashland, San Lorenzo, and yes even Castro Valley, I urge everyone who reads this to if necessary to Occupy the Hospital, so that along with the possibility of saving my life again maybe one of your loved ones. I urge everyone to fight to keep the hospital and the emergency open. John Kalafatich ( Papa John )

The board has not taken a realistic view of its chances of prevailing in the Supreme Court; so far, the district has lost in Arbitration-the Arbitator ruled the contract is legal and the district must turn over the deed to Sutter. The district then filed its own lawsuit and the Surperior court told the distict it had no cause of action and dismissed the action; the district appealed from this decision and now with the appealate court ruling against the district, the district is appealing to the Supreme Court; it is my understanding that should the court rule against the district, and chances are 95% against the Supreme Court overturning the lower court's ruling, the district maybe forced to file for bankruptcy. Who wins then? For over two years I suggested the sides negotiate a settlement which will keep the hospital open in some form. So far, the district has refused to enjoin Sutter in negotiations. The money being spent is our money and it is being wasted. As for Papa John, apparently you have no respect for your employer. Why do you stay in its employ if you feel they are as bad as you say they are? I worked in the private sector for 40 years and when I could not get along with my employer, I left for what I considered greener pastures. I recomment you do the same. Tony Santos

Hi Tony, well I guess I could run from the fight but that would be against my principals of right and wrong, and if you should just think about your friends and neighbors well I do think about mine and they need this hospital, and as having respect well Tony respect is something one earns it doesnt just come from being your employer, you evidently didnt read my reply very well, and to disagree with someone doesnt mean you dont respect them, where have you gotten your sense of values from ? So I dont agree with Sutter and their values so I should just quit my job, I believe I am older than you and my parents taught me to fight for whats right, that is one reason I served in the military for 4 1/2 years, and that is why I fight to keep the only hospital in San Leandro where I have spent the majority of my life open. So if you want the hospital to close keep your opinions as they are and I will keep mine also. John Kalafatich ( PAPA JOHN )

Run from the fight my ass. Who would hire someone who rants on and on about a hospital where the majority of San Leandrians would not go to.

Please "40 years" time to retire as is the districts case against Sutter.

And blah blah blah about annoymous. You should be annoymous less people would think you dumb.

The district has spent millions to fight a losing fight. Millions that would have better been spent on quality healthcare for the poor.

The California Attorney General (whose job it is to enforce the law) wrote an opinion supporting the District's appeal. Three appeals court judges took on the Attorney General's written document and they did not address the LAW. Watch for the AG to represent the District in the Supreme Court.

Hey anonymous from 4:25 where in the world did you learn to spell, San Leandrians ? How about San Leandrans, and how do you know how many go to San Leandro Hospital, I work here so at least I can come up with better numbers than your anonymous blah blah blah. and your final sentence you should be annoymous less people would think you dumb. I would guess you received at least a D- in your English and Grammar class, and where is your name, or didnt you learn how to write that yet, I'll bet not. From: John Kalafatich ( PAPA JOHN )

It is very unlikely that the district will win but that's not the point. Realistically everyone involved in the fight against sutter knows that one day it will end and the hospital will close it's doors when sutter prevails, but every day that the hospital is open is another day the sick and the dying of san Leandro, Hayward and east oakland have a place to go. In the eyes of any medical professional that is worth more than any dollar amount. It's a cold world we live in now that money has become worth more than a human life and your own soul.

Don't bet your britches that the District will lose. The law suit is based on "conflict of interest" by elected directors and the CEO who all received an income from Sutter, who at the same time represented the District. Read all of the opinions, including the Attorney General's. The law is the law. The issue is "financial benefit." Did the CEO of Eden Hospital who was also employed by the Healthcare District - who was present in negotiations for the agreement - at issue - have a conflict of interest? The doctors involved in negotiations also were employed by Sutter. Government code is very strict about voting on matters that involve their employer. This is not Afganistan.

Tony: Sutter has refused to negotiate, according to public comments made by the District. The Attorney General is not going to look fondly on an opinion made by the Appellate Court that refuses to look at her ruling on the matter. Stay tuned, it's not over until it's over. Keep up the fight!

Keep the hospital open in some form? Have you read the proposal by the County? To move Fairmont Hospital to San Leandro as a Skilled Nursing Facility (aka "nursing home"). Fairmont only accepts uninsured and Medi-cal. No problem with that, but it does not serve the entire private pay community. The County has promised an "urgent care" clinic (backed down from 24/7 to business hours) - then not on hospital grounds. The hospital staff have seen County management surveying the premises for probable HIV, Drug Rehab outpatient clinics. St. Rose Hospital offered the County the oppotunity to move Fairmont to their grounds. See minutes of Board meetings. No deal. So looking forward to Obamacare when people will be able to buy their own private insurance at an affordable price...do we need an indigent welfare county hospital in our midst? Or is this a free land grab by the County and blessed by Sutter to insure that there is no competition nearby?

Let's not forget the CEO of Eden's bonus that year from Sutter. Duplicity is his management style and may not be illegal but not ethical.

The Appeals Court decision stated that the CEO of Eden did not receive any compensation from the District. How was he CEO of the District and of Eden at the same time? A Volunteer for the District at his excessive salary?

