"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, June 5, 2008

OOPS, Senator Acts Before Thinking!

Senator Aubertine may want to run the idea of saving A.L Lee Memorial Hospital by Oswego Health before he announces it. "Blind sided us" was the specific quote used

Here is the article in it's entirety, normally a link would be provide but with putting out a press release before a deal is reached is nothing less than a dimwitted move.

There is no doubt a risk for Aubertine now, if the A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital deal falls flat, then he can assuredly seal his fate in Oswego County in this fall's election, and even if it goes through, at the very least his press release is premature and it can be noted that he had nothing to do with the deal, he was only rushing to take credit. His creditability is seriously questionable and damaged now and his actions are irresponsible. Here is a quote from the article from Oswego Health's Board President Nancy Bellow. “It would be irresponsible of me to just say we can. … We are going to do our jobs.”

Oswego Health ‘Blindsided’ By Senator’s Announcement

Posted by Nicole Reome on 05 Jun 2008 at 7:26 am

OSWEGO, NY - Oswego Health knew nothing about a plan that gives it less than a month to help save some services at Fulton’s Lee Memorial hospital, Oswego Health’s board of trustees president said.

Tuesday, Senator Darrel Aubertine put out a press release that said he is working with A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital and the state Department of Health to negotiate an agreement to save emergency and acute care services in Fulton through an affiliation another hospital.

While Aubertine’s release did not specifically name Oswego Health as that hospital, a spokesperson for the state Health Department did. As that news came out Wednesday, Nancy Bellow, the head of Oswego Health’s board of trustees, said it was news to her.

“Oswego Health has not been part of the discussions between the Senator, Lee Memorial or the Department of Health,” Bellow said. “The department of health spokesperson said that a deal has been struck without the knowledge or input of Oswego Health.”

Claudia Hutton, director of Public Affairs for the New York State Health Department, said Tuesday evening that it was possible for Lee Memorial to keep the emergency room open “if they enter an agreement with Oswego Hospital.” She noted that the affiliation was the key element.

“Though we’ve been working with Lee Memorial over the past 16 months, talks for the past few months have been only between Lee Memorial and Senator Aubertine,” Bellow said. “His press release blindsided us.”

Bellow said that Oswego Health and Lee Memorial had reached a memorandum of understanding and sealed a confidentiality agreement several months ago. She pointed out, however, that due diligence between the two sides has not started.

Bellow noted, too, that the senator was at Oswego Hospital this past Friday. “He never said a word,” she said.

Aubertine said he spoke with Bellow Wednesday.

“I am hopeful they will be able to work things out,” Aubertine said. “There has been negotiations between the two groups. They had slowed down a bit. Hopefully they can pick back up.

“There certainly is a hard deadline of June 30,” he added. “I am hopeful they can make some progress between now and then.”

Aubertine confirmed that while he has been talking with the health department and Lee Memorial, he has not had discussions with Oswego Health on the issue.

Aubertine stressed, however, that he believes that there is an opportunity in Oswego County similar to the situation in Westchester. Aubertine pointed out that the Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry struck and agreement with Riverside Health Care to maintain services and operate in compliance with Berger.

“I’ve worked only to put together an opportunity to rekindle the talks,” Aubertine said. “There is an opportunity for Lee Memorial and Oswego to pick up on their discussions and try to put together a resolution or a collaboration based on the Dobbs Ferry model. The possibility exists. … We will know more as those talks go forward.

“I think it would behoove everyone to let negotiations and talks go forward at this point and see how it goes,” Aubertine added.

Bellow said the Dobbs Ferry model has been discussed.

“We have discussed Dobbs Ferry,” Bellow said. “This is not new news. … We talked over Dobbs Ferry with Lee and jointly with the Department of Health in a conference call. The DOH said, ‘Let‘s see a proposal.’”

Bellow said that a group of Lee Memorial officials are slated to meet today with a group from Oswego Health.

But is it possible to reach and seal an agreement before June 30?

“I don’t know,” Bellow said. “We are going to give this our best efforts. We will meet, have a good conversation and figure out what our potential next steps are.

“There are more than just a few details to be ironed out,” Bellow added. She pointed out that the group would have to reach a formal agreement first to get to the point that it is ready to proceed with due diligence and work through that process.

Bellow said because the two sides have been in talks since January 2007, she doesn’t believe it is a process that has to start from scratch.

“Hopefully we can regroup on some frameworks that we talked about a few months ago,” Bellow said. “Then we would need to come to an agreement on what it would be and get a formal proposal to the Department of Health that is in compliance with Berger. It must be Berger compliant.

“That is the ultimate challenge,” she stressed. “This is not only an agreement but an agreement that has to meet the Berger Commission recommendations.

“Can we get it done by the end of the month? I don’t know,” Bellow said. “It would be irresponsible of me to just say we can. … We are going to do our jobs.”

Lee Memorial Executive Director Dennis Casey declined comment.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Good catch, IV. Who's giving this bumble-head his direction? Is it ever SOP to yap about negotiations, if they are happening? Even worse, to talk about them before they've even begun?

Anonymous said...

Scott cuts and pastes a post from another place and you call it a good catch?

Anonymous said...

A2 -- That's the beuty of blogs. How many people in Jeff County, do you think, read the news from Oswego? If we want to know what our representatives are doing outside the WDT circulation area, we can now rely on people like IV to point the way to additional sources. The world -- and the North Country -- are a lot bigger than our hometown paper cares to cover. Thanks, IV!

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