Public Demands Transparency from Mendocino Coast District Hospital Board of Directors

 Squandered opportunities or falling down the rabbit hole??

Editorial by Marianne McGee, MA/ABS

Public Comments at this Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) Board meeting from community members was passionate, confrontational, articulate and challenged the leadership to keep Interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) John Parigi.  Apparently, CEO Bob Edwards decided to let him go without a permanent CFO in place and appeared to obfuscate his critical findings.

These speakers are very engaged people, who attend most MCDH meetings, and are demanding that hospital leadership utilize the fiscal information Mr. Parigi has uncovered and implement his ideas to correct the fiscal problems he has identified.

While for the last 16 months the public has been lead to believe the MCDH fiscal crisis was the 1.4 million dollar loss in Obstetrics, Mr. Parigi has identified millions of dollars in coding, billing, materials mismanagement as well as ineffective processes and systems.

Without fail, the Public Comment speakers praised the content, clarity and transparency of Interim CFO John Parigi’s 4 month deep dive into the Mendocino Coast District Hospital’s ongoing financial crisis.

His willingness to be open and honest, as well as the amazing results of his objective overview began to make some of us think there is hope to recover millions of dollars and stabilize our financial situation.  His reward was to be dismissed by Mr. Edwards, apparently prior to the MCDH Board ratifying his decision since the bylaws were changed to provide Board oversight of the CFO.

Additionally, it appears that CEO Edwards tried to stifle communications, insisting the at the Board meeting that Mendocino TV should not have reported and recorded the MCDH Finance Committee meeting, since there are only 6 members and only 3 were present. Moreover, Mendocino TV was scheduled to interview Mr. Parigi and CEO Edwards shut that down, claiming MCDH policy was that only Doug Shald, the new Marketing & PR Director, can speak to media representatives.

. While the majority of the comments were in praise and support of Mr. Parigi, speakers also addressed the following issues:

  • Need to keep Interim CFO until his assessment is complete & training new CFO
  • No plan for CFO secession, transition & continuity.
  • Terminating CEO Bob Edwards.
  • Questioning Dr. Lucas Campos’ residency, absences & employment since he is no longer with Summit Pain Alliance and the North Coast Family Health Clinic.
  • Measure C Parcel Tax for MCDH.
  • Lack of transparency, trust and leadership.
  • Need for Fiscal Responsibility including providing objective empirical data, plans to address the many fiscal problems including accurate reports, equipment & staffing needs and system revisions.

In August 2016 the MCDH Board contracted a telephone survey to assess the political climate for a $200 parcel tax.  The results indicated that while people were most supportive of the need for Emergency Department and Obstetrics, there were not 67% of yes voters to pass it.  The latest telephone survey to measure voter support again, at the $144 per parcel tax had, roughly the same level of support.  Ironically, while voters indicated they were now better informed about MCDH, they had even less support for Staff & Board leadership than previously indicated.

It appears to Mendocino TV that MCDH has squandered the public’s time, attention and support by chasing after the Obstetrics debacle, acting in a manner that has resulted in a lawsuit against the leadership, obfuscating the real financial crisis, firing long time staff and the CFO and not being transparent.  Instead of spending the last 18 months building trust and transparency by providing candid information, potential solutions and education, time and good will have further deteriorated.

Now, with less than 3 months before the Parcel Tax vote, they are asking taxpayers to blindly trust this leadership to spend these monies wisely.  This money will only scratch the surface of the MCDH financial problems and it will be allocated by an unknown Board of Directors, because at least 3 of these seats are up for election in November.

Watch this 2 part intriguing video clips and draw your own conclusions!  You can search this website for all MCDH Board & Committee meetings over the last several years.  Please contact us with your comments on our site.  Please help us build healthy communities by being educated and engaged with our local hospital district!


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