Posted by Jack Hickey, a resident of the Woodside: Emerald Hills neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2013 at 11:51 am
A press release (appended below with my annotations in capital letters) from the Sequoia Healthcare District produced an article in the Daily Journal on February 20, 2013 Web Link braces for major changes to health care
My response, published today as "Sequoia Healthcare District — masters of deceit" follows:
Editor, in "District braces for major changes to health care" (SMDJ 2/20/2013) you say:
"Elected officials with the Sequoia Healthcare District are bracing for uncertainty as they grapple with the implications of the federal Affordable Care Act..."
The Sequoia Healthcare District has been faced with an uncertain future ever since the grand Jury exposed their continued use of property tax dollars to fund pseudo-philanthropic activities never intended by voters in the 1996 Measure "H" election. See: Web Link
You included a statement from the District's press release in which CEO, Lee Michelson refers to Dignity Health as "operator" of Sequoia Hospital. They "own" Sequoia Hospital! And, the District is still collecting property taxes originally assessed to build, operate and maintain Sequoia Hospital.
The $100,000/year PR efforts of the Sequoia Healthcare District are deceitful if not criminal. See: Web Link
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE FROM
SEQUOIA HEALTHCARE DISTRICT
LEADERSHIP CHANGES, FINANCIAL STABILITY
FEATURES OF 2013 SEQUOIA HEALTHCARE DISTRICT
REDWOOD CITY, CA/Feb. 6, 2013 — The transition of Sequoia Healthcare District board leadership to President Gerald Shefren, M.D. and Vice-president Art Faro is expected to reinforce board policy that returns more to the community in services and financial support than the district raises in property tax and maintains administrative overhead at approximately 5 percent of budget.
In voting Feb. 6 Shefren moved up from Vice-president to succeed Kim Griffin, Faro was elected Vice-president and Katie Kane returned as Secretary-Treasurer.
Presenting his State of the District message at the same time, District CEO Lee Michelson reported that the district last year spent $10.3 million on programs on $8.3 million in tax revenues. A contractual payment from Dignity Health, operator of Sequoia Hospital, and reserves provided the balance of spending.
WHAT MICHELSON FAILS TO MENTION, IS THAT DISTRICT EXPENDITURES WERE $11.6 MILLION. WHAT IS ALSO DECEIVING IS THE FACT THAT MUCH OF THE PROGRAM EXPENDITURE DID NOT BENEFIT RESIDENTS OF THE DISTRICT. Web Link
President Shefren was top vote-getter in the 2010 election to the board, and previously served as a member of the board of Sequoia Health Services. Sequoia Health Services was an entity created during the transition from Sequoia Healthcare District’s ownership of Sequoia Hospital to its ownership by the non-profit Catholic Healthcare West (CHW). CHW recently implemented a corporate change and emerged as Dignity Health.
PRESIDENT SHEFREN WAS FIRST ELECTED TO A TWO YEAR SEAT OF THE SEQUOIA HEALTHCARE DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS IN 2000, WAS RE-ELECTED IN NOVEMBER 2002 AND SERVED AS PRESIDENT FROM FEBRUARY TO APRIL OF 2003, RESIGNING HIS SEAT ON APRIL 5, 2003 Web Link
The association with Sequoia Hospital continues through Vice-president Faro, who was Sequoia CEO through its transfer to CHW in the late 90s and currently serves as Sequoia Hospital Board Chairman. Fact: ART FARO AND KATIE KANE'S ASSOCIATION WITH SEQUOIA HOSPITAL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DISTRICT, AND MAY CONSTITUTE A CONFLICT OF INTEREST WHEN THE DISTRICT BOARD VOTES ON SUBSIDIES TO THE HOSPITAL.
Director Kim Griffin, a pediatric cardiology nurse in private practice, became board President in the second year of her first four-year term and served as President for the last two years. Griffin was re-elected in November, 2012 and began her second four-year term in January, 2013.
“It was a privilege and valuable learning experience to serve in a leadership role for the district board,” Griffin said. “I have the utmost confidence in the new officers and look forward to another productive four years as a board member.”
Griffin’s tenure saw significant changes in several Sequoia Healthcare District programs. She oversaw implementation and expansion of HeartSafe’s placement of state-of-the-art Lucas® chest compression devices, an expansion which helped get one of these devices into every fire department in the healthcare district.
The district also expanded the Code Blue® AED tower to include a special installation at the Woodside Fire Department, which gives anyone 24/7/365 instantaneous voice access to emergency personnel
Most recently Griffin helped San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President Adrienne Tissier break ground on the county’s new medical-dental facility in North Fair Oaks. Sequoia Healthcare District made a $4.3 million grant to the county to help get the facility built.
President Shefren said he is “very pleased with the direction the district has gone in terms of tighter controls on how we make grants and with the accountability the board has displayed to the community. We have the responsibility to invest tax dollars with careful oversight and management controls,” he said.
“As for the future, in the next two to three years the board has to understand the implications of the (federal) Affordable Care Act and how it affects the care delivery systems in the district which may require changes in our strategy.
“We have to make sure that our activities are in sync with the major changes that will be occurring in healthcare.”
Director Faro also emphasized he was pleased in the board’s expression of confidence in electing him Vice-president.
“My goals are to continue the great work that Kim Griffin and Jerry Shefren have done as board officers in enhancing the health of our community,” Faro said.
“There are many loopholes in our healthcare delivery system. As best we can, the district should ensure that no citizen in our district goes without preventive and curative care.”
Sequoia Healthcare District board officers serve two-year terms.
About Dr. Shefren
Dr. Shefren attended the University of Iowa for his undergraduate training and then the University of Illinois School of Medicine. He spent 2 years in the United States Army stationed in Vietnam and Hawaii following his internship at the University of Texas Hermann Hospital. His residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology was served at George Washington University, following which he was in private practice for almost 25 years at both Stanford and El Camino Hospitals. DHe has held administrative roles with El Camino Hospital, the Camino Medical Group, and Lifeguard Healthplan. In 2001 he returned to Stanford as the Chief of the General Gynecology Division in the Stanford Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and later served as Vice President of Ambulatory Care for Stanford Hospital and Clinics until 2008.
About Art Faro
Art Faro earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Vermont and his master’s in business administration at George Washington University.
Director Faro retired as Chief Executive Officer of Sequoia Hospital and currently serves as Chair of the Sequoia Hospital Board of Directors
Active in the community for many years, he is past president of the Sequoia Awards Board of Directors, honorary member of the Sequoia Hospital Foundation, former board member of the Redwood City-San Mateo County and San Carlos Chambers of Commerce, former Chair of the American Heart Association, Western States and San Mateo and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives
Sequoia Healthcare District provides major funding to numerous non-profit community health organizations that directly assist more than 50,000 women, children and seniors in the district, which includes the cities of Atherton, Belmont, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, Woodside, and portions of San Mateo and Foster City from Skyline Boulevard to the Bay.