Friday, August 13, 2004

Rally Fever

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.


3 comments:

Eileen berkun said...

You mean Mike doesn't even write those masterpieces of bureaucratic prose himself? I thought he had at least one skill: torturing the English language -- you mean to say he doesn't even do *that*? What is he good for?

Anonymous said...

Well,well,well. Did Cambio get caught by suprise when the state inspectors showed up? Do you suppose that they actually thought their fine work would go un-noticed? Hey, speaking of work, what have they actually done since February 6th? That fabulous productivity report is garbage and unusable. You can't compare apples to hot dogs and get away with it. Perhaps they could generate some revenue if at the next rally they give us cups and signs to beg for donations. Hey, better yet they could charge us admission to rallies or board meetings. If we didn't do our jobs for 6 months (with pay) we would either be fired or offered a job in administration. The clock is ticking Cambio. How about earning some of those millions your sucking from our poor patients. Remember, we know where to post our part of your resume!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

WELL, I THINK EVERY WORKER AT THE ACMC SHOULD CALL THE HOSPITAL INSPECTORS
EVERY WEEK. BUT LET THE INSPECTORS COME UNEXPECTLY, AND CITING THE ACMC
MEDICAL CENTER AND BILLING TO CAMBIO. THIS WILL GIVE US SOME TIME TO START A
LAWSUIT WITH CAMBIO CONSULTANT FIRM, FOR NEGLECTING THE MEDICAL CENTER AND
JEOPARDIZING PATIENT CARE, IMPROPER MANAGEMENT AND FAILURE TO CONSULT THE
MEDICAL CENTER FOR PROGRESS WITH NO PROSPECT FOR GROWTH. PUT LIKE THIS WE BEEN SCREWED WITH OUT BEING KISS, WITH THIS SITUATION WE NEED TO CONTACT THE
MEDICAL BOARD ASSOCIATION TO INVESTIGATE CAMBIO FIRM AND WHAT CREDENTIAL OR
LICENSE TO RUN A COUNTY HOSPITAL. AND MAYBE WE CAN GET OUR MONEY BACK AND MORE.