Category Archives: Alameda Healthcare District Board

But, but, but…you shouldn’t say mean things

Evidence. Data. Excellent article below.Just like improved outcomes and survival rates for strokes at primary stroke centers, patients get superior treatment, outcomes, and survival at larger hospitals simply because

Just like improved outcomes and survival rates for strokes at primary stroke centers, patients get superior treatment, outcomes, and survival at larger hospitals simply because staff at larger hospitals have more experience. I would venture to say that procedures and protocols are superior as well as management of performance thereof.

But, but, but…you shouldn’t say mean things.” – Elliott Gorelick

Risks Are High at Low-Volume Hospitals
Patients at thousands of hospitals face greater risks from common operations, simply because the surgical teams don’t get enough practice.

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In case you missed it . . .

Alameda Healthcare District intends to merge with Alameda Health System.

The notice (here) says it was posted on Friday, 6/14, (it wasn’t), and that it includes a 36-page document (it doesn’t).

It was posted today, Father’s Day, at 10a.

The Alameda Healthcare District is—by all intents, constructions, and purposes—intent on all of us missing this notice and not participating in this rather significant discussion.

How do you feel about the Alameda Healthcare District spending the $7,000,000 we give them in taxes each year to merge with an organization that owns Highland HospitalHighland WellnessEastmont WellnessHayward Wellness at WintonNewark WellnessFairmont Hospital, and John George Psychiatric Hospital? And that is funded by Alameda Health System Foundation?

How do you feel about that merger and their continued use of our $7M in annual taxes?

Did you know: the annual levy of taxes on us is optionalContinue reading


The Hospital.

Elliott Gorelick’s post today warrants republishing (see below here).  And PLEASE SHARE this post with others; it could protect one’s quality of life. It could safe a life.

The hospital itself told me they nearly killed me in the Emergency Department (ED) a couple of years ago, they don’t know why I didn’t die. This, during a minor (read: easy straight forward diagnosis and treatment) medical emergency (that was extremely painful, i.e., required emergency attention). Not only did I nearly die whilst in the Alameda Hospital ED, I was about 200% worse once home . . .  Continue reading


Are you applying for the vacant seat on the Alameda Heathcare District Board? If so, your app is due on January 3rd.

The information about the Alameda Healthcare District Board vacancy is here.

Also, AHD Board Member Gorelick’s first post of 2013 is here.  His post contains 3 points. I’ve taken the liberty of republishing his third point:

3.  The application process for the Board seat vacated by Stewart Chen is ongoing.  Thursday, January 3 is the last day to apply so, if you were considering it, you may have to scramble.  Unfortunately, there is little chance that the Board majority would allow someone with the idea of closing the Hospital on, but perhaps you enjoy quixotic efforts.   Several times I have referred to the previous application process where the odious Williams was chosen where it was ridiculously obvious that she was the designated choice.   Unless you have been solicited to apply by one of the Board majority, don’t count on having a chance of actually serving.  – Elliott Gorelick, January 1, 2013


This November, remember…

Please see the recent blog post from Elliott Gorelick (AHD Board Member) addressing a recent and highly misguided letter in the Alameda Sun praising Alameda Hospital.

In case you’re uncertain as to whether to trust Mr. Gorelick’s opinion, please consider his CV:

  • Doctor of Pharmacy, UCSF (in progress or awarded, I’m not sure what stage he’s at)
  • Continued studies in Health Economics, UC Berkeley
  • M.S., Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University
  • B.A., Economics, Stanford University

His CV is impressive. Even if he didn’t have that CV, I’d agree with Mr. Gorelick: he’s the first, and often the only, voice of reason on the hospital board and publicly here in Alameda. But having that CV, well, maybe we should all wake up a little bit and pay attention to what he’s been saying and continues to say at Alameda Healthcare District board meetings and on his blog here.

Furthermore and in my opinion:

What we all need to understand is that today’s medical standards provide the following: diagnostics and treatment in specialized cardiac and stroke medical systems that begin in the field with the paramedics and continue uninterrupted on through to the readied (when you’re wheeled in, they are standing there ready to pounce) specialized cardiac or stroke team  that includes leading-edge imaging diagnostics, expert physicians and surgeons and highly-trained event-specific (cardiac or stroke) support teams.

Key here is the term ‘uninterrupted’ which correlates to improved outcomes, e.g., stroke victims with no damage or residual symptoms.  Any detour to Alameda Hospital, by definition, is an interruption that cannot help but correlate to worse outcomes.

The biggest risk to a healthy longevity while residing or visiting Alameda is due to the Emergency Medical System protocols (what the paramedics follow) that require these detours to Alameda Hospital. The fact that Alameda Hospital continues to provide low-capability but emergency and stroke cardiac care, that extracts patients out of the specialized cardiac and stroke care systems only to re-insert them back into it (i.e., sending them to the hospital a victim should have originally gone to), is a not only disservice to everyone but poses an enormous and unnecessary hazard for worse outcomes for those experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

We have a right to contemporary standards in our medical care.

Alameda Healthcare District Board Members Battani, McCormick, Chen, and Deutsch, Vice Mayor Bonta, and City Council Member Tam, have all been a part of the hospital business strategies that ensure substandard emergency medical care for Alamedans. Please remember this when you cast your vote in November.  

