Tulare Hospital Directors Facing Strong Opposition

This article has been corrected to reflect errors in a referenced Financial Times article. In the third paragraph below the “Total Recall” subhead, “Department of Justice” has been changed to “Office of the Inspector General,” “physician contracts” has been changed to “physician rental space,” and the paragraph was expanded to provide clarity.

Sherrie Bell likes her chances in the upcoming election.

Bell, who is the current chairwoman of the Tulare Local Health Care District’s (TLHCD) Board of Directors, says she thinks voters will stay the course and reelect her when she faces off against newcomer Kevin Northcraft in the November 8 election.

“I think they’re good, because the hospital is doing very well, and the people of Tulare realize the past didn’t work and they’re willing to try a different way to provide health care,” she said. “Tulare Regional Medical Center has not had a good reputation over its 65 years. I’d like to change that.”

Staying the Course

The “different way” Bell would like to lead the hospital is further down the road of private management under Healthcare Conglomerate Associates (HCCA), which took over management of the District in 2013. The District’s contract with HCCA gives the company the right to buy all the District’s assets, which has caused a great deal of anger and confusion on the part of many the district is meant to serve. Yet, Bell says voters understand the current Board can get results.

“I’d like to go forward and move in a positive direction. In the first time in a long time we have a board that works together,” she said. “It may look like the five of us agree on everything, but we don’t. We communicate on an a adult level. How in discord can you bring good results? That’s almost an impossible feat.”

Since HCCA took over operations of the District, says Bell, Tulare Regional Medical Center (TRMC) has been in the black and regained much of its financial wherewithal. Others have disputed that claim, pointing to recent layoffs involving 29 TLHCD employees. TRMC was given an F rating by LeapFrog, a national nonprofit organization that conducts biannual review of patient outcomes, and received the lowest rating possible from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an arm of the federal government that determines among other things which facilities can receive their funds.

Enough is Enough

The layoffs and poor ratings came in the wake of the solid failure of Measure I, a general obligation bond issue that would have put $55 million in the District’s coffers to complete work on its expansion at TRMC. Measure I was defeated by a two-to-one margin at the polls.

The expansion, infamously the focus of a Tulare County Grand Jury report entitled Tower of Shame, sits incomplete, and the District lacks the funding to complete it. The Grand Jury also took TLHCD’s leadership to task for failing to disclose how the original $85 million in bond funding for the tower was spent, as well as for failing to follow public disclosure laws.

Bell’s opponent in District 4, former Tulare City Manager Kevin Northcraft, thinks enough is enough. With the deadline to file for the election looming and no one coming forward to oppose Bell’s reelection, Northcraft jumped in.

“It seemed like it was crazy to let the people who caused our problems go back in office, so I filed,” he said.

‘Frustration of the Community’

Also running for a seat is Michael Jamaica, who is looking to unseat the incumbent from District 2, Laura Gadke. He joined the race, he said, out of a widespread sense of dissatisfaction.

“My interest is just looking at the frustration of the community–and myself as a taxpayer–that this tower has not been finished in 11 years,” he said. “Our $85 million bond was supposed to construct this thing; it just came to a halt. Then turmoil started among the construction companies and the Board.”

His sense is voters will welcome change.

“The support seems very well out there,” he said. “People I’ve spoken to while I canvassed the area, they’re very happy two people are running who have no special interest other than getting our hospital back on track and finishing our tower that has been sitting.”

Jamaica is a retired UPS driver and longtime community volunteer with two decades on the Tulare Parks and Recreation Commission. Gadke, who was appointed to her seat on the Board, did not respond to an interview request.

‘Poor Management’

Ironically, Bell and Jamaica agree Tulare needs a better hospital, and that management is at the heart of the problem. However, they disagree on the source of those bad choices.

HCCA, Bell said, is doing good work at the hospital, and the “poor management” is a thing of the past. That history means perceived problems with District operations are blown out of proportion, she said.

“When you’re in a small community, word travels fast. Any problem gets magnified,” Bell said. “I also believe that I know our nurses and staff give quality care. Our facility itself has been very limiting.”

Jamaica doesn’t agree.

“First, I think this contract with HCCA needs to be reviewed,” he said. “I think paying the CEO over $3 million a year is excessive. Then their CFO, he makes between $38,000 or $39,000 a month. We’re a small hospital. How can we afford that? That money could be put to something else.”

‘Everything Being Said?’

But, it’s almost impossible to know for certain how the District is performing, Jamaica said. The ongoing lawsuit between the District and its former Medical Executive Committee (MEC), as well as the layoffs in August, have raised questions in the minds of many about the true state of the District’s finances.

“If they say they’re making monthly profits, why would you want to lay off people? That’s another thing that shocked people in the community,” said Jamaica. “They’ve been doing so well, then the bond gets defeated and they have to lay off people.”

He finds the lack of transparency is unnerving.

“I don’t know what’s going on over there. Is everything being said? It’s hard to grasp what’s true that’s coming out of there,” he said. “That’s the whole thing: What’s true that’s coming out of there?”

An HCCA spokesperson said the layoffs were to ensure continued financial well-being. The Board also sought and were given an $800,000 loan in the wake of the failure of Measure I.

‘The Tulare Way’

“We need to get back our reputation,” said Northcraft of his top priority if elected to replace Bell.
Echoing Bell and Jamaica, he asserts poor management is at fault. Measure I failed, he said, was because the public no longer trusts those in charge at TLHCD. Again, he cited the lack of transparency detailed in the Grand Jury’s report.

