Northwest NEWS

October 29, 2001

Local News

Hospital commissioner candidates discuss issues

Public Hospital District No. 2 Commissioner
   Position 2
   Rebecca Hirt runs unopposed.
   Position 3
   R. August Kempf runs unopposed.
   Position 5
   In light of staff shortages, budget constraints, the backdrop of bioterrorism, and the hospital's desire to provide good patient care, what is it that you, as a commissioner, can bring to the table to help other commissioners and the hospital grapple with these complex issues?
   Jeanette Greenfield
   As president, Jeanette Greenfield has demonstrated solid business knowledge and proven leadership skills to create positive change at Evergreen Healthcare. She is disappointed with misleading information recently sent to district residents casting an unfavorable light on Evergreen and our excellent staff who provide our high quality care.
   Evergreen's recruitment and retention strategies have positioned the hospital as an employer of choice with only a 4 percent staff vacancy rate, significantly less than the 12-18 percent average for other institutions.
   While most other healthcare providers are suffering significant losses, Evergreen has reversed its trend and demonstrated profitability in both 2000 and 2001.
   As Board President, Jeanette has worked diligently with physicians to assure their leadership role in planning for Evergreen's future.
   Evergreen's vision is clear and rests on a solid economic foundation. Evergreen is superbly positioned to provide the best possible care for our District residents under any circumstance.
   Eric J. Greenwood
   There are three reasons why I have received strong support for my campaign from frontline healthcare workers (Local 6 SEIU), Eastside physicians, and nurses. First, I am concerned about core hospital services because of recent cutbacks.
   Physicians and nurses describe an austere operating environment from measures to reduce operating expenses. I would urge that these measures be constantly monitored with medical professionals to insure continued delivery of quality healthcare
   Second, I would work to improve the financial oversight function of the Board. Evergreen receives generous support from taxpayers who contributed $10 million last year.
   Despite this support, operating losses reached $7.8 million. Even with return to profitability, the Board's role in supervising the financial performance must be strengthened.
   Last, my professional experience in working for a Fortune 500 banking concern has prepared me to plan, make decisions and simultaneously deal with decreased profit margins and new services. I will work hard to make sure that we do not lose sight of Evergreen's fundamental purpose to serve communities of the Eastside.