Hospital board meeting or Disney TV?

The video of the recent open session of the Alameda Healthcare District meeting is like watching old Disney cartoons: the hospital CEO and board completely ignore the very real gravity of the stroke protocol issue before them, in the papers, and recently confirmed (outed!) in the 11/3 city council meeting, and speak as though they are sweeping an annoyance, unnecessarily brought to their attention, aside.

Go here:  http://www.vimeo.com/16733078

Scroll to 01:11:00 (one hour, eleven minute, zero seconds) to view CEO Stebbins discuss the stroke protocols for the City of Alameda.  It’s appalling on so many levels.  Equally irresponsible are the board comments (none).

CEO Stebbings STATING THE FACTS WRONG (Lying in some cases, uninformed in others…which is worse?), the board members unresponsive…

1. Stebbins says Eden is not a certified stroke center.  Wrong! Eden achieved stroke certification in August 2010: http://www.qualitycheck.org/qualityreport.aspx?hcoid=9780&x=cert).

2. Stebbins says that Alameda Hospital is putting into place all the same things as Eden, as part of a network of stroke expertise. Lying!  Not only does Alameda Hospital not have the resources to create and maintain a stroke center, since 2007 when the variance to the county stroke transport protocol was put into place, Alameda Hospital has not even tried to become a stroke center.  In her November 5, 2010 letter to CEO Stebbins, the Alameda County EMS director Dale Fanning states:

“It is my understanding that in July 2007, members of our staff met with your leadership to provide information on the steps necessary to become a stroke center and request that your facility pursue stroke center designation. To my knowledge, Alameda Hospital has made no effort in this regard.”

3. No mention of Mayor Johnson’s questioning of Interim Fire Chief Fisher during the November 3rd City Council meeting that resulting in confirming that we have substandard transport protocols for the City of Alameda driving stroke victims to Alameda Hospital instead of to Summit.  Mayor Johnson: “shouldn’t we be warning people that we’re not taking them to a certified stroke center?”

4. No questions from the board about the stroke transport protocol that places over 500 people per year at risk in Alameda for some serious brain and other damage from not getting to go directly into a stroke center.

What is wrong with this picture? Everything. It comprises nothing less than a profound depravity. Our CEO and her entire board did not–during the public session—speak directly to this, were not profoundly concerned (for that is what is warranted!), and did not in any way indicate some kind of urgent effort to change this as soon as possible to protect stroke victims in our city.  Stebbins manner was so di rigueur, as though she was talking about new sidewalks or something. The behavior of those in this meeting, our elected hospital board members and their CEO, is deplorable.  Their behavior at this meeting is evidence, IMHO,  of nothing less than a cabal conspiring against the very people who they are elected and hired to serve and protect. I can only imagine what they said in the closed session.

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About Denise Lai

Alive. Swim (fly is the best). Walking with my dog (weims are the best). Life is good. Would prefer people understood negative externalities and prevented themselves from creating them. Feeling the love anyway. View all posts by Denise Lai

One response to “Hospital board meeting or Disney TV?

  • Denise Lai

    Correction: recent documents indicate that the stroke transport preference for Alameda Hospital was an existing protocol in 2007. The county EMS was changing all stroke protocols across the county, in every city, and Alameda Hospital threatened to sue them if they took emergency stroke cases away from them, just like the cardiac cases had been “taken away from them” when STEMI emergency care improved and Alameda Hospital’s capabilities did not keep up. It’s not like this is a game of golf people! This is about lives: the county is simply changing with the improvements in emergency medicine as they come along. The hospital has apparently been unable to adapt to the changes by repurposing itself to serve us (urgent care would be more useful!) or by stepping up to become certified for strokes. Again, we deserve optimum healthcare. The hospital needs to adapt to what’s needed in Alameda city AND step aside: let the people go to those better facilities, and quit trying to compete with the facilities that are far more capable and specialized for acute cases! Maybe become something else: urgent (and affordable) care.

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