“I went to the Board in May before they put the ballot out, and said, ‘You’re not doing this the Tulare way,’” Northcraft said. “They didn’t explain where the money had gone. They didn’t explain where the money will go if it’s approved.”

Citing his three decades of experience dealing with similar issues, including his decade as Tulare’s city manager, Northcraft called for more public input before seeking voters’ OK for any plan. The public, he said, was left out of the process, and is still on the outside looking in.

“I think we need to have those community meetings. We need to finish the audit of the old bond. We need to get good engineering estimates of how much it’s going to cost to finish the tower,” he said. “It’s the way the city does things. It’s the way the school district does things. It’s the Tulare way.”

HCCA and the TLHCD Board, Northcraft said, have rubbed citizens the wrong way.

“Tulare is a special city,” he said. “There’s a Tulare way of doing things by consensus building.”

Quality Care

Jamaica says he has a good idea of what Tulare wants from its hospital.

“In speaking with other residents in this town, they’ve all said the same thing,” he said. “They’d like to see better care given to them at the hospital.”

Jamaica cited the low ratings TRMC has had recently, specifically it ER performance.

“There’s still a four- or five-hour wait in the emergency room,” he said. “That needs to be addressed.”

According to HospitalStat.org, the average wait for an initial exam at TRMC’s ER is an hour and nine minutes. Non-critical cases see patients discharged in two hours 35 minutes on average, while those who are admitted will likely spend three hours 31 minutes in the ER, as well as another hour and 50 minutes waiting for a room. Further, TRMC has performed 22% below the national average based on mortality rates for critical illnesses.

Other Tower Money

Northcraft is also critical of the Board for seeking a new bond issue before exhausting other possible sources for construction funding. Bell, however, said she thoroughly investigated other means to pay for finishing the tower but came up empty. A new bond was the Board’s only remedy, and now that it’s failed the search has been renewed for other ways to get the job done.

“We’re looking into other means by which we can finance the tower,” Bell said. “Once we have 36 months of net margins, we can possibly get government loans, low- or no-interest loans. We’re looking into all the options.”

Northcraft is skeptical all avenues of funding lead to dead-ends. He again cited his 30 years of experience working with and for public agencies.

“I think I know more than the current board does,” he said.

Total Recall

If Jamaica and Northcraft are elected, they may become a minority on the Board, but not if Alberto Aguilar gets his way. Aguilar, a former member of the District’s Bond Oversight Committee, served Dr. Parmod Kumar, the TLHCD District 3 board member, with a notice of intent to seek his recall during the Board’s September meeting.

Kumar has been at the center of several incidents widely reported in the press. In December 2002, a Tulare County jury awarded the family of Stan Staley $4.5 million in a medical malpractice suit against Kumar. The sum was later reduced to $1.4 million.

In 2009, TLHCD paid a $2.5 million settlement following investigation by the Department of Healthcare Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) into physician rental space at TLHCD’s Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). The OIG investigated the Center again in 2013, when it was alleged Kumar was seeing 64 patients an hour in the federal clinics, instead of the mandated four per hour. An article in the Financial Times of London reported the OIG found Kumar earned up to $800,000 while working under an illegal contract. Kumar and his wife, Dr. Parul Gupta, resigned from their positions at the Center following the disclosure.

Cases Pending

Kumar is also a defendant in a lawsuit filed last month by a group from the Citizens for Hospital Accountability. The suit alleges the Board of TLHCD misspent public funds to pay for the outcome of a private lawsuit filed against TRMC’s former chief of staff by Kumar, HCCA CEO Dr. Yorai (Benny) Benzeevi and TRMC chief of surgery Dr. Rebecca Zulim.

In their suit, the trio claimed Dr. Abraham Betre, the former chief of staff, disclosed private and damaging information to the Valley Voice regarding investigations into the practice of all three by the TRMC Medical Executive Committee. Citing California law protecting journalists and their sources, the judge in the case dismissed it summarily. The three plaintiffs were ordered to pay Betre’s legal costs.

The suit now pending against all five board members and TLHCD alleges public funds were used to pay those private legal costs, despite the District having no interest in the suit’s outcome. The new suit also claims the District is in violation of the state’s Public Records Act. Besides asking any public money already spent on the private lawsuit–more than $98,000–be returned to the District, the plaintiffs also want to prevent the Board from spending additional money in connection with Zulim, Benzeevi and Kumar’s suit against Beltre. Should the plaintiffs prevail, the District, and thus taxpayers, could also be held responsible for the entire cost of this latest suit.

Further Distractions

Meanwhile, the sudden replacement of TRMC’s medical staff of 135 in January is still being fought in Tulare County Superior Court. A settlement conference has been scheduled for February 10, 2017. This follows the posting of jury fees by the MEC’s lawyers in July.

In the midst of all the legal wrangling, Northcraft says something’s being forgotten.

“They’ve kind of ignored the real mission of the hospital, which is to provide health care,” he said.

In Depth: Tulare Regional Medical Center

114 thoughts on “Tulare Hospital Directors Facing Strong Opposition

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  1. We need new blood to stop the corruption and take our hospital back. Also Sherrie isn’t up for re-election, she was appointed based on running unopposed, there is a difference. This current board has cost us more than any other board by signing a contract and paying 3 million a year to Dr Benzeevi . Presbyterian Hospital in New York pays their CEO 4 million and they have 98% bed occupancy and 1200 employees and 1 of the best in the nation and there is only 1 million difference in pay, go figure

    • Benny gets paid 3 million $$ of our money.

      BUT he is not the CEO.

