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French Hospital

Interesting segment on the Monday show as we spent 90 minutes discussing French Hospital in San Luis Obispo. Jeff Wheelwright, former science editor of LIFE magazine and author of several nonfiction books, lives in Morro Bay. He discussed the recent treatment of a family member at French, which Jeff found less than satisfactory. He made it clear that the next time, his family would go to Sierra Vista instead.

Karen Velie from UncoveredSLO.com sat in on the discussion since she posted an article on their web site over the weekend, citing anonymous employees at French who are dismayed that their CEO earns $1 million a year in salary and allegedly has a second full-time job in San Diego. French Hospital employees complain that they are routinely asked to solicit donations from the community because all the hospital money is going to the CEO salary. Employees also told Karen that indigent patients are now turned away from French and dumped on other local hospitals.

Jeff’s concern was the broader trend towards doctors becoming “hospitalists” where everything is influenced by the dollar and medical decisions now become business decisions.

Following the broadcast, French Hospital issued the following statement to KVEC:

“French Hospital stands by our commitment to deliver compassionate, high-quality, affordable health services, to serve and advocate for our sisters and brothers who are poor and disenfranchised, and to partner with others in the community to improve the quality of life. We are very proud of our record of service to San Luis Obispo County.

French Hospital has been recognized by Avatar, a national leader in patient satisfaction research receiving awards two years in a row for exceeding patient expectations. In 2007, French Hospital provided nearly $5 million in community benefits and care for the poor. Quality data reported for fiscal year ending June 2007 by national and state sources shows French Hospital performing in patient experience and core quality measures with superior and above average scores.

We routinely participate in public reporting projects and fully support initiatives that promote transparency, facilitate improvement in patient care and enable consumers to make informed choices about their health care.

We have great respect for and are fully transparent with legitimate media sources that provide balanced reporting and utilize reliable sources to ascertain facts to support their stories. We strongly believe that Ms. Veile has misrepresented the facts and twisted the truth for some unknown purpose.

If any person has questions, concerns or issues about French Hospital, we welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues in an appropriate setting where a productive dialogue can be assured.”

We are proud to be San Luis Obispo’s only not-for-profit hospital. “

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  1. Anonymous
    January 29, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    So why not ask French Hospital for equal time on your show? Then ask the tough questions you prepare live on air.

    There are alot of GOOD things happening at French in my opinion…and some of the finest staff, including excellent Nurses.

    The heart program is now REALLY updated & state of the art.

    So…would like to hear from the Hospital…Just because the CEO makes a LOT of money is no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water so to speak!

    Perhaps just like the COUNTY & CITY of SLO….the hospital needs to pay that amount to stay competitive with other hospitals to get the best CEO. I certainly don’t know…but it would be good to hear from French!

  2. Dave Congalton
    January 29, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    After booking the show with Jeff and Karen, I immediately notified Megan Maloney at French Hospital about the planned segment. We agreed that French would be given equal time to respond if they so chose.

    They’ve issued this statement and I am posting it and will read it on my show.

    As I indicated at the beginning of the segment, I’ve had two operations at French (eye-related) and I have nothing but good things to say about them. Obviously Jeff and Karen feel differently and they are entitled to their opinions!

  3. Anonymous
    January 29, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    We have great respect for and are fully transparent with legitimate media sources that provide balanced reporting and utilize reliable sources to ascertain facts to support their stories. We strongly believe that Ms. Veile has misrepresented the facts and twisted the truth for some unknown purpose.

    Just like in politics today all these lib reporter s all quote “a close friend”…

    French Hospital is right! Why not quote your sources? Please don’t give that lame answer…”to protect them” That goose won’t fly!

    Karen has a website to build and a mortgage to pay…this kind of reporting is not good for anyone!

    Quote the sources or don’t print it.

    We are smarter than to fall for that!

  4. Rich from Paso
    January 29, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    I had foot surgery there last year and the care was excellent. It was outpatient and I was there and gone in four hours with zero problems. French is aces in my book. But it is like Dave said, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

  5. Anonymous
    January 30, 2008 at 2:00 am

    Nice response from French, of course they did not respond to anything discussed or address any of the issues Karen brought up and they do not want to discuss them.
    They talk about 5 million to the local community but what they do not mention is what they call charity for profit hospitals call uncollected charges.
    Why not compare the stats from all 4 hospitals in the county.

