Friday, June 12, 2009

Saving San Leandro Hospital 2: Key Meeting on Monday, June 15th

Next Monday there is an extremely important meeting on the future of San Leandro Hospital. Here is a copy of an email message Doug Jones of our community sent today. Please come to the library and speak out in favor of keeping emergency room services at the hospital.
While the calls and contacts to the Supervisors will have value, I believe it would be wise to presume that the County will not retract its offer before Monday and that the District Board will vote at Monday's EXTREMELY IMPORTANT Eden Township Healthcare District Board meeting whether or not to accept the County's offer. Everyone possible must be at this meeting. Bring your family, friends and neighbors and their families.

Monday, June 15th, 6:00 pm
San Leandro Main Library, Karp Room
300 Estudillo Avenue, San Leandro

We should also make phone calls/emails to the following District members:

Dr. Walter Kran- 510 357 5836
It would be valuable to remind Dr. Kran that San Leandro Hospital has been a valuable player in Alameda County health care for 50 years (he has been there for much of that time). Approving any outcome which does away with its 24-hour ER and full acute care services would be hurtful to both District and County residents.

Dr. Harry Dvorsky- 510 483 0801
isobeld@aol. com
His wife, Isabel Dvorsky, is also a public official, and should be spoken to if Dr. Dvorsky is unavaliable.

Dr. Rajendra Ratnesar- 510 881 8291
rratnesar@aol. com
A story in the Daily Review this week reveals Dr. Ratnesar will be allowed to participate in Monday's vote despite the fact that Sutter Health paid him up to $100,000 in 2008 for the Medical Director position he currently holds; the story pointed out that Sutter would be eliminating a potential acute care competitor if it successfully closed the hospital. Ratnesar should be pressured to do the right thing and recuse himself from voting on any proposal regarding the future of San Leandro Hospital, regardless of the legal opinion of the Healthcare District Attorney. It is apparent that the community he serves has made its wishes known in the firmest way possible that any exploration of the future of SLH needs to include its continued operation as a full-service acute care hospital and 24-hour ER. If he is seen to act and vote in ways which create any other outcome, not only will health c are in our region be damaged, but public faith in the Healthcare District will be permanently destroyed.

The CEO of the Healthcare District does not vote, but does serve and guide the Board members:

Dev Mahadevan- 538 2033
dmahavevan@ethd. org
Ask him to intervene to prevent Dr. Ratnesar from voting, based on the appearance of corruption from the story. Also, if you wish you may let him know that his Healthcare District has allowed itself to be drawn into Sutter's desire to maintain secrecy while spending many months negotiating with the County Agency. This has resulted in an attempt to engineer an outcome which is extraordinarily unpopular with the citizens of the District he serves, and place the health care needs of the entire County at risk. This needs to be avoided in the future by allowing the community to participate in deciding its health care future, even if Sutter wishes for the elected members of the Eden To wnship Healthcare District to ignore us. The District owes its duty to us, not to Sutter.

Here is the Daily Review article that Doug refers to:
In his professional life, former surgeon Rajendra Ratnesar is a Sutter Health employee, working as medical director for quality care at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley. In his political life, Ratnesar is an elected director of the Eden Township Healthcare District, which owns San Leandro Hospital and leases it to Sutter and Eden Medical Center. And, on June 15, Ratnesar — as chairman — will lead directors in voting on Sutter's proposal to convert the hospital from a full-service medical facility into Alameda County-operated rehabilitation and urgent care centers.

The current San Leandro Hospital emergency room, as an example, would be closed. While Sutter financial documents show San Leandro Hospital is a money loser, the directors' endorsement of its proposal could eliminate a source of future competition to a new $300 million hospital Sutter plans to build on the Eden Medical Center site.

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