      This hospital does not have a CEO for last 2 years.

  2. We definitely need complete transparency from our board. We also need an attorney who represents our hospital and not the same lawyer that represents HCCA. This is a conflict of interest and there is no way an attorney can seek to fight for the rights of both parties. Kevin and Mike will bring transparency to the board and get our hospital back to our community.

  3. How dare she say that TRMC has not had a good reputation over its 65 years. The bad reputation has only been in recent years, some which she was a part of.

  4. Wow. Tulare District Hospital has had a bad reputation for 65yrs? Is she 65? Was she born here? I didn’t know its reputation had been that bad for so long. Good to know.

  5. You have titled your story incorrectly. These folks are running for a seat on the the Tulare Health Care District Board, TRMC does not have a Hospital Board. The District encompasses much more than the hospital including Evolutions with more than 300,000 visits per year, 5 clinics which includes a school based clinic, RHC’s and sub specialties, Home Health and Ancillary Services including Physical Therapy. The District has provided water to residents of Matheny Tract when they had none, provided First Aid at both the Ag Expo and County Fair, done outreach for Breast Cancer Awareness, received awards for high levels of staff participation in March of Dimes and Organ Donation. Additionally, the Hospital will immently be Baby Friendly. The Clinics have the only Retinal Screening available to Diabetics in the County. There is a lot going on folks and more good to come. All this and much more within the last two years. Stay the course, transformation into a high quality integrated system does not happen overnight and the hospital us just one component that supports efforts for a healthy community.

    • Ms Bland,

      I am assuming you are the same person running the Hillman clinic.

      Working with Benny & Bell, you too have developed habit of lying through your teeth.

      Retinal screening is available at most other large clinics in county.

      You forgot to mention how you managed to chase away many good employees and all good doctors.


      Only PAs and NPs seeing patients without any doctor supervision.

      Like the hospital, Hillman clinic too has become a dangerous place.

  6. The “bad reputation” began with Mr. Boluki. Remember the CEO the board (with Mrs. Bell) hired and fired twice! And finally left town with many thousands of $$. What a kick in the stomach for many employees who worked to make TDH an outstanding hospital. We always had the most caring and trained staff….we never lost employees to other hospitals. We never went through layoffs with 30 and 40 year employees. We were a family and supported each other to provide the very best care you could receive. I am appalled with those general statements, Mrs. Bell, please do your homework before you make these kind of statements.

    • That’s not true. The late Bob Montion was another. Refuting the claims that TDH didn’t have problems before is false. Whistle blower Lucy Remcky , remember? Look up the legal documents. We can keeping going back in history if you want.

  7. Sherri Bell. How dare you state the hospital has had a bad reputation for 65 years. I worked around the hospital and in the hospital for some great people, wonderful doctors, nurses and CEO’s. The hospital started going down when this board took over or should I say when Dr. Kumar took over. You are just his puppets. This just show us what kind of person you are!

  8. Sherrie Bell has earned her reputation and it is not good . Now she has to live with it. She signed a contract giving Benny and his norther three million or more a year to run our hospital in the ground. KDDH dosen’t pay their guy to run a bigger and better hospital. And she can’t walk into TDH without Benny ‘ s permission. This voyeur great board Chairwoman . Real nice yes.

  9. Tulare District Hospital was a wonderful hospital for years. Remarks like this from Sherrie Bell have no factual basis. This is a board member trying to cover her derrière. Shame on her.

  10. Don’t believe everything you read or hear in this paper. It sure sounds from this article that the Valley Voice is endorsing Northcraft and Jamiaca. So much for an unbiased paper. For the better part of 25 years or more, TDH has had a bad reputation. Any long term resident of Tulare knows that. So placing blame on Sherrie Bell for the “bad” reputation is unsubstantiated. This group of Board members aren’t yelling at each other like in years past. Civility while debating the issues is important. This newspaper doesn’t want to show both sides. Biased, in my opinion. There are two sides to every story, remember that. Sherrie Bell is a good woman and her decisions are what is best for our community.

    • Of course they are not yelling at each other, they are following their leader. Now we have gone from 65 years of bad reputation to 25 years. Maybe we can shave the years down to right now!

    • Don’t believe everything you read in any newspaper. Mistakes happen; in fact, we will be issuing a correction on this story today. The Valley Voice is, assuredly, endorsing nobody. Why would we? With the exception of one staff writer, no one at the Voice is involved with Tulare in the least. You say we don’t want to show both sides, and that we’re biased. Let me point out to you that the first two words of the article you’re commenting on are “Sherrie Bell.” We reached out to her, and she got back to us.

      • True or false, Joseph. Have you or have you not supported comments and vocalized yourself on the “Citizens” site? 90% of this article was supporting Jamaica and Northcraft.

        • I am allowed to have an opinion, and to vocalize myself on any site I please. The Valley Voice–in print, on its own site and facebook page–is not afforded the same luxury. That said, where the paper is allowed bias (indeed, where all papers are) is clearly delineated as opinion.

  11. Maybe they should be yelling at each other instead of just blindly following the recommendations of 1) a board member who is making millions from the hospital
    2) an attorney who represents both sides; and
    3) a private company who values money over lives
    Now without any real discussions the board has no clue of what they are doing

  12. First & foremost is to recall Kumar.
    He is the center of conspiracy & has used Shawn Bolouki & Benny to his personal benefits.

    Without recalling Kumar, there is no way forward.
    Removing Kumar is like removing cancer tumor.
    Changing board member is like changing bandage.

