In 2002 my wife and I moved to Alaska from Michigan. One of my last nursing jobs there, was in the Emergency Room of Cheboygan Memorial Hospital (CMH) in Cheboygan. It was the largest employer in the County and opened its doors in 1942. They filed for bankruptcy in March of this year after losing 7 million dollars in 2011. On April 3, 2012 they closed their doors leaving all 403 employees without work. There are now daily prayer services and rallies attracting 2000 people wanting the hospital to reopen. The hospital board chair has been quoted as saying, "the board of trustees and the entire organization have worked diligently to preserve health care in our community." Apparently, too little too late.
In many ways CMH is similar to Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH). They are both non-profit community based hospitals. CMH board of trustees did everything, they thought of, to save the hospital from closing. CPH hospital board continues to do everything they think is best for CPH. In the end CMH lost millions in 2011 and CPH made millions. It could never happen at CPH. Think again. In any business there are three groups that must work in a collaborative bases to make a business successful. I wonder if CMH corporate board worked with owners, employees and community physicians in a combined effort to succeed, prior to bankruptcy? I do not know.
I do know, CPH corporate board is not working in a combined effort to succeed. CPH corporate board knows best and ignores the owners, employees and community physicians. Why else would they ignore the desires of the community to keep the ownership? Why else has there been so many unfair labor practices at CPH and why are the independent surgeons attempting to build an ambulatory surgical center called Kahtnu? I wonder how long before our community hospital will start losing money because of the dictates of the corporate board. When CPH closes its doors, will we be just like CMH community? Will we have rallies to reopen the doors and prayer services? Shouldn't the owners be proactive in saving our hospital from the destructive behavior of the Corporate Board?
I just wonder if the owners will demand collaborative participation to keep our hospital running smoothly or will we just ignore the management problems and hope for the best?
If we want to save our hospital we must take our active ownership back. Is anyone listening?