The people who post anonymously on social media behind the façade of the inappropriately-named “Citizens for Hospital Accountability” abuse our First Amendment right by spreading lies and misinformation to harass and defame good people.
Stop and think about what is happening with Tulare’s public hospital. The political circus that has erupted from the escapades of a small handful of unhappy people has literally disgraced our community. For months now, the self-proclaimed “Citizens for Hospital Accountability” group has clouded social media with false news and fear tactics under the guise that they are ‘interested’ in saving TRMC. They routinely use deceitful cyberbullying tactics to falsely claim that HCCA is fleecing district funds. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Who are the leaders of this group? They are the very same people that ran the hospital into the ground years ago, leaving us (the district residents) to pick up the pieces. And their ugly vitriol is not just portrayed by a consistent stream of false facts and fantasies, but also by outright bigotry as when one of their leaders blurted “Heil Hitler” at a recent Board meeting. Those of us that are longtime residents of Tulare remember the turmoil of the past and there is no way that our community will allow this small group armed with misinformation to take us back there.
Thankfully in January 2014, HCCA came in, rescued the hospital from financial ruin and set the hospital on a path of now three years of profitability. In spite of the undocumented hubbub from hospital naysayers, those amazing accomplishments are verified and well supported by outside sources. More importantly, HCCA has brought quality to new levels never before seen at the hospital. Everything HCCA has done to date has unequivocally brought GOOD to our hospital.
Look carefully. HCCA has worked extremely hard these past three years to save the hospital and give it a viable chance at a prosperous future. Every step, decision and action that HCCA has taken and continues to take is carefully planned and executed. Because of HCCA Tulare’s hospital was relieved of over $20,000,000 in construction liabilities after the fiasco of the past. It is HCCA that unified the tower’s construction plans and completed its exterior without bond money—something that previous leaders were not able to accomplish with $85M of tax payer bond money. The enemies of the hospital keep talking about “taking” the hospital back”. What they mean is taking it back for themselves to ruin it yet again. Did you know that only approximately 2% of the hospital’s gross revenues come from the local tax revenues? HCCA has been responsible for the other 98%.
HCCA is hundreds of serious, resourceful, focused and hard-working people. Now that we may have found a path to borrow money to finish the 12-year project (a project that should have been funded properly in the beginning and completed in 2 years), we will, as in all that we do, proceed with careful planning and execution. At times, this may mean having to keep our strategy confidential during negotiations so that we can leverage better terms for the District. The screaming demands by those that seek to harm our public hospital will not cause HCCA to say or do anything that will rob the District from getting the best deal possible.
It is a true disappointment to watch the blatant unwarranted attacks on the hard working nurses, techs and staff of Team HCCA. Is this what Tulare has come to? Are we really a community that allows others to wrongly accuse HCCA and fellow Tulareans of deceiving the district stakeholders? Is this a new norm that our children and grandchildren need to become accustomed to? There are local Facebook pages and websites that actually have the facts, sites such as:
It is without question that HCCA has finally succeeded – where others have consistently failed – in changing the trajectory of Tulare’s public hospital away from the decades of constant turmoil, false starts, and abysmal failures into one of consistent successes. PERIOD. Do not underestimate Team HCCA’s determination because it is truly vested in this community and believes in it. Team HCCA is working hard to build a successful integrated health care system because Tulare deserves it. To those bent on ruining our public hospital’s chance at a real future, take note. Rest assured that these ridiculous antics will not be allowed to continue unanswered. Stay tuned…
Kathleen Johnson is Vice-President of Marketing for Healthcare Conglomerate Associates, the company which manages operations at Tulare Regional Medical Center.