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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Reader Points out Huntington Hospital Election for Unionization is Imminent; Says local weekly newspaper article contained many inaccuracies

Reader Points out Huntington Hospital Election for Unionization is Imminent; Says local weekly newspaper article contained many inaccuracies

by Terry Miller
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I’d like to point out that an article dated 3/25/2015 in the Pasadena weekly regarding Hard Facts about Huntington Hospital contained many innaccuracies. It appears, in my humble opinion, that the author has neglected to perform due diligence in researching his facts. Instead he has resorted to cherry picking bits of information to support his claims of poor quality.
I did a little research on “google” to try and understand why the author Mr. John Grula is so determined to berate Huntington Hospital and support the union (CNA) efforts at organizing. Why would he sacrifice solid research to project his personal opinions?
I needed to come to a better understanding of what motivates this author.
According to my research Mr. John Grula, PhD is listed as an author of several papers posted at “The American Institute for Progressive Democracy”. (www.taipd.org). Their Manifesto states the following: “We will promote a more just distribution of wealth, diminishing the currently unacceptable gap between the Rich and the Poor. We will work to provide Universal Health Care on a national scale”. I hope everyone does their own research on what Universal healthcare really is and what it provides and doesn’t provide!
Further reading on this web site reveals: Programs and Policies, #8. “Increased support of labor unions.” Ah, now the light bulb comes on, it appears Mr. Grula subscribes to this organizations ideals, and it clearly states a goal of increased support for labor unions! And in order to promote the union activities he must tear down the reputation of a fine hospital to make it look like the union has something to offer!
I’d also like to reference an article he wrote in Pasadena Weekly 11/21/2012 titled: “Why I don’t wave the American Flag
True Democracy has all but vanished in six decades of American-led warfare
By John Grula “”http://www.taipd.org/node/160” This was an enlightening piece that highlights his opinions regarding human rights: “our imperialist overreach has trampled the human rights of many other peoples”. Perhaps he feels the proliferation of union organization may protect our human rights?
Now I’d like to address his statements in the Pasadena Weekly article of 3/25/2015 regarding hospital scores on quality of care.
In this article he made many references to hospital score keeping by “Leapfrog Group” for quality of care. He draws conclusions that the Union is to be credited with high scores at several hospitals. But somehow neglects to mention that a hospital with an “F” grade, and several other hospitals with “C” grades are also Union hospitals! Looks like cherry picking to me!
Regarding the grades reported by Leapfrog I’d like to reference an article found at the following web address: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/how-good-is-your-hospital-depends-who-you-ask/
In this article it states the following regarding St. Mary Mercy Livonia Hospital:
“The Leapfrog Group, a respected nonprofit that promotes patient safety, gave an “A” to this Michigan hospital. The company Healthgrades named it one of America’s best 50 hospitals.
But the Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that accredits hospitals, and U.S. News and World Report omitted St. Mary from their best hospital lists. Consumer Reports gave it an average safety score of 47 points out of 100, citing high numbers of readmissions, poor communication with patients and excessive use of scans. Medicare, which has a new program rewarding hospitals for meeting certain quality measures, is reducing St. Mary’s payments by a fraction this year.” It appears it depends on who you ask as to what answer you’ll get concerning quality of care at any given hospital.
Unfortunately Mr. Grula has cherry picked the reports that support his agenda of berating Huntington and supporting union activity.
Mr. Grula stated in his article: “The highest-scoring hospital chain in California is Kaiser Permanente”, based on Leapfrog scores. I’d like to reference the LA Times Friday March 27, 2015 Business section:http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-jury-awards-kaiser-cancer-patient-20150326-story.html. It states a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury ordered Kaiser Permanente to pay $28.2 million to a patient who filed a lawsuit over the loss of her leg due to delay in appropriate care. It appears Kaiser has its share of problems and perhaps the leapfrog rating may not be the only word on the subject of hospital ratings. I encourage you to read the references I’ve listed and draw your own conclusions. Once again it appears Mr. Grula has overlooked the facts!
I don’t have a PhD in biology, I don’t write numerous articles for the paper, I haven’t published scientific papers on “Gene Regulation in Evolution: A History”, and I’m not an Astronomy Librarian at the Carnegie Observatories, as is Mr. Grula. But, I am an employee at Huntington Hospital in the Respiratory Therapy department and have been since June 1975, which will be 40 years this June. I’d like to think that this gives me a good perspective of this fine hospital. Perhaps greater then someone who has the previous qualifications!
I have extensive personal experience at a hospital that I consider to be one of the best! I have personal experience working side by side with numerous nurses, doctors, therapists, technicians, nurse assistants, radiology staff, dieticians, transport staff, ancillary staff, housekeeping personnel, dietary staff, supervisory personnel, unit managers, and yes, administrators.
When this hospital is berated and lied about by individuals promoting personal agendas, it offends me and those I work with!
I’ve worked hard in an institution that proudly provides care and services in this community. Sure we are not perfect, but we have mechanisms in place to consistently monitor and improve our care. We all do our very best to provide top quality care to anyone who comes thru the door. This quality is evidenced by the people who proudly work here. And further supported by our JACHO survey scores and numerous awards of excellence and validations. Please reference http://www.huntingtonhospital.com/Main/AwardsDesignations.aspx.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to have found this hospital early in my career and to have made it my home along with many other staff you have been here longer then I. All you have to do really is look at how many people are still working here with 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 years of employment. This speaks volumes as to the kind of place Huntington Hospital really is.
I ask that you carefully consider what the union agenda really is. It stands to make millions of dollars in the payment of dues from the hardworking staff at Huntington, while contributing nothing to the reputation and quality of care. The union is a business that gets its profits off the hardworking backs of those they have deceived!
Let me ask a question: Would an organization promoting improved patient care require its members to abandon those same patients? A union typically requires this of its members as a negotiation strategy!
You only need to take a careful and serious look at the hospitals with union representation and the “real” quality of care they provide.
Employees need to carefully consider their future if a union is voted in. And carefully consider what that union is willing to give up in negotiations with Huntington, to secure a contract worth millions to the union! The union likes to promise prospective new members an increase in salary, but fails to tell them that no promises can be kept. They don’t talk about what may need to be given up, like free parking, PPO health benefits with a large portion paid by Huntington, retirement funding, overtime pay, schedule flexibility, etc…. Do you really think your out of pocket expenses for employee benefits are more important than the millions in revenue the union stands to gain?
In the end the employees may end up with less than they had before and are now obligated to pay dues to the very company that bargained away their benefits!
Huntington Hospital has been serving this community for 120 years, all this time without a union! Huntington Hospital’s care has always been improving, and continues to improve by employee participation with management in establishing goals and objectives. We certainly don’t need a union to obstruct this process and require fees (dues) from hardworking staff!
It’s extremely important that all employees who are qualified to vote in the upcoming union election exercise their right of voting. Do not be fooled by union propaganda regarding “just don’t vote if you don’t want the union”. This will in fact ensure a union victory! Your “No” vote is extremely important. You must come in and vote NO if you want to stop the union.
As for Mr. Grula I wish you the best and sincerely hope in the future you can keep to facts and not cherry picking!
Kevin Durston, RRT

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