While Rome Burns

bhc-right-sidebar-medium-adWatch a lively and, at times, contentious Mendocino Coast Health Care District (MCHCD) Board of Directors meeting as they made decisions on critical issues impacting the health of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) to a crowd void of concerned citizens.

While there were about 35 people attending, it appeared to be almost exclusively staff and a few MCDH volunteers. Generally lacking members of the public, the only public comments were made by staff, primarily Brenda Ross. She emotionally admonished the Board for not approving Physical Therapy (PT) policies and accused MCDH Physicians of counseling their patients NOT to use MCDH PT facilities.

Another very controversial concern was the state of the MCDH Compliance Plan and its inadequacies including not being up to date and comprehensive enough to protect the hospital. Apparently MCDH was recently heavily fined by the federal government because of a violation. Dr. Bellah pointed out that this unit is severely understaffed for a hospital this size and two of the CEO candidates were well versed on this need.

With Jim Sato’s sudden departure, due to a health issue, and the hiring process for a new CEO not quite completed, Lionel “Chad” Chadwick is the new Interim CEO. While he appears to be very experienced, upon investigation it appears he abruptly left his position at The Hi-Desert Medical Center, a comparable hospital also suffering similar financial problems, due to “irreconcilable incompatibility of management approach” according to the San Bernardino Sentinel. Fortunately, multiple CEO interviews have transpired and the hiring process may be near completion.

There are many other important interesting items that viewing the video will cover. There is a proposal to reduce the one half inch of printed materials to a paperless system; budget updates that project a loss of approximately $800,000 rather than a $200,000 positive bottom line; constructive efforts in the finance department and staff updates. Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Proceedings updates were not available from the earlier closed session because the Board was resuming closed session that night, so obviously they’re working hard to resolve these predicaments.

It’s visible, given the comments, clamor and sometimes debate with the Board by the audience, staff is frustrated. Other than Mendocino TV, it did not appear that any other media was present. The health of Mendocino Coast District Hospital is critical to the health of this community. While people are in an uproar over a radio station, transitional housing, a mall, the waste transfer station and City Hall, the most important institution on this Coast is struggling to survive without witness or input. Without the hospital, this community will wither and die.

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