    • Dayna Macedo “Foxley” just a little word of advice the same people who you are associating yourself with could be some of the same people who have helped to put your husband where he is today.

      I know some of these people so be very very cautious

      • Actually who helped with that situation still sits on the board, was the intent to pave the way for his wife? One will never know the plotting that went on and still goes on.

  13. Mrs Bell is the right person to lead our hospital, in a continuous positive way. Mr. Northcraft has been let go from jobs and has been asked to leave jobs due to not getting along with others. He abandoned the City of Tulare when he moved to San Diego for yet another job that apparently didn’t work out. In my opinion, Mr Northcraft has an unstable work history and the number one reason why I would never vote for Northcraft. 

    ” Staying the course” is exactly correct and this is why it is of the upmost importance to continue with the same group of Board members who have led this hospital and will continue to lead this hospital to where it needs to be. Furthermore, I laugh everytime these people throw in “Leapfrog” because everyone knows if you don’t have a subscription to Leapfrog you will automatically receive a grade of “F”. Do your research. 

    When I originally was approached by the people against the hospital I listened to their information and I researched it. I discovered that the majority of it was half truths or complete lies. It was then and there that I decided I would not participate in any further conversation with anybody who is so blatantly against a hospital . 

    As for the layoffs, I appreciate the fact that HCCA tried to get a Bond passed to complete the Tower and avoid any layoffs. However, a group of people like Deanna Martin-Soares and Dayna Macedo-Foxley’s aggressive behavior to make sure the Bond did not pass, in my opinion, are the people I blame for the layoffs and no one else. Mr Northcraft, the people who caused TRMC to fail are the very people who are endorsing you. Bring back the horrific past , NO THANK YOU!

    Mr Jamaica, “dissatisfaction” comes again from the prior CEO’s and prior Boards. The very people you meet with every week are the same people, who in my opinion, have caused this entire mess. HCCA is having to clean up that mess one step at a time.
    Laura Gadke is very well respected in the community. She is always giving back with regards to volunteering and reaching out to the people of Tulare. She does everything she can to help make things better for them. As a business woman she is always giving careful attention to detail to what needs to be completed. Mr Jamaica , I’m sure you’re a nice guy, but who are you? We know nothing about you , except you are endorsed by a group of people trying to take down the local hospital. NO THANK YOU! For the simple fact that Mr Jamaica DOESN’T BELIEVE that the hospital facility has been very limited is another reason he does not need to be on the Hospital Board. If you don’t agree that having a 6 bed Emergency Room is not “limiting” means you have no knowledge of what the community of Tulare wants. 
    The previous MEC….Mr Jamaica , I would hope after what the State of California said with regards to them not doing their job you would agree they would have to go. If you don’t agree, that says to me that you don’t care what the States report said. They told the Hospital to get rid of the MEC for safety reasons or TRMC will be shut down. Obviously Judge Mathias took the states information seriously by ruling against the MEC. 
    Mr Northcraft, how dare you insult the TRMC Emergency Staff. The 6 bed ER was built 65 years ago when the population was roughly 12,000. Very limiting for a community of over 60,000 now. It sounds that your friend, Mr Jamaica could care less about. 
    This paper has more lies, inconsistencies and is the most biased paper I’ve ever seen.
    I figured since the topic of deaths with regards to hospitals was mentioned, I would like to remind the community of Tulare that when they are choosing a hospital to keep an open mind. 

    Jamaica and Northcraft , you don’t deserve a seat on OUR TRMC Board.

    • “This paper has more lies, inconsistencies and is the most biased paper I’ve ever seen.”

      You’re welcome to your opinion — and I encourage you to share it here, on our website, in our comments sections — but I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you.

      The simple fact that we’ve got two whole pages dedicated to our readers being able to form their own opinions — our TLHCD Documents page at http://www.ourvalleyvoice.com/tlhcdhcca-documents/ and TLHCD Board Meetings page at http://www.ourvalleyvoice.com/tlhcd-board-meetings/ — is completely at odds with your idea that we have any sort of bias as it relates to goings-on of the Tulare Local Healthcare District.

      We’ve got more hospital-related documents published online than the hospital itself does, solely for the purpose of our readers being able to take their own look at what’s going on and form an opinion.

        • According to you statement “When I originally was approached by the people against the hospital I listened to their information and I researched it. I discovered that the majority of it was half truths or complete lies. It was then and there that I decided I would not participate in any further conversation with anybody who is so blatantly against a hospital . ” you shouldn’t even be trolling this publication.

    • You’re wrong. The er of 65 years ago didn’t have 6 beds it had two. And the current er, if they’d open fast track 24/7, would have more than 6 beds. So if beds is what this hospital needs they should utilize the ones they have. Problem is trmc can’t operate even 6 beds with an understaffed crew.

      • Tony I’m 100% sure a lot of good things happen at TRMC with Patient. So what is the reason you don’t post any of that? Why do you only post mean negative thinks ?

        • I agree there are probably several positive stories about the hospital… Especially going back 65 years. Despite what Sherrie Bell said. But currently when you have to measure average er wait time in hours instead of minutes theres a problem. Not having management in the er is just stupid.

          • Don’t misconstrue what Sherrie Bell said. Your interpretation of words. The fact of the matter is, there have been great nurses, doctors and staff at this hospital and also really bad. But OVERALL, the reputation of TDH has always been tarnished. That’s a fact. TRMC does give great care and there are thousands of success stories from this hospital. Politics shouldn’t overshadow that. This campaign with all the hate has brought out the UGLY in people and I’m tired of it.

