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The whole community has a voice in the master plan

Posted: October 14, 2008 8:05 p.m.
Updated: December 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.
There are few people in this community who do not want expansion of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

The proponents, though, of the master plan want you to believe the many community dissenters are against hospital expansion. This is not true.

Audacious and irresponsible remarks by a hospital spokesperson at the recent City Council meeting were reprehensible and trivialized our right to free speech.

We were told the complexities of the master plan should be left to the professionals. After almost 30 years in medicine, and on staff at Henry Mayo Hospital for over 20 years, my experience may trump his arrogance.

The tragic shortsightedness of the master plan is reflected in the erroneous neglect of enough operating rooms to provide appropriate health care to this community.

Presently we have only three, far less than any other hospital in northern L.A. County! Our doctors are waiting in line for OR time!

After the fourth OR is built, out at the end of 2009, the only way to add more is by building the hospital tower. When will that be?

Close to 10 years, according to the master plan timeline, and it will be after the three medical office buildings and four parking garages are completed.

What medical surgical specialist will come to a "Center of Excellence" that has only four operating rooms?

Two years ago, hospital CEO Roger Seaver told the medical staff a 12-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was not financially feasible in this community from a study that was done.

Is the NICU now being dangled in our face to gain master plan support? Ask the hospital Board of Directors for the study!

Having the heliport on the sixth level of the parking structure is myopic! The trauma victim will not only be exposed to the elements, but have to traverse the parking structure, go down an elevator, and travel 1/3 mile will wasting precious time of that "golden hour."

The vehicle they intend to use is top heavy, and in itself a danger! Ask them why!

Finally, the new cath lab may be archaic before it opens. Sixty-four cut coronary CT scan technology may virtually eliminate the need for cardiac catherization.

Understand, also, this cath lab will not place stents nor do angioplasty. Not being qualified as an L.A. County ST-elevation myocardial infarction hospital, paramedics will not be bringing those heart attack victims to our ER.

If you indeed do have catherization at Henry Mayo and need further evaluation, your insurance company may well not pay for a second catherization at another hospital.

If the master plan is truly complex, then it is the responsibility of the hospital board of directors, the City Council, the physicians and members of this community to ask questions and demand truthful answers.

This is our hospital!


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