Coastal Post Online

October 2000

Registered Nurse to Run for Healthcare District

Mill Valley, CA -- Esther Blau, Registered Nurse, today filed papers for her candidacy for the Marin Healthcare District Board (MHDB). Ms. Blau has been a direct patient care nurse at Marin General Hospital in the Recovery Room and Surgery Center for over 20 years. She has been an elected officer of the Hospital's Professional Performance Committee for the past 7 years. The MHD is the owner of MGH which is leased to the Sutter Health Corporation.

Ms. Blau is a strong patient advocate and has done extensive study on nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, HMO and insurance roles in healthcare, and patient outcomes research. She has spoken, written and testified about deteriorating patient care conditions at the hospital. Her efforts caused the CAO of MGH to sue her for libel, which was ruled by the Court to be a groundless action for the purposes of intimidation and harrassment.

Ms. Blau was directly involved in the passage into law of legislation in California last year which will require minimum staffing ratios in all units of acute care hospitals. She stated "This legislation was a dramatic victory for patients and the patient advocates who worked to achieve this vital reform. California will be the first state in the nation to defeat attempts to derail safe staffing." Ms. Blau feels it is urgent that the trauma center with 24-hr neurosurgery coverage at MGH be established as soon as possible.

A 27 year resident of Mill Valley, Blau believes that the physicians, nurses, healthcare professionals and other employees at MGH are of the highest caliber. She cites unsound corporate practices, poor management decisions and diversion of funds to non-patient-oriented activities as the cause of MGH's low rating by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. She stated "I want to bring patient care at MGH up to the highest standards."

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