  6. Anonymous
    January 30, 2008 at 2:02 am

    Is a million a year too much? Can we compare other hospitals in the area?

  7. Anonymous
    January 30, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Any single patient can have a bad experience at a hospital based on one doctor or nurse or just bad luck….it is ridiculous to make conclusions about local hospitals based on one person’s anecdote. As for the employees’ concerns, it may be true that the CEO makes big bucks, but that is not out of line with what other CEO’s make, and is a minute fraction of the operating budget of a hospital. Hospital employees grumble everywhere, in fact, I’d venture to say they are happier at French than elsewhere, based on my extensive observation. French is not perfect, but it’s a lot better than it used to be, and is improving on an ongoing basis…and certainly compares favorably with Sierra Vista overall

  8. Anonymous
    January 30, 2008 at 5:44 am

    You guys (Congalton Show & Uncoveredslo.com)are quickly scratching each other’s back….

    Dave promotes them & they provide him with fodder for his radio show…It’s too darn close for my comfort zone. And this is only the beginning.

    Dave…you provide a service to the community…no doubt about it…and you have grown…and come a long way. But there seems to be an itch to be edgy with you lately…that is rather unbecoming.

    That is why when you were celebrating Youth Pastor Doug’s birthday today…folks loved it…because it WAS “hometown radio”….the kind we would like to hear MORE of….but this trying to see the BAD in stuff….without all the facts….is not why we listen to the show….and according to many folks I talk to….they turn the dial off….when you go that route.

    No one is perfect….and I feel French would be the first to say they are not perfect either…BUT they have come a LONG way…..and they have survived a very hard time for a number of years….and now are just coming out of that dark period to become AGAIN what they used to be known for….THE place that folks in the know wanted to be taken care of during a time of medical crisis. I have no doubt that they will survive your critical scrutiny….though probably not deserved…..Just remember that just because YOU want them on your radio show etc…doesn’t mean they are bad if they decline….everyone & every business deals with an assault differently.

    And just remember that your disclaimers….are just your disclaimers…..YOU did finally decide to go this route.

    Too bad there wasn’t more money to be made by celebrating the GOOD instead of beating the bushes for negatives. Maybe you should ask yourself….prior to exploiting something….”Would this be something Pastor Doug would have on his show?” I think he would not waste his precious life going towards the negative.

    I hope that you can ponder what has been said here with an open & thoughtful heart….as I want “hometown radio” to be the best it can be….and you to continue to thrive & be blessed with a happy heart as well. Peace & good health to you & yours.

  9. SLO Nurse
    January 30, 2008 at 5:57 am

    I am an RN who worked at French Hospital. I left a little over a year ago. I was not happy with the management at that hospital.

  10. Dave Congalton
    January 30, 2008 at 6:12 am

    Anonymous,

    Thank you for your heartfelt critique of my show, but please allow me to respond.

    Everyone is piling on uncoveredslo.com, and I made it clear when Dan and Karen first appeared on the show earlier this month that I WANT that kind of relationship with them. I don’t have the resources for investigative segments, so if they have something good, then I want them on the show. I have every confidence in Karen Velie and Dan Blackburn.

    But the letter from John Ronca I read tonight, the memo posted from Megan Maloney, and the posts to this blog all overlook Jeff Wheelwright, the former Science editor of Life magazine, now living in Morro Bay. The Monday segment on French stemmed from Jeff, not Karen.

    Jeff, who is one of the smartest, most intelligent people I’ve ever met, had a family member who received less than proper treatment at Frenchin December. He tried to write about it for The Tribune, but they REFUSED to publish his essay.
    He had no other venue, so he came to me.

    We share the microphone on Hometown Radio. We are a forum for local OPINION. Jeff Wheelwright has the right to be heard. Karen Velie has the right to be heard. I have no beef with French Hospital, having had two surgeries there.

    I’ve offered French the chance to repond on the radio, but they won’t — they don’t want to take the phone calls. Fine, but the letter from John Ronca ignored the basic tenets of the issues raised by Karen: (1) Does the French CEO have a second job in San Diego (2) is his $1 million salary an home buyout excessive and creating undue burden on the hospital (3) are patients being turned away from French because they lack insurance and (4) has this hospital turned in to too much of a business.