    • You didn’t mention the one star rating from CMS, how would you explain that? It doesn’t require an subscription. Just collects factual data since they are Medicare.

      Stay the course and there will hardly be anything left of assets or patients. Make sure you follow the MEC trial that begins in February.

      • The CMS rating you talk about is bad. It was also done when the old MEC wasn’t doing their job. We will see what happens in court. TRMC isn’t perfect. No hospital is. ALL hospitals have issues, and if you don’t think they do , then you are gravely wrong. KDH has a CMS 3 star rating. That’s below expectations too. We don’t want average or below ratings for our valley care. Everyday the staff at TRMC are working hard to make it better.

    • Nothing in your first paragraph is true yet that hasn’t stopped you from repeating it over and over and over….the truly interesting thing, though, is that it is almost verbatim to the sleazy ProMark push poll being used by supporters of Sherrie Bell and Laura Gadke. Did the same political consultants write the script for ProMark as well as for you?

      • Sherrie Bell didn’t have anything to do with that survey. Repeating the facts is part of campaigning, and if citizens do their own research on the candidates, that’s being a smart voter. Then they can make an educated choice at the polls. Whatever the community decides, we hope that person makes the best decision(s) for our community. Ultimately that is what everyone wants. This has just been an ugly, personal campaign. Anyone that knows Sherrie Bell, she is the farthest from those vicious attacks.

        • Really ??
          You want us to believe that ??
          Did you even read what you have written?

          You are saying that Pro-mark came out of somewhere on its own and started doing this poll pro-bono ?????? Nobody hired them?

          Either you are naive or you think we all are naive.
          (Naive is a soft word for idiot)

          Dont let Benny boy read this post.
          He will fire you for this immature comment.
          You are so screwed. If Benny finds this post, you are history.

    • I strongly believe you’re one of her kids or daughter-in-law just trying to stand up for her. You don’t like the public bashing you’re mother!!!

  14. How long have the Bell’s lived in this community? I find it very offensive about the 65 yr remark. Of course, in an open board meeting Dr. Kumar also called our hospital a “death trap” before he arrived to save it. Is Sherrie Bell saying that under his tenure the hospital has failed too? He’s been around since about 1988, if my memory is correct. A lot of double talk Ms. Bell. My mother was a nurse at TDH for years and gave fine care and it was always busy and thriving. Not like the last 4 years under your tenure. Get your facts straight. I’m sure many fine previous physicians and employees of the hospital(and what few are left there now) also find your remarks offensive.

    As for Sherrie’s re-election, the only election where people voted, she lost by a very large majority in 2006, along with Skip Barwick. She was seated, ran unopposed in 2012. There’s a big difference. Laura Gadke also lost in her previous election in 2012 and was appointed after a resignation by Ms. Avitia.

    The public has never been in favor of either Bell or Gadke, as shown by their voting, we’ll see what November brings.

    A vote for Kevin Northcraft and Mike Jamaica will bring stability and trust back to our public hospital.

    Kaweah Delta Medical Center was slapped with a $125,000 fine by the State Health Department for not following established medical practices on two separate instances. After a thorough investigation State Health officials determined the facilities noncompliance led to the deaths of two of its patients.

    The cases were in around or near 2010, second case on or around 2012, when the patients were giving birth. According to the State inspection report, the patients suffered extensive blood loss after giving birth. The report says proper measures to stop the bleeding were not taken by medical personnel. They failed to request assistance required by staff , by law.

    Next, in 2011 was when a patient went in for abdominal pain. The State Health Department stated while under nursing care, staff failed to monitor the patient’s blood glucose levels. The report concluded staff wrongfully assessed the patient resulting in her death.

    Per the California Hospital Association, “Kaweah Delta Heart Surgery Deaths rates worse than California Average”.
    Jamaica and Northcraft , you don’t deserve a seat on OUR TRMC Board.

  16. Tony and Joesph I believe both of you have been frequent commenters in Favor of the NO on I page. 100% in my opiniin bias.

  17. Looks like Teresa is upto her regular opinions along with another clone. The whole current board needs to go. Looks like the HCCA cult is out here bullying people with lies

    • Speakmymind, everyone is entitled to their opinion on here, including “Teresa”, as you say she is. Unless you are a Valley Voice employee, no one knows anyone’s identity, or has to reveal who they are on here. Otherwise everyone would reveal their names. We all know who everyone sides with. That’s no secret. People just need newspapers that are unbiased and represent both sides.

  18. Well who’da thought that only two people are responsible for the lay offs of 30 people at TRMC. I didn’t realize I had any kind of pull in this community or want it. Some were good friends of mine and we are in contact. Funny they don’t feel like Deanne and I are the cause of these lay offs. I only want what’s right for our community and HCCA/TRMC Board is not right.
    By the way everyone who knows me well knows I go by Dayna Macedo during election years as my husband strongly disagreed with my political views and wants no part of his name involved. So calling me out by Dayna Macedo Foxley is no surprise to anyone.
    You hit the nail on the head when you said I’m aggressive. No doubt about that. I own my faults. But when someone wants to tax my community with a $55,000,000 bond without accounting for the $85,000,000 that was spent. I’m gonna call people out on it. You can spin your side anyway you want to. But at the end of the day someone’s making money and it isn’t the hospital or their employees.
    I sure as heck ain’t footing their livelyhood. But hey myopinionmatter2 your 1 amendment right says you can say what you want and I have my right to 💯 % disagree. I wish you well in your endeavor to continue your blame game.