Understandably ill-informed

Elliott Gorelick, Alameda Healthcare District Board Member,

The following letter appeared in the Alameda Journal:

“Don’t skimp on funds for Alameda Hospital

On Aug. 2 with no pain — just shortness of breath — I left work at 8 a.m. and drove myself to the Alameda Hospital emergency room. I thought it was my asthma. I was in increasing distress.

The emergency staff immediately took me in, did an EKG, chest X-rays, started IVs and determined I was having a heart attack. This was a shock. I have no history in my family and never experienced chest pains.

The emergency room staff, with extraordinary professionalism, summoned Alameda Fire Department paramedics, who transported me with red lights and siren to Summit Cardiac Center Cath Lab for an emergency angioplasty and stent — all this before noon. Having my own HMO with its facilities in Oakland, I was one who hesitated to support the bond measure that would fund Alameda Hospital. I didn’t think I would be able to use it.

In my shortsightedness, I failed to grasp the fact that each citizen on Alameda island could have a life-threatening event at any moment, and the Alameda Hospital emergency room and fire department paramedics are all we have between life and, yes, death itself.

I am again, so grateful to live on Alameda.”

The letter writer displays an amazing ignorance.  I am certainly happy that this turned out well for him/her but driving themself to the ER, thinking that their time in the Alameda Hospital ER was anything but dangerous delay and concluding that they are safer because Alameda Hospital 1. delayed their treatment 2. charged them for that privilege  3. Did nothing really except summoned help is ignorant.

I understand that this person feels good about what happened, but they couldn’t be more wrong.  And this is why it is almost impossible to rid ourselves of the costly, health-destroying institution.  The ignorant fed by the politically ambitious (Rob Bonta, Mary Ezzy-Ashcraft, Lena Tam, Stewart Chen) and the dishonestly self-interested (Rob Deutsch and Debit Stebbins) have just so much more social capital. (Lauren Do, Jordan Battani,  and John Knox White when given a choice of standing with their friends or for the truth will choose their friends because that’s the civil way to go and, they are, just like this letter writer too ignorant to see the truth.)

I am still waiting for a knowledgeable person to articulate an argument for the Hospital that doesn’t distill down to the “voters approved it many years ago and you don’t have any smoking gun* that it kills people.”
*Actually, there is a smoking gun and the State fined the Hospital $50,000 for the inappropriate use of fentanyl patches.  The Hospital is appealing that fine (an appeal that I will be astonished if they win).


We can safely conclude…

Alameda Hospital CEO Deborah Stebbins should resign and Alameda Healthcare District (AHD) board majority members should resign; failing that, we should recall four of the five board members. Why? Read this. Read this.

And consider this:

Any organization will naturally evolve towards the reduction of risk. The only time it does not is when there is either ignorance (lack of information or inability to think things through) or corruption. We know, evidence shows, that the directions the AHD board’s majority leadership are taking us are increasing our risk (medically, financially). We also know that the facts are available to make better decisions and those in charge have the mental capacity to comprehend those facts and understand the increased—unacceptable by regular business and healthcare conventions—risks their decisions are creating (and for which leaves us [Alameda residents] high & dry, left holding the debt they created.)

It follows then, does it not?, that: we can safely conclude that there is corruption in the AHD board and Alameda Hospital’s leadership and management.

Write the misbehaving Alameda Healthcare District board. Tell them to shape up or ship out:

Jordan Battani, President: JBattani@alamedahospital.org

Robert Deutsch, M.D., 1st Vice President: RDeutsch@alamedahospital.org

J. Michael McCormick, Treasurer: Mmccormick@alamedahospital.org

Steward Chen, D.C., 2nd Vice President: SChen@alamedahospital.org

And support Mr. Elliot Gorelick’s work on the AHD board. His evidence-based discussions—the first rational discussions ever at the AHD that I can tell—are significant towards helping us understand what’s really going on. And what’s been going on since the inception of the AHD in 2002 (and the hospital by itself before that), is not on the up and up.  Not even close. Never has been apparently. (You’ll remember the gaming of the emergency medical systems [ambulance] protocols since the early 1980s through last year [2010!] to ensure revenue-bringing acute cases be brought to the hospital….despite the fact that other hospitals were medically the correct choice and contemporary medical standard for care all of those years!)

Elliott Gorelick, Secretary: EGorelick@alamedahospital.org

Bookmark and read regularly: Mr. Gorelick’s blog is Notes from the Hospital


Healthcare District.

The Alameda Healthcare District Board continues to be focused on the wrong business strategies with OUR money: expanding services specific to geriatric patients (wound care, sub-acute care, and long term care).  That’d be fine IF they had also solved for servicing the City of Alameda in a way that, oh, serves us!  If they’d spent the $60M+ tax dollars, free money, we’ve given them on becoming solvent and providing services that are most needed by resident Alamedans.  They haven’t. They aren’t even close to being financially responsible. Competing with world class medical centers across the estuary makes no sense: there’s no way they can catch up let alone keep up! Nor should they: there are plenty of medical services that are mundane yet very important to provide to resident Alamedans.

But their focus these days is spending our tax dollars in ways that doesn’t benefit most of us…..but does appear to benefit one particular board member and his practice: Dr. Deutsch.

The closed session meeting tomorrow morning…. Continue reading