    What’s wrong with a dialogue on these issues? Believe me, UncoveredSLO will be posting more articles and we will discuss it more on the radio.

    The segment with Youth Pastor Doug today was an all-time classic and will live with me for the rest of my days, but humor and entertainment are not the sole purpose of this broadcast. We aim to educate, stimulate, and, yes, sometimes even to infuriate.

    Today, we had Doug for 90 minutes, California primary for 60 minutes, 30 minutes with the C-Span folks, 30 minutes on French rebuttal and 30 minutes helping a friend decide where to get married on the Central Coast.

    We mix up the topics and do it all with passion. You will never agree with me on everything I say and do — I’d be worried if you did. But I would not be doing my job if I didn’t raise issues worthy of discussion.

    If people tune out on certain topics, fine. Believe me, others will tune in. You can’t program for the masses. You have to trust your guy and follow your heart.

  11. Dave Congalton
    January 30, 2008 at 6:14 am

    Anonymous,

    Thank you for your heartfelt critique of my show, but please allow me to respond.

    Everyone is piling on uncoveredslo.com, and I made it clear when Dan and Karen first appeared on the show earlier this month that I WANT that kind of relationship with them. I don’t have the resources for investigative segments, so if they have something good, then I want them on the show. I have every confidence in Karen Velie and Dan Blackburn.

    But the letter from John Ronca I read tonight, the memo posted from Megan Maloney, and the posts to this blog all overlook Jeff Wheelwright, the former Science editor of Life magazine, now living in Morro Bay. The Monday segment on French stemmed from Jeff, not Karen.

    Jeff, who is one of the smartest, most intelligent people I’ve ever met, had a family member who received less than proper treatment at Frenchin December. He tried to write about it for The Tribune, but they REFUSED to publish his essay.
    He had no other venue, so he came to me.

    We share the microphone on Hometown Radio. We are a forum for local OPINION. Jeff Wheelwright has the right to be heard. Karen Velie has the right to be heard. I have no beef with French Hospital, having had two surgeries there.

    I’ve offered French the chance to repond on the radio, but they won’t — they don’t want to take the phone calls. Fine, but the letter from John Ronca ignored the basic tenets of the issues raised by Karen: (1) Does the French CEO have a second job in San Diego (2) is his $1 million salary an home buyout excessive and creating undue burden on the hospital (3) are patients being turned away from French because they lack insurance and (4) has this hospital turned in to too much of a business.

    What’s wrong with a dialogue on these issues? Believe me, UncoveredSLO will be posting more articles and we will discuss it more on the radio.

    The segment with Youth Pastor Doug today was an all-time classic and will live with me for the rest of my days, but humor and entertainment are not the sole purpose of this broadcast. We aim to educate, stimulate, and, yes, sometimes even to infuriate.

    Today, we had Doug for 90 minutes, California primary for 60 minutes, 30 minutes with the C-Span folks, 30 minutes on French rebuttal and 30 minutes helping a friend decide where to get married on the Central Coast.

    We mix up the topics and do it all with passion. You will never agree with me on everything I say and do — I’d be worried if you did. But I would not be doing my job if I didn’t raise issues worthy of discussion.

    If people tune out on certain topics, fine. Believe me, others will tune in. You can’t program for the masses. You have to trust your gut and follow your heart.

  12. slo doc
    January 30, 2008 at 6:48 am

    It’s a bunch of garbage that French turns people away because of lack of insurance…it just is not true. I’m sorry that Mr. Wheelwright’s family member had a bad time at French, but one cannot judge an entire hospital by one person’s experience, nor by one person’s biased opinion clouded by the stress of a loved one’s illness. I’m sure that if that person’s care was suboptimal, it will be analyzed to the nth degree to be sure that similar problems do not recur. As has been said, French is not perfect, but it has a dedicated staff committed to improvement.

  13. Dave Congalton
    January 30, 2008 at 6:58 am

    Here’s the section in question from Uncovered SLO.com about patient treatment at French:

    “The French employee contends that the number of uninsured patients requesting and receiving care has declined under the direction of CHW.

    “We do not have docs on paid call,” the employee said. “So when an emergency comes in that needs a specialist, we call the specialist and if the patient does not have insurance, they decline to come in. Then we have to transfer the patient to one of the two for profit hospitals as they guarantee that a specialist will come in regardless of patients’ ability to pay. And of course, we also are exempt from taxes as a nonprofit.”