  19. My opinion counts 2 : So you are saying that these ladies caused 2/3 of the voters to vote the bond down. That is great. I am so glad they are pulling for Kevin and Mike. Maybe you should advise Sherrie and Gadke to just pull our and then we can get on with recalling Kumar. Thanks for your help.

    • Them along with all the other puppets and puppet masters.

      I find it abrasive that you want to take down a functioning board and management company which by itself will cost $10 million and then you have to deal with the bond issue and it being pulled. Have you informed the public that this by itself will bankrupt the public hospital. Why go backwards to a time when things were at its worst.

      Do not vote for Kevin Northcraft and MikE Jamaica they will bankrupt the hospital.


      This is the board that has kept TRMC open regardless of how hard a group of local angry doctors have tried to destroy it.

      • Your logic is too cute.

        You are saying we should not get rid of thieves because it will cost us !!

        Now that they did not get 55 million $$ pot to steal from, they will be grabbing what they can and run away. You wont even find a chair or stapler in this hospital in 2-3 years.

        These thugs are top grade burglars.

        Recall Kumar
        then cancel contract with HCCA
        then hand them over to the law enforcement

        Sherrie is too moron to be of any importance. Dont waste energy on unseating her.
        Kumar is the key.

  20. Dayna what is wrong with you. Ask your friends where the $85 million is ask the people who spent the money. And I only know you by Dayna Macedo Foxley. How is your husband what is he doing these days ?

    Lisa get over it the NO people have said on their site numerous time that the hospital has a bad reputation. I mean I have friends the call KDDH ” Kill you Delta” do I believe things about either hospital probably not. Crap happens everywhere and its ilunfortunate when it does.

    ICAREfornTulare. I also can’t wait for the trail. I hope the judge will make the right decisions for the hospital because everyone knows the prior MEC was not doing what was asked of them and the STATE OF CALIFORNIA said ” get rid of them or will get rid of you”

    • Again your twisted. I have no alignment with anyone on Citizens for Hospital Accountability. So your questions are once again redundant. What my husband is doing these days is none of your business. Since your trademark argument is ask my buddies about the $85,000,000 im sure you go to church with him. So when you see him ask him what he’s doing.
      He’s a great guy. He’s nothing like me. He probably should have married someone a little more classy. Not a woman like me who’s not afraid to speak their mind.

  21. Dayna Macedo “Foxley” just a little word of advice the same people who you are associating yourself with could be some of the same people who have helped to put your husband where he is today.

    I know some of these people so be very very cautious

    • Well thank the Lord for that. He is partnered with six very successful businesses. Maybe you should tell me who we should thank for that. The best thing that ever happened in our life is what happened to him 13 years ago. Bitter people would call it foul play. But a great man like my husband considered it a blessing and harbors no hard feelings because that’s what a good Christian man does. We all make our beds and have to sleep in it. Sherrie has made hers and now she has to decide with all the criticism whether or not she will choose to be bitter or better. Maybe you too, need to take that chip off your shoulder and not blame two women for the decision of 6,686 voters who know HCCA: TRMC Board is out of control and certainly has no ability to make good decisions for our community. But that’s just me. Someone that’s not afraid to put my name out there when you clearly won’t. Poor form and a shady.

  22. Dayna
    Your husband was part of the
    ” Bad Reputation” at TRMC back in 1997 and 1998. How dare you talk bad about anyone else. How dare you make light of this behavior.

    • While you argue the pas, myopinioncounts2, we currently have a hospital management company (Benzeevi) that is being paid $3 million dollars a year for part time work….he also manages South Inyo Hospital. The CFO is being paid $39K a month plus another $10K for expenses (fast food, Starbucks, etc.) and also works part time. The attorney, who is a real estate attorney not a special district or health law attorney, charges $730 an hour and reviews all public records request at his hourly rate. The hospital board signed the contract with HCCA and gave away their right to enter the hospital without permission, cannot criticize HCCA, and share the same attorney, which is a conflict of interest. The hospital board no longer serves the citizens of the hospital district, they serve HCCA. HCCA was not even a company until they formed to sign this lucrative deal with the Tulare Local Hospital District and show no ability to work for the public interest with accountability and transparency. Instead they work for their own profitability at the expense of the public, hospital employees, and their patients.

      • I find it interesting that myopioncounts2 hides behind some made up name and is willing to call out anyone by there true name while hiding in the toilet, so to speak! Can’t give this person any creed if they hiding! But wait! Isn’t that what Benny Boy, Kumar & their camp use to camouflage their BS? Welcome aboard myopioncounts2! You’re running with the losers! Oh, and don’t get to excited about me, I’m just a nobody😎

        • Mike it’s easy to hide behind a fake name and spew venom. It’s takes a man/woman of courage to speak their mind to another and show their face. I knew the attacks on my husband were coming and I know exactly where they are coming from. My husband was expecting it too, yet he allows me too speak my mind even at the risk of his name being slandered. They are marionettes at the hands of Benzeevi and Kumar. They are of no significance to me and the community we choose to surround ourselves with.

    • Do you think the community doesn’t know that? Again he is a better man for it. I knew it was only a matter of time before you started slinging the mud against my husband. You’re continued deflection of a current problem is reflective of your environment delusional and arrogant. My husband owned his mistakes because that’s what a man does. He became a better man for it. So keep up the slandering of a repentant man who has very successful businesses. It only makes you look desperate. But desperate times call for desperate measures right?

  23. Must recall corrupt Dr. Kumar to save the hospital. He works so hard to pay child support for his illegitimate son with his secretary and palimony to many others in town. Town knows his unethical conducts he betrayed our trust. He and Bell must leave the town.

