Undignified Corporate Takeover ➡ Ashland Community Hospital
S T O P * D I G N I T Y * H E A L T H, 19.10.2012 20:55
Here is the latest on the "Corporate Takeover" in (so-called) progressive Ashland, Oregon!
Following you will find a well written update on how things stand regarding the current takeover of our community hospital. Our city council is run by the chamber of commerce and they line up time and time again to do the bidding for the 1%. The privatization of what we locally have owned continues and it hurts to see this happening not just here, but everywhere.
Wes Brain, Community Organizer
Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice
Keep reading and see the Update about "Ashland City Council: Vote NO on Dignity Health's acquisition of Ashland Community Hospital"
Selling Out OUR Community (Hospital)
October 18, 2012
Update about "Ashland City Council: Vote NO on Dignity Health's acquisition of Ashland Community Hospital"
The Ashland City Council on Tuesday night refused to adopt the two resolutions our community had asked them to consider.
• One would have required that a hospital takeover agreement with Dignity Health protect jobs, services, local control, and patients’ rights under Oregon law.
• The other would have required that the Council and the public be provided with written financial commitments from Dignity and a financial analysis showing what Dignity will spend, how much it believes it will make from the deal, and how it will turn around the hospital’s deficit.
The Council had previously announced an agenda that allocated more than an hour to a presentation by hospital board members but zero time to public input.
But community members had provided these constructive resolutions to the Council in advance and planned to raise them during the 15-minute “public forum” or open microphone period on any topic that is part of every Council meeting (and has been for many years).
To prevent that, the Council took the unprecedented step as the meeting began of abruptly canceling the 15-minute open mic period entirely.
Five council members -- Greg Lemhouse, David Chapman, Dennis Slattery, Michael Morris, and Russ Silbiger -- voted to prevent community residents from speaking to raise the resolutions. Each of them specifically said that the reason for canceling the open mic time was that community members were going to use it to raise issues about the Dignity takeover.
Carol Voisin was the only council member one who voted to let the public be heard.
Voisin asked whether council members would be able to propose amendments to the takeover agreement at the Nov. 6 meeting where a vote will be taken to approve the deal. Mayor John Stromberg and City Administrator Dave Kanner refused to provide that commitment. None of the other five council members spoke up in support of that request, indicating that they do not intend to propose or support amendments.
It is clear that none of the five council members will challenge or question provisions of the takeover agreement such as the following that are spelled out on the city’s website at http://www.ashland.or.us/News.asp?NewsID=2642&utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email
• Even during the first five years, Dignity does not have to maintain current services and has sole authority to make cuts based on the hospital’s financial condition.
• Dignity will have the right to sell, transfer, close, or otherwise dispose of ACH’s assets or to transfer control to another chain.
• Dignity’s funding of ACH is solely up to Dignity, except for a few specific obligations.
• Dignity, not the local board, will have sole power over annual operating and capital budgets and “clinical and strategic realignment decisions.”
• “Substantially all” employees will be offered jobs at first but no time period is specified in the summary for maintaining those jobs. Pay and benefits may be reduced at Dignity’s sole discretion according to what it believes to be “market competitive” rates in the area.
• Patients will lose choices that are permitted by Oregon law, including the right of an ACH clinic doctor to write a prescription for a terminally ill patient under the Death with Dignity law and certain reproductive services that are not consistent with Catholic doctrine.
None of the five council members asked the hospital board Tuesday night for information about proposals that were received from other health systems such as Asante. Or about what happened in Reno, where Dignity bought a hospital five years ago and then sold it this year to a chain that promptly laid off loyal employees and forced others to reapply for their jobs.
If you want to thank Carol Voisin for listening to our community and standing up for those who use and work at the hospital, write to email@example.com
To tell the rest of the Council how you feel, go to http://www.ashland.or.us/contactus.asp
You also can write letters to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
If you have friends who have not signed this petition, they can do so at