    She characterized the practice as “a scam.”

    California hospital care statistics support the employee’s claim. In 2002 and 2003, prior to Catholic Healthcare West acquiring French Hospital in 2004, not a single patient who registered at French Hospital’s emergency room left without being seen by a health care provider, according to the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development’s Annual Utilization Report of Hospitals (ALIRTS).

    However, by 2005, following the 2004 change in ownership to a nonprofit with a “mission of healing,” those numbers climbed. In 2005, 53 would be patients left without being examined and in 2006, 65 registered patients left the hospital without a medical evaluation, according to ALIRTS.”

  14. Anonymous
    January 30, 2008 at 7:31 am

    The person being quoted is uninformed and inaccurate…Hospitals in general rarely send people away for lack of insurance as it risk being cited for violations of (state?) code. I’ve never seen French do so. Similarly, when the ER calls a doctor to see a patient, they don’t tell them whether the patient has insurance or not-the scenario being painted is fiction. Your ALIRTS stats are likely artifactual as well. I suspect the numbers pre-CHW are inaccurate, as there is no hospital where patients never leave without being seen, but it’s not because the hospital sends them away, it’s usually that they get tired of waiting–again, French’s numbers are quite strong in this area. Admittedly, there are transfers that occur when there aren’t doctors available to handle a given problem, but that occurs at all of the local hospitals at various times–you may have read about the local doctor shortage. Not that I know everything that goes on, but I’ve been working at most of the local hospitals for many years, and support them all, and most of what is contained in this discussion is invalid.

  15. Downtown Bob
    January 30, 2008 at 7:37 am

    Dave: I find it somewhat amusing that certain individuals (they all seem to comment here anonymously) who will question everything about a story like this except the results and the conclusions. Shoot the messenger, every time simply because they don’t want to believe what they are reading. The parts of the story that seem the most outrageous concern the salary of the CEO (it is a not-for-profit), the real estate loan to the CEO that was forgiven, the phony (in appearance) pleas by the employees for funds for new equipment, but the worst looking part of the reported story is the part about the turning away of those without insurance- by a not for profit facility! But these components of the story can’t be true, can they? No, no, no- this was done by a former reporter for New Times, and she is “reporting” it on a website of all places, so it has to be wrong or flawed, somehow. NOT. All of the anonymouses who want this story to be wrong seem to ignoring the possibility that everything reported was true. I will allow for the possibility that none of the story is true, but that extreme position is only for those who possess the unfailing ability to ignore facts. I for one would like to see some investigation by those in a position of authority to see if any laws have been broken or rules governing how not-for-profits are supposed to be run. Karen, good job, keep it up. Dave, please keep bringing up stories like this. Anonymices, keep your heads where the sun doesn’t shine and humming, reality can be so nasty.

  16. Anonymous
    January 30, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Downtown Bob and Dave believe Karen’s story to be fair and accurate because she used to have a reporter’s job. I too hate the “kill the messenger” mentality of the general public.

    Yet Karen is hardly a reputable reporter. Her work is sloppy, her writing tedious and her sources have always been suspect. One of the reasons she was fired from the New Times is that her stories were sub standard. She already had bashed French with a story that turned out not to be true (a homeless fellow claimed to have been denied service).

    French may indeed have problems. I don’t know. Neither does Karen. The CEO’s salary seems out of line but again, I don’t know. In this world you are worth what you can get. If KVEC offered Dave a million a year (which would be way out of line for the area) would he turn it down?

    As for French declining to go on the air, that is their choice. I agree with it. Nothing to gain by acknowledging a stupid blog. Like your show Dave, blogs are just opinion. Not Fact. If I were French I would simply monitor both your blog and uncovered’s blog, print the pages and slap a libel suit on Dan, Karen and you too Dave. Even if found innocent it will certainly make you all more careful in what you print (and say). You all do like owning your own home don’t you?

    Dave, you pretend to be dragged into the middle of this (you said so on your show yesterday) but you jumped in with both feet.

    Jeff Wheelwright’s situation is more tangible. It is an actual incident and French needs to talk with him and learn from his experience. It is what all good institutions do. Quality control and customer feedback. He sounds like just the sort of individual they could learn from and if they don’t shame on them.

    I don’t suppose this will actually get published. Many of my posts don’t. Some rather innocuous ones so I think there may be technical difficulties.

