Deep concerns about hospital board | Letter

The San Juan Island Public Hospital District commissioners continue to disrespect their very own employees and the citizens they represent. A citizen reposted a letter to the editor from Francis Smith, in response to PHDs reorganization of EMS on Facebook’s ‘What’s Up Friday Harbor’ group.

This person expressed concern about the situation. Another person then said they hoped to get more information.

At this point, Hospital Board Commissioner Gail Leschine-Seitz responded: “I am on the board. The decision was essential to reorganize. Not thoughtless, a lot of thought went into it. Not a response to a comment at a meeting; it is fire that didn’t reach out after that, not PHD. Pam Hucthins [sic] has been interim admin of EMS before with a rating of excellent from the organization (Francis would have been there at that time, shame on Francis for lying). Doing the best we can to integrate thoughts and concerns from staff and EMTs, and community and keep EMS an excellent organization.”

What is concerning is that an elected official, speaking on behalf of the board, said nothing to allay citizen concerns, yet took the time to attack a 25-year veteran of FIRE and EMS by calling him a liar.

It no longer matters what the subject matter was, rather, it is the PHD’s lack of information, compassion and understanding of SJI EMS and the community. As a previous employee of EMS commented, “If this is your leadership style at the Hospital District (calling people liars on FB) I am deeply concerned for the organization.”

We are fortunate that Karl Kuetzing — before he was removed as Interim Chief — and Fire Chief Norvin Collins worked together to put a system in place. For whatever reason you might need 911 services, emergency services will make sure you get them. This is what the Hospital Board’s message should be, as opposed to calling people liars and blaming the Fire Department for its own inactions.

Dave Longley

San Juan Island