  24. Thank you GraCee. Finally someone brought up issue of Kumar’s treatment of women. He thinks them of as objects that he can use whichever way he wants.

    So many nurses and MAs and staff have stories to tell about Kumar’s approach towards women. He is the Trump of Tulare.

  25. Dayna
    “He’s a better man for it” How can you even say that for his victims to read. That is just despicable.

    GraCee. I read something very similar that someone posted on Citizens
    for Hospital Accountability about KEVIN NORTHCRAFT cheating on his Wife too. What’s up with these men.

    Is this to be believed?

    Doctors and Candidates cheating. Pediatricians stealing money. CEO being over paid. Others not paying their employees. What is wrong with you people

    I title you people ” PEOPLE OF SHAME”

    The people I want on my board are Richard Torres . Sherrie Bell , Laura Gadke and Linda Wilborn. These people represent honesty, kindness business smarts and they are all very well like by our community.

    • “Respect and Dignity” LOL. The crap you spew. The only way you people think you can win is by threats or “viscous lies” (Yes your groups’ famous words). Let’s stop all this nastiness and vote for new leadership. JAMAICA/NORTHCRAFT!!!!!!!!!

      • “Spewing” HA!

        What hypocrites! Let’s talks facts! Some Tulare commentators need to be on the Jerry Springer Show, that’s what they love. Drama!

        • Again, when you don’t have a record to run on, you demean your opponent. Your comments say way more about you and your character than your slander against our family, Teresa. It also says a lot about how threatened HCCA and the current board are by scrutiny and accountability. What’s important are the citizens of the district and the patients of the hospital. Kevin will never lose focus on what’s truly important.

          • Had a flier from Kevin Northcraft and Sherrie Bell on my door today. Can’t wait For Nov 9th! I looked into both running mates. My vote is for Bell. I know the facts, I don’t need to listen to all the opinions on here.

          • so you do know that Bell said she took her seat in Jan. 2013…..complete lie….she took her seat Dec 5, the same day that they fired the new attorneys and brought back the old ones.

  26. If anyone cares, may be he would want to ask people who have worked around Kumar.
    Would you not want facts before you make an opinion?

    You would not be disappointed. I promise.

  27. Pkom Loviss I would love to hear all the fact of him and Kevin Northcraft extra Marital affairs . You people have made this a real live reality show. This is the most entertainment I’ve had in years .

  28. Myopioncouts2 Why don’t you ask Dr K about his love child, it is well known and been out in public for years. You need to get a life and stop repeating yourself and I think you have a issue with a certain race, so makes you racist.

    • Relax Smm
      myop- is just doing her job.
      It would be wrong on her part if she is accepting money to do this job and not do what she is doing here.

  29. Speakmymind: I don’t have a racist bone in my body. let’s work as a team I’ll talk to Kevin and you talk to Dr K see if we can fix this behavior.

    Ann Marie: your right my life is sad compared A group of angry hostile mean people . I’ll take sad life over that anyday.

  30. Speakmymind: I don’t have a racist bone in my body. let’s work as a team I’ll talk to Kevin and you talk to Dr K see if we can fix this behavior.

    Ann Marie: your right my life is sad compared To a group of angry hostile mean people . I’ll take a “sad life ” over that anyway of the week.

  31. Using the KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle, one of these statements is correct. I’d like to know which one.

    TRUE, the current members of the Hospital District board, which is entrusted with taxpayer monies for healthcare oversight, MUST get permission from HCCA before walking into the hospital.

    FALSE, the current members of the Hospital District board, which is entrusted with taxpayer monies for healthcare oversight, must NOT get permission from HCCA before walking into the hospital.

  32. Chris , I couldn’t agree with you more. The mudslinging towards Dr Kumar is absolutely pathetic and the people slinging this mud are even more pathetic .

    I along with many others believe HCCA and the current board has finally taken TRMC to a higher level of Quality and accountability. You pay for what you Get Chris and the citizens of Tulare have gotten more out of them in the last 3 years as citizens then any other CEO/Board.


    You have lied to the public when you say ” Then we can refocus on quality medical care and bring back the terminated doctors”. I did my research so listen up.

    Kevin Northcraft you have lied doctors were not terminated. All doctors can still practice.

    These doctors you speak of are doctors that the State of California said
    MUST GO (MEC) not HCCA not TRMC not the Board, but The State of California. Not to mention a well know judge also agreed these doctors must go due to an issue of safety. So Mr Northcraft if you want these doctors back please take them to another city I don’t want them back.

    • You might want to reread the CMS report, that is not what it said nor is the judge interpretation correct. Why trial starts in February.

      You blame the CMS report on the past doctors but since those doctors are not practicing there who are you blaming the recent patient care situations on? The previous MEC, CEO from 10 years ago or past board members? Time for HCCA to own their own management since it has been 34 months of them in charge.

    • I agree, as well, anyone that steps forward to serve the public should not have their family attacked…whether it is Dr. Kumar, Sherrie Bell, or Kevin Northcraft. Now that we are in agreement, I’m assuming you’ll stop the slander.

      • Chris-
        A mistress (or a few) is/are not family.

        In fact, adultery is just the polar opposite of what family values mean.

        Why dont you ask your friends & contacts that you can trust about his sexual adventures and be informed? It is not one fling here or there. It is a pervasive persistent pattern for last 10+ years that I have been around.

        Do you not care for your hospital – where your loved ones may end up in case of emergency – this much to ensure hospital is not in clutches of crooks?

