Questions remain with CPH decisions

Posted: Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Thank you to Tom Boedeker and to Ryan Smith for their efforts on Sound Off (7/29/10) to try to explain the issues concerning changes to the governance of Central Peninsula Hospital.

Questions remain: First, why all the fuss about what might happen? This entire brouhaha has its roots in speculations about what the future holds. Whose idea was it to employ Mr. Orlikoff to tell us, based on what might happen, that our current governance system "sucks." Mr. Orlikoff is senior consultant to the American Hospital Association, a trade association dedicated to the political interests of corporate hospitals. What would one expect Mr. Orlikoff to tell the board of our community-owned hospital?

Second, why has CPH not used its excess funds to start a full-service Hospice for our area? We certainly need one. What better place to put all those thousands of dollars being given away to various others.

Third, does anyone believe that selling 51 percent or more of our hospital will really allow any degree of local control? We may retain some sort of advisory board, but that's all it would be -- advisory. When push comes to shove, 51 percent is controlling interest, and the board of the 51 percent will call the shots.

Finally, does anyone remember what happened when Heritage Place was no longer profitable for Banner Health? Yes, our Borough Assembly stepped up to the plate and bought Heritage Place, but what might have happened otherwise? Where would our seniors be housed today? What's to prevent some for-profit or non-profit owner of 51 percent or more of our hospital, which now operates Heritage Place, from shutting Heritage Place down? From going out of the nursing home

business in our area? What guarantee would we have that our seniors would enjoy an area nursing home?

Questions remain . . . .

John Nelson, Soldotna

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