News Release: Citizens Group Requests Grossmont Healthcare Board Meeting Attendance Logs
Citizens Oversight (2008-08-18) Raymond Lutz
This Page: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M609
Citizens’ Oversight Projects
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 18, 2008
CONTACT: Raymond Lutz, COPS Coordinator, email@example.com/
Citizens Group Requests Grossmont Healthcare Board Meeting Attendance Logs
Board Members' Ignorance of Deaths Implies Hospital Board Meetings Skipped
LA MESA, CA (Aug 18) – Citizens' Oversight Projects (COPs) submitted a formal request for information to the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) today, regarding the number of hospital board meetings attended by district board members or their alternates. Under the California Public Records Act, the GHD is obligated to supply the information.
Last month, Sharp-Grossmont Hospital was cited by the State Department of Health for at least two “preventable deaths.” GHD board members said they knew nothing of these reports until they were reported in the newspaper. Last week, they adopted new procedures to require that additional reports be generated by the hospital on a quarterly basis, and immediate reports made to the GHD CEO, Barry Jantz.
“This new reporting plan sidesteps the main question – how did the GHD Board not know anything at all, given that they are offered seats on the hospital board of directors, unless they never actually go,” Raymond Lutz said, coordinator for COPs and a candidate for the 77th
State Assembly District.
The five members of the GHD Board are provided with full seats on the Sharp-Grossmont Hospital board of directors, and CEO Barry Jantz is offered a seat for informational purposes. However, it seems likely that the GHD Board members do not attend the board meetings of the hospital.
“It seems only appropriate that these elected officials should perform their duty and attend those hospital board meetings. In fact, it should be rare for the elected officials to be absent,” Margaret Carlson said, candidate for the El Cajon City Council. “Four preventable deaths at the hospital is more than embarrassing, it is devastating.”
As a second request in the letter, COPs suggests that the CEO should be obligated to inform the GHD Board if he receives immediate quality assurance reports. “As it stands, the CEO can fail to inform the GHD Board with no repercussion,” Lutz said.
Thirdly, COPs suggests that the level of confidentiality is excessive, and that GHD Board members must be allowed to report egregious violations without violating the terms of the confidentiality agreement.
Finally, COPs enumerated issues regarding the poor transparency by the GHD. “We give the GHD website an 'F' for openness and ease of use. The latest information was nearly a year old, and it treated events in 2006 as current. No meeting notices, agendas, or even instructions for email subscriptions is provided on the site,” Lutz said. “We must watch these guys carefully. Frankly, they're out of line.”
--Raymond Lutz is a Candidate for the 77th