    Here is to keeping healthy!

  17. Dave Congalton
    January 30, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Anonymous (Above)

    Of course, if we knew who you were, that might explain the motive behind your incorrect comments, but I don’t make that a criteria for posting. If your previous posts didn’t make it, they were either (1) off-topic, or (2) offensive, though perhaps there were technical issues.

    I never said Karen Velie or Jeff Wheelwright are correct. I am saying that they have the right to be heard and the right to their opinion. The response seems to be to throw mud at Karen instead of responding to the issues she raises. I’m not suggesting that that is correct, but what is the deal with the French CEO having a second full-time job in San Diego and how does a nonprofit hospital justify such an enormous salary? Why are you Anonymice so afraid of someone asking questions?

    I’m going to have to assume that you work for New Times since you claim such inside knowledge about what happened to Karen. If you don’t work for New Times, then you’ve been hearing stuff second and third hand and you are once again incorrect.

    If it wasn’t for Karen Velie’s reporting, none of the stuff about the secret Wal Mart deal in Atascadero would have broken. But, again, since you’re Anonymous, we can’t compare credentials, can we?

    When UncoveredSLO.com was announced, one of the first calls Karen got was from Bob Rucker, New Times publisher, wanting to adverise on their web site. Really? So your suggestion about Karen is incorrect. Why don’t your focus on the issues she raises?

    It doesn’t matter to me whether French officials come on the show, or not, but I want it clear that they were offered the chance.

    Finally, you know as much about the law as you do how media functions. Libel only applies if people print something they know to be false. I would welcome nothing more than a lawsuit from my friend John Ronca at French Hospital. It’s always good to see my name in New Times, which really should change their name to Good Times since that’s all they care about reporting.

  18. Rich from Paso
    January 31, 2008 at 4:08 am

    Some quick observations:

    French Hosiptal is not-for-profit; that does not apply to the CEO nor any other employee at French. Not-for-profit simply means that there is no investors to expect dividends or ROI on an investment. That does not mean that the hospital doesn’t turn a profit, only that any profits get put into labor, the hospital or overhead. There are thousands of not-for-profit organizations that pay huge salaries to their CEOs. The American Red Cross pays their top dog millions to hold that job and most don’t have any background in medicine or health care.

    I,too, am skeptical of the “unnamed source” that always appears in hit pieces. I don’t know who this French employee, have no idea in what context their story is or if they even exist, only that the reporter claims this unnamed person witnessed the event.

    French should take the opportunity to educate the public on what they can expect if they enter the doors of French Hospital with an emergency. It would be good PR for French and alliviate any misgivings that the public may have stemming from this piece. To not do so has the affect of lending credence to the assertions made in the article, i.e guilt by lack of refutation.

    Don’t really care about New Times and who did what to whom with regard to their hiring and firing practices.

    Beyond all that, until more tangible alligations come to light I would expect to hear very little from French. I’m sure they think this is muchado about nothing and will expect the report nt to have legs and simply go away.

  19. Anonymous
    January 31, 2008 at 4:30 am

    Dave,
    You are taking a beating lately. In my opinion it is because you have lost your credibilty.

    I believe you have to start dealing with that, or who knows what the outcome will be.

    Objectivity is the key and it should be your goal. Nuts like smbill and code pinko and the rest of that ilk have damaged your reputation.

    Dout me if you want, but it is how I see it. Stop defending your postion and the sides you take with your buddies and get back in the saddle.

    Just like the Clintons have lost credibility because of their careless handling of the “truths”, you also may be in jeopardy.

    Think about it.

  20. Dave Congalton
    January 31, 2008 at 5:33 am

    Anonymous (Above)

    No, I’m not taking a beating. I give absolutely zero impact to Anonymice posters on this blog. For all I know it’s all the same person and it’s clear from some of the arguments that people posting are an exterior motive.

    I’ve been at this job for 16 years and I’ve seen and heard it all. I’ve gotten hate mail, death threats, crank letters. I’ve been called every name in the book.

    And guess what, pal? I don’t give a single s-h-i-t about any of it. I have the BEST job in the county and I have the luxury of being paid for saying whatever I want, whenever I want. Four hours a day. Five days a week.

    But here’s the difference between you and me. I always put my name to my opinions. I’m not ashamed or afraid to identify myself.

