Our new leaders, Cambio consulting and the imported executives they flew in to put a kinder gentler face on downsizing have spent most of the week hiding from the hospital inspectors who have been ripping the hospital apart for the last four days. According to staff, the inspectors noticed the staffing shortages, the housekeeping rationing and the sloppy charting that results from lack of management and over reliance on outsourced providers. Ken Cohen, the CEO who the Board of Supervisors ran off a year ago helped the medical center sail through the last inspection with high marks. There was a coordinated effort to prepare the staff and the facility for inspection. Many of the employees Cambio ran off were hired to bring the hospital into compliance with state and federal regulations.
So did Cambio scrub the facility and fatten the staffing in preparation for the scrutiny? Well, no. In fact there had been no consultant or executive sitings for days. For 5 million dollars you don’t just get an empty suit, you get an empty desk, an empty limo and an empty suite at the Hilton. The only sign that most employees get that there is any management is the increased police presence and the weekly memos from Temporary CEO Mike, which contain mostly anti-union rhetoric and pious dribble about fiscal responsibility (as if overworked employees were flushing cash down the toilets on their breaks). It turns out that even Mike’s memos are outsourced to the $100,000 dollar a year public relations firm. So that’s two hundred words a week for a $100,000 dollars a year, that’s $2,000 dollars per memo plus the cost of Mike’s signature. And they’re talking to us about fiscal responsibility! Well, in the interest of teamwork and financial responsibility, the Dirt is officially offering to write the weekly memos for half the cost of our PR firm.
So no one expected the consultants or temporary executives to come out of hiding until the inspectors left, and they certainly did not expect them to attend the Stop the Service Cuts Rally called by the unions, the workers and the community. The fight to see that the spirit and the letter of the Measure “A” initiative is implemented has now attracted national attention. The Reverend Jesse Jackson came to Highland to speak out against the staff and service cuts and to the importance of the medical center, to our community. On August 12 at noon hundreds of healthcare workers, union members, patients, and community members rallied in front of Highland Hospital and chanted:
Hey Hey Ho Ho
Healthcare cuts have got to go!
Standing with the crowd was TCEO Burroughs, Cambio’s Chief Implementation Officer, Susan Crutchfield and Temporary Chief Operating Officer, Claude Watts Jr. Why, the union representatives even gave them sign-in cards and workers say when Jesse led the chant calling for more staff their lips were moving! At the next rally healthcare providers plan to invite them to hold hands.