The problem is ethics not legality. all judges and mediator thus far have noted that though ol' George has been very un ethical he stayed oh so slippery within the law. My theory is that George must of had some sort of sutter entrusted lawyers guiding him through the whole negotiation as to bullet proof their plan.

Why is ol George still there? Sutter is stuck with him through all the litigation; his staff is stuck with him and his gal pal. AKA the queen of eden. Then she's promoted to a director so he can give her a bonus. She's there maybe 10 hours a week.

And finally the guy's just plain wierd.

For all those people who want this hospital to close, I'll say SHUT THE HELL UP you morons. You low life SOBs, what good it will do to this community and what profit you AHs will get from the closer? I hope one or all of you morons get sick and brought to SLH emergency room and then you may see the benifit of this hospital. Be aware some time my wishes come true.

To the person above: Have you ever read "What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America"? There's your answer. I've found those who side with Sutter, excluding Tony Santos, which is another matter(!), the prevailing argument is based on a Darwinian business theory. If SLH can't make money, it should not be allowed to live. The other side says a hospital is not a regular business like say a surfboard shop located near a retirement community.

Hello everyone, Steve its good that your still alive and running the EB CITIZEN, and for Tony, I have a request from some of the staff, have you had a mental check up lately, it appears you have lost your ever loving mind, I am also curious about how many of the above emails are actually from you, or just some lonely blowhard and this is their only touch with humans, its really unbelievable some of these comments, and if you know the hospital is losing money maybe you can tell me where you get your info ?? I recently had to go back to the ER, and I can recommend to everyone even you idiots that want to close the hospital they can and will save your miserable souls. JOHN KALAFATICH ( PAPA JOHN )

All this sanctimonious crap "we serve anyone at SLH" I've worked at San Leandro and I can think of many many examples where people were turned away from the ER -- Pappy John need I remind you of the homeless woman who was refused service and poured lighter fluid on herself and lite match in the lobby.

Please stop this bullshit only Highland serves everyone. We've turned them away too.

We should keep SLH open just for John. Or should we open John George for him?

Actually the lady lit her self on fire in the bathroom in the hallway while trying to smoke drugs. She was not admitted yet. She was waiting in the ER waiting room to be seen and asked to go to the cafeteria for free coffe (as do many of the homeless do late at night.)

I've been employed there for 9 years. I have never seen anyone turned away. I see homeless people in the rooms everyday. If sutter could turn them away they would. It's the LAW moron

Dear 11:27 pm writer. Thanks for signing your anonymous post with your real name. Moron. What's your nickname?

John, if there is an idiot here, it is you. you work for Sutter and if you don't like what they do, take a hike. I worked for a number of companies in my day, and when I had a conflict with policy, I left the firm and you should do the same. there isn't an organization out there that does not have a suggestion box-if sutter has problems, recommend changes; if they disagree with you, then you should either be fired or you should quit. Maybe your the moron!! if hospital closed, let us know if you will be first to go! TS

Papa John, I hope you're doing well, my friend.

steve

First hi Steve, doing fair, hope your well, we just love the EB CITIZEN, now for all the anonymous mice who havent the guts to put their real names, I may be wrong but I dont think I am but at least I sign my name and stand behind what I say, and now for the one who calls me Pappy John, wheres your name and when did you ever work there, and why ( probably ) did you get fired, everyone knows that people cannot be turned away, and if Highland was such a good place to go why do they not go there instead of coming to SLH many of them live just a short distance from Highland yet they come to SLH and to TS is that for Tony S ???? well I have worked in many places in my life also and have left for various reasons all of my choosing so if dont know me dont assume anything. but I find this cause well worth fighting for so I will stay, and as far as not liking Sutter, you evidently havent read many of my emails, suppose the country was being run like what is going on now and you were to be unsatisfied by things would you just up and leave, sure and with jobs so readiful who wouldnt just up and leave their job. so TS next time go to Highland, and let me know if you really do recommend it. John Kalafatich ( PAPA JOHN )

http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F3/131/146/514736/

For those of you who agree with Sutter to close the hospital, you hope you stay healthy all your lives. And to TS , the ambulance will bring you to Highland Hospital If Eden Hospital Emergency will go on "divert" and this will surely happen if San Leandro Hospital closed . If a hosptial Emergency goes on "divert" they don't care who you are X Mayor !! And for those who refused to fight for their rights and for the people are simply " COWARDS " . And if worst comes to worst , thanks PAPA JOHN , we will "OCCUPY" San Leandro . TS, move out !!

John you sound foolish. You are an embarrassment to the rest of us. Please stop.

My this last comment sounds like someone who is losing. if I am not embarassed to stand up for my friends and neighbors who frequent this hospital what concern is it of yours "NO NAME ANONYMOUS ", just how many people have you interviewed about being embarassed, I wouldnt think there were to many under the rock with you. Well guess I will have to add another idiot to my prayer list, and I dont even know his name. John Kalafatich ( PAPA JOHN )

There is a rumor going around Eden Hospital Docs that the California Supreme Court has agreed to take the ETHD appeal against Sutter Who knows?

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