    Too bad you can’t say the same.

  21. Anonymous
    January 31, 2008 at 6:23 am

    Quit calling those you are irritated with “PAL”….pretty please

  22. Anonymous
    January 31, 2008 at 7:03 am

    so your sources can be anonymous…
    but bloggers can’t be…

  23. Dave Congalton
    January 31, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Well, here’s the deal. It makes a difference who is advancing an argument.

    For example, if Mayor Romero were to write in an take me to task, or perhaps Jerry Lenthall, that might give me pause. Here are some men I respect, some people with obvious credibility. If they find fault with my show, well, I guess I might have to re-examine my style. Perhaps.

    But who are the Anonymice. Hmmm. Perhaps you’re Ryan Miller from New Times, out to stick it to Karen, spreading nasty, untrue rumors about her. Or maybe you’re Megan Maloney from French Hospital. Who you are matters in The Great Debate.

    So you can post Anonymously and take all the cheap, petty shots you want. I really don’t care. Or if you have genuine concerns/issues with the show, and you’re interested in sincere, open dialogue, you can email me directly:

    davecongalton@edbroadcasters.com

    Ok, pal?

  24. Rich from Paso
    January 31, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Dave, I really think you should disable the “anonymous” option on your blog. You are right that the anonymous faces that like to throw stones without the repercussions of knowing which porch of which glass house they are thrown from make them bold. If you don’t allow the anon. poster, sure, your posts will drop, but those serious about the debate will at least have to go to the effort fo creating an alias. You are allowing the faceless few to say whatever they want whenever they want and you allow it on your blog when you approve of it. You approve of their posts when you hit the “approve” button as the blog author. So right now you are as much at fault as they are. Level the playing field and make all who post get a blogger ID and make them put a name to their posts. That and watch the double posting; its distracting.

    Just trying to help.

  25. anonymouse
    January 31, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    OK Dave,
    Let’s review this string so far.
    24 posts total
    8 by Dave (33%)
    1 by downtownbob
    1 by SLO Nurse
    1 by SLO Doc
    2 by Pasorich
    10 by anonymous

    Out of these 24 posts only one person is NOT anonymous-That’s you!

    We have no idea who Downtownbob is, nor Pasorich or SLO doc & nurse.

    So what’s with “anonymouse or “anonymice” ignominy?

    The main article written by what clearly seems to be your “friend” names no sources. The entire article is written based on “anonymous” comments made to her.

    She may have credibility with you but that doesn’t mean she has it with everyone. So, when chastised for her attempt to slam a local and very reputable hospital based on “unnamed sources” you seem to want to write that off in her defense quoting chapter and verse of other work which has even more credibility with you…but maybe not “us”.

    When one of the 66% of posts made by anonymous bloggers takes her credibility to task you go ballistic attacking anonymouse posts as “cheap shots”.

    Something smells fishy in Denmark Dave. If the tables were turned and a local but not completely credible reporter attacked you with anonymous sources would you give any credence to those attacks?

    So you seem to want it both ways. If it’s credible to you then any comments to the contrary are “anonymouse” or “anonymice” in your eyes.

    It gets worse when you try to “guess” who some of these bloggers are. I quote:

    “But who are the Anonymice. Hmmm. Perhaps you’re Ryan Miller from New Times, out to stick it to Karen, spreading nasty, untrue rumors about her. Or maybe you’re Megan Maloney from French Hospital.”

    As a journalist do you really think that kind of attack is above the line and appropriate? To many it shows desperation on your part, thus completely compromising your credibility and thus we are left to only one conclusion that there is in fact some kind of collusion between you and the author of the original article.

    Now I have lived in SLO for decades and I can say from my “anonymouse” position that that is NOT a hometown radio approach to a local topic.

    In another vein you state, and I quote:
    “If Mayor Romero were to write in an take me to task, or perhaps Jerry Lenthall, that might give me pause. Here are some men I respect, some people with obvious credibility. If they find fault with my show, well, I guess I might have to re-examine my style. Perhaps.”

    Well Dave that speaks volumes of the value you put on the average public citizen out there. The 99% that make up our “Home Town”.

    I myself like the banter here, anonymice or not! I like different opinions and ideas even those I don’t agree with. But the biased exhibited by the vast majority of the liberal media seems to have crept into the only local talk show & blog.