  33. Omgosh what viscousness! What lies! Most of you ppl know the bottom line answer. It’s very simple to say. Get rid of Kumar! Like someone said previously, he is the cancer and all the board and Benny are the cells. Now we just have to get it done and Kevin Northcraft and Mike Jamaica are a great start!!!

  34. I asked a simple question. Not one of you commenters bothered to answer. You’re more interested in bickering with each other, over bullshit. The people want to know and SHOULD know, is it TRUE or FALSE: Does the Tulare District board have to obtain permission from HCCA BEFORE walking into the hospital to SEE WITH THEIR OWN EYES the state of the hospital? YES or NO?

      • I asked any commenter TO answer a simple question. It’s obvious there are TWO factions here. I received an answer from one side and wanted to hear from you TOO.

        I’ll take your non answer/punt for what it is: TRUE, the current members of the Hospital District board which is entrusted with taxpayer monies for healthcare oversight, MUST ASK PERMISSION from HCCA before walking into the hospital.

  35. I know this for sure. When I signed my contract with my employer it states in the contract that I’m not permitted to make any disparaging , untruthful or harmful statements in reference to the company or its employees and it can be grounds for termination. I have been employed with this group for 8 years so this isn’t something new. I have no issue with this.

    If what you say is true I’m not sure as to why it has taken the hospital so long to implement this process. It’s done in so many businesses today.

  36. The board is responsible and beholden to the taxpayer and the electorate, signing away their responsibility is just another inept move by this current board.

  37. To “myopinioncounts2” you must get your talking points from The Trumpster……filthy hateful innuendos. You come across as a very hateful negative individual who has no problem in slandering anyone who gets in your way. I would think that Sherrie, Laura, and Linda would not want you speaking on their behalf.

    • Barbra
      OMGosh I feel the same way about you. Negative , angry, and a slanderous type of person. I think Mr Northcraft wouldn’t want you to continue your bad behavior & representation of him.

  38. Resolved; it IS TRUE, the current members of the Hospital District board MUST ASK permission from HCCA before walking into the hospital. Why in the world would anyone with any business acumen, sign an agreement like that? Who benefits from such a lack of responsibility and transparency? One would think after a “no confidence” vote, that was of the magnitude of the NO on Measure I result, these people would wake up.

    If Sherrie Bell and Laura Gadke signed this agreement, they have failed the citizens of Tulare and must be voted out.

  39. SHERRIE BELL Is about integrity, honesty and is a hard-working woman giving back to her community since day one. Her along with Torres , Gadke , Kumar and Wilbourn have literally save this community hospital.

    In my opinion bringing Kevin Northcraft and Mike Jamaica into a board that is currently functioning with positive outcomes can be dangerous. Kevin Northcraft and Mike Jamaica want to come in and change everything positive that is happening with TRMC. This is a recipe for disaster.

    This Good board will quickly become a bad board. Governance is fundamental…and if Kevin Northcraft and Mike Jamaica come in as new board members that governance will cease to exist. The plan they have to get rid of an entire board and removed a management company that has been profitable for almost 3 years. Is absolutely dumbfounding.

    There are 3 primary roles a board has
    1. Establish policies
    2. Make significant and strategic decisions.
    3. Oversee the organizations activities .
    None of these items require board members to Enter the hospital.

    How can Kevin Northcraft and Mike Jamaica go into board seats when they have absolutely no respect for the current management team. Their main goal is to get rid of everyone. These two men are Setting TRMC up for failure.

    Do your research many hospital DO NOT allow board members to enter the Hospital.

    • myop-

      Do you feed your kids with foods bought with money that was made working for HCCA?

      If yes, I feel sorry for your kids. They cannot become any good feeding on devil spirit.

    • You might want to research the legal function of a healthcare district board because you are off on your description. That is not the primary role.

    • Sure, some boards don’t have any reason to enter their hospitals. The problem here is that HCCA didn’t even EXIST prior to being brought in. In fact, this “professional management company” had ZERO experience in healthcare management when it took over our hospital.

      Sherrie Bell is not about integrity or honesty. She is a proven liar. Do not try to claim otherwise. The Sept 1st board meeting regarding the $800K “line of credit” just in case *wink wink* was a blatant, bald-faced lie. Sherrie Bell had signed the release of every penny of that $800K THREE DAYS BEFORE that Sept 1st meeting.

      She’s definitely “hard working…giving back” to somebody. It just isn’t the community she purports to serve.


  40. Most of Tulare showed what respect theyhave for the board and HCCA when we turned down their bond money. First Bell and Gadke then recall Kumar.

  41. People

    Dont let these crickets distract you from the real issue.

    Primary problem is Kumar & his greed (and his loose john).

    Sherrie is not smart enough to do anything on her own. Neither is Laura or Linda or Torrez. These are all Kumar’s puppet.

    We need to eliminate Kumar from the equation. Once he does not get to benefit from letting outsiders steal money from us, stealing will stop.

    Top priority is to recall Kumar.

  42. It looks like our town is in as sad of state as our country. We are left to vote for the least of the two evils and hold on to our ass and pray for a smooth ride. Who knows what is truth or lie any more. No matter how much research you do, you can’t even believe everything you read anyway. Yes board members private lives do matter, but at this point are the least of my worries and definitely not a deciding factor in this election. Trump or Clinton? Northcraft or Bell? Is this seriously the best we have to offer? The fact that these candidates are who the people have endorsed is proof we the people have a lot more to worry about than who is screwing who.

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