Friday, January 21, 2011

You read it here first

Yesterday I made the case for Community joining Upstate at an evening meeting of the Board of the Central New York Health Systems Agency (HSA). The HSA is a health planning agency for the region.

The HSA heard from Community and from Dr. John McCabe, Upstate University Hospital's CEO, as well as from the public. Among those speaking were members of Community's Board of Directors, employees from Community, and officials from 1199SEIU.

You can view the PowerPoint presentations from Dr. McCabe and me by going to the combined Community-Upstate website.

Also addressing the meeting was Ron Lagoe, Executive Director of the Hospital Executive Council (HEC). For almost 30 years the HEC has been the cooperative arm of the four Syracuse hospitals, working together to improve the health care system. The HEC members are Community General Hospital, Crouse Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center, and Upstate University Hospital. Last evening the HEC said "the acquisition of Community General Hospital by University Hospital is consistent with the Hospital Executive Council objectives of improving efficiency and outcomes for regional health services..."

Following the public discussion, the HSA Board of Directors voted unanimously in support of a resolution that supports "the process and development of the proposed affiliation and acquisition of Community General Hospital by Upstate Medical University." The resolution is predicated on continuing services at Community's campus, enhancing the role and mission of Upstate, integrating private practice and teaching responsibilities, considering the suggestions of the public, and continuing to engage the HSA.

Last evening's public discussion was covered by the Post-Standard, YNN, WSYR, and CNY Central, but the news media left before the HSA Board voted -- so you read about it here first.

Earlier this week, I participated in a half-hour discussion about the CGH-Upstate combination with George Kilpatrick, along with Dr. David Duggan, Upstate's Chief Medical Officer. You can see that discussion on WCNY's Central Issues.


Bill said...

Have you seen this comment in the Post-Standard? Are these claims true?

"What most people don't realize is that for all of the CGH employees this is a huge thing & they have every right to be scared!! All employees at CGH will lose their seniority, their pension, their vacation time, take a pay cut, have to reapply for their jobs & then will be temporary employees for 1 year, have to work 10 years to be vested with a pension again, etc. This issue is not as simple as it looks on paper. Yes, CGH has financial issues so in that sense a merger would be helpful. But what about the employees? What about the families of those employees? The possibility of CGH employees being let go after this merger is huge & even if they aren't let go they have to start over from scratch! People who are close to retirement age would have to work an additional 10 years before they could retire & the chances of that happening are slim to none. This is a HUGE decision that should not be entered into lightly. There are 900 people whose lives as they know them & the lives of their familys are at stake here. There has to be a way to make a merger happen where the CGH employees would be protected & not have to start from scratch."

Tom Quinn said...

Thanks for your comment. I certainly understand there are uncertainties and concerns, and we need to deal with them fairly, consistent with the laws, regulations, contracts.

I will have more comments in my next blog posting.

-Tom Quinn