    French Hospital or any other topic of importance is dwarfed by that revelation of reality.

  26. Dave Congalton
    January 31, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Rich and Anonymous:

    I’ll combine your posts.

    Thanks Rich (whom I know and respect even though we disagree on everything). I understand your point about banning Anonymous posts.

    But this blog is really my equivalent of the Hate Hannity Hotline — my favorite part of his show.

    All the people who hate me and hate my politics can come here 24/7 and just vent and post their cheap shots and rant on about me being a Leftie and accuse me of all sorts of stuff.

    Having gotten it out of their system, then they’ll go out about their lives and perhaps be kinder to you as a result.

    I’ll keep it the way it is, though my time on this thread is unique. I won’t spend this much time on every post, though I am having way too much fun with this amazing arguments Im getting.

    Which bring us to ANONYMOUS:

    OK, I explain one more time — I’m not a journalist. I don’t pretend to be. No how. No way. I’m a talk show host. I deal, not in fact, but opinion.

    Yes, you’ve done a nice job in summarizing and stating the obvious — every one on this thread has either a nickname or you’re Anonymice. I agree. But my point is: I don’t care! It doesn’t matter if you’re a nickname or unnamed — when it comes to attacking me personally, I give these posts zero credibility. You don’t influence me because I have no idea who you are.

    You don’t buy the stuff from French Hospital because it’s Anonymous. I’m just using your criteria.

    And I am telling you that the post on this thread with such detailed information about New Times and Karen Velie is either (1) written by a New Times staffer or (2) someone who was told something by a staffer, meaning it’s second hand or third hand.

    If you go back to the Uncoveredslo.com article, it’s not all from Anonymous sources. Karen uses them merely to confirm her other sources. The CEO has a second job in San Diego — it’s on their web site. Karen provides the stats on patient turn aways from French. His salary is public record.

    So again I post the question (probably the last time as we should move on). Instead of attacking the messenger, why can’t there be a discussion of the issues surrounding French Hospital?

    Perhaps Karen is wrong on every issue. If so, the evidence will come out and we’ll be able to judge it as reasonable rational people.

    All I wanted this week was for Jeff Wheelwright and for Karen to be heard. French Hospital, should they choose has the same right.

  27. Anonymous
    February 1, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Dave said:
    “But my point is: I don’t care! It doesn’t matter if you’re a nickname or unnamed — You don’t influence me because I have no idea who you are.”

    Dave that is well said! It is exactly what we have been trying to tell you! When anonymous sources or posters are quoyted it has no weight with us either!

    I am glad you see why Karen needs to quote sources or move on to another story until she has more evidence.

    My last point is this. It doesn’t matter how much a guy makes. If you are concerned go to the directors of French and take them to task! He is doing his job and cashing paychecks…It’s not like he was caught stealing!

    Ya’ll need a big chill pill with all this “undercover crap”.

    It’s a couple of out of work writers trying to turn a buck.
    No more, no less.

  28. Anonymous
    February 1, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Dave you have show real guts in this issue. CHW through AG hospital is a sponsor of your show yet you do the right thing for the people of SLO county and bring us the truth. If only the Tribune had some guts.

  29. Anonymous
    February 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    OK my apologies to the Tribune they came to the plate in a big way.
    Some of us have to use ANONYMOUS as we are very active in the medical community and frankly using our real names would result in us loosing our jobs. We love French hospital it has been a part of this community for many years we just want it to go back to the principals it had before CHW took over.

  30. Anonymous
    February 4, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Anybody read the front page article in The Tribune yesterday? I think Karen and Dave might have been on to something last week. All the poor patients end up at . . .Sierra Vista according to The Trib.

    Surprise. Surprise.

  31. Anonymous
    February 5, 2008 at 1:42 am

    I guess what many people are missing is the type of control large organizations have on media, even one such as the Trib. As a person who was in the field, and to a certain extent still am, I can certify that publishers are controlled by advertsing bucks. Many do not realize reporters who attempt to uncover stories are often fired for mysterious reasons. Newspapers and radio just do not have the resources to fight the fight. They need the community’s help. Take Atascadero for example, it must have been a nightmare getting public information, as it has been discovered. This takes a lot out of reporters who, most often enough, are making 20-25K a year and are not allowed OT. If you question the story, try to get the information yourself, then criticize the reporters. Find out first hand. I have!

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