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Time for CPGH Board to step aside

Posted: February 1, 2012 - 9:59am

Last (week)'s CPGH Inc. Board meeting was one not to miss! It turns out that the current and former CEOs of CPGH (ie. The Board) has misled two independent Radiation Oncologists to purchase land and invest in a free-standing cancer center only to learn that CPGH has made a "business decision" to "offer a duplicate in services" and build their own cancer center. The Board is now proposing to build a multi-million dollar radiation oncology facility for the purpose of leasing it. Since when is it CPGH's responsibility to be landlords? Why should we spend millions on a facility to provide a service we could get for free?

These oncologists saw a need over two years ago and have been working towards this. They will use CPH's CT and MRI and will only be increasing the hospital's revenue, not competing for it. 

But instead of working with these guys, thankful that they are willing to risk their own private funds, to bring a much needed service to our community, we treat them inappropriately and it appears, dishonestly. And speaking of dishonesty, it was less than a week ago that CPH was telling the public that if Kahtnu's CON were approved, that the funding for the cancer center would be at a major risk. A few days later, that is not true, and we have the funding, and the CON has nothing to do with a cancer center.

And then, to think things couldn't get more shady, an oncologist from Katmai spoke. He told me that he approached CPH to have a visiting oncology clinic at the hospital, so the oncologists from Anchorage would come here to see patients, then send them across the hall to CPH's infusion center for chemo and he was denied. So now Katmai plans to open across the street, to see cancer patients and also do their revenue producing chemo infusions.

So, because of a poor management decision, we will now have a much needed oncologist across the street that will be doing much needed chemo infusions but at a hefty competitive price to the hospital.

The meeting then ended with good news. The Board is spending money to bring up a consultant to be a liaison to help mend the Boards relationship with its doctors. 

While I was pleased to see an effort made to repair relationships, I couldn't help but wonder, why has this gone so far? Why isn't this community holding this Board responsible for these decisions? I've seen enough.  They have spent too much time trying to sell CPH, that they have let this hospital crumble, it is literally falling apart. We, as the community, need to stand up to save our hospital, the politicians won't do it. Thank you for your service CPGH Inc., but its time for your self-appointed Board to step down and make room for a community-minded elected Board.

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Carver 02/01/12 - 12:28 pm
Time to go indeed . . .

It is increasingly obvious that the CPGH Incorporated (Inc.) board has lost sight of our hospital's(CPH) mission and role. From a simple, straightforward facility for area physicians to ply their trade, Inc. has created a corporate behemoth in our midst intent on its own interests to the detriment of area physicians. From a simple, physical facility, Inc. has created a corporation seeking absolute control of area healthcare, a corporation that solicits funds with one hand while the other hand doles out patronage at will to area entities such as the Watershed Forum, the Food Bank, and Kenai River Sportfishing Association.

The problem is Inc. because Inc. is a self-appointing board, answerable to no one except themselves. And CPH, initially an instrument formed by the public, has now become an institution disconnected from the public. Membership on the Inc. board should be and needs to be an elected position, answerable to the public. As is stands now, Inc. is disconnected from the public as was graphically illustrated by Inc.'s proposal to sell the hospital and by the two-to-one public approval of the surgery center Inc. is so strenuously resisting. And now we have the brouhaha with the proposed cancer center.

Back to basics: Dissolve CPGH Inc. and replace it with an elected board of directors like Homer Electric's. The folks who run CPH need to be in touch with and answerable to the people they're supposed to be serving, and the Borough Assembly needs to tackle this issue now, before things get even more out of hand.

Allen 02/01/12 - 02:25 pm
Consider Both Sides

There are two sides to every story, but you won't hear them from disgruntled Hospital employee Brenda Trefren who loves to stir things up.

Trefren wants an elected hospital board so health care on the Peninsula can be even more political than it is now. No thanks! Our local hospital has always been run by a private company with a private board and that's the way it should stay.

I'm pretty sure that CPGH Inc. has been trying for years to bring an oncologist to the Peninsula. One of my friends died of cancer at the hospital in 2007 and I heard it talked about at the hospital then. If these efforts didn't work out with these particular doctors that Trefren's letter won't name, well boo hoo.

As for Trefren's claim that the hospital is falling apart - nonsense. I was there visiting a patient a couple of weeks ago and everything was fine.

Carver 02/01/12 - 03:03 pm
No thanks, indeed . . .


Your ad hominem abuse of Ms. Trefren greatly weakens your opinion. Such character assassination is too often the mark of weak facts. And your opinion that "the way it is is the way it should stay" ignores the facts that the way it is right now is not very good.

But you are correct that the current situation has political implications, nor would a new, elected board change that reality. An elected board running the hospital would only change the politics of who answers to whom.

That Inc. answers only to itself has distanced and disconnected Inc. from the public. That plainly needs to change.

corinnep 02/01/12 - 06:48 pm
Red Herring

Carver throws a big fat red herring to distract us from Allen's points.

I don't see any ad hominen abuse in Allen's comments. They seem like a fair commentary on Brenda Trefren's letter.

Carver 02/01/12 - 08:11 pm
Attack the idea, not the person . . .


Allen attacked Ms. Trefren personally when he accused her of being "disgruntled" and when he accused her of loving "to stir things up."

Attack the IDEA, not the PERSON.

Attacking and abusing a person is a cheap shot, makes the accuser look bad, and says absolutely nothing about issue at hand.

Time to make membership on the hospital board an elected position. That is the issue under discussion.

granny 02/01/12 - 09:45 pm
Carver is right that the

Carver is right that the letter writer was disparaged unnecesarily. As far as the letter not naming the doctors, the doctors name themselves in a paid ad in todays Clarion. Read that ad Allen and let us know if you're still feeling the same about CPH. The ad mentions a board member stating CPH wants to totally control health care on the peninsula (my paraphrase). I'm willing to wager who that board member was just from my outside observations of the ongoing hospital saga and control of the Kenai-Soldotna area in general. This is getting interesting!!! M Schrag

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