The Coastal Post - October, 1996

PIETRO PRATL

Wake up, Phyllis Pfeiffer! Phyllis is the publisher of our local Gannett daily. Do you read IJ ads, Phyllis?

Marin General Hospital lied. MGH pays the IJ thousands of dollars for display ads that say, "...every dime we make goes back into providing the highest quality health care." Phyllis, when there is more cash on hand than is needed for two weeks of operating expenses, that excess is siphoned to Sutter Health in Sacramento. Three elected directors (Dr. Larry Bedard, Valerie Bergmann, Suzanna Coxhead) were part of a quorum that voted to make this possible.

Since 1985 millions of dollars of patient revenue have been siphoned out of the hospital. Expect no return, Phyllis. The lease to Henry J. Buhrmann, et al, does not require return. Two things exist on Bon Air Road: A non-stop cash cow for the lessees but paid for by district residents.

The residents of Marin should be told the truth. MGH is more than a "Sutter/CHS affiliate." MGH is a Sutter chain hospital. So is Novato Community Hospital. We do not have any independent community hospitals anymore. Tell them what happened to the local taxpayer-owned hospital, Phyllis.

We lost our local major hospital to a chain. Will we lose our local major mortuary to the world's largest chain of funeral homes? The Loewen Group based in British Columbia buys mom and pop operations but keeps mom and pop in place. Long ago Loewen bought Keaton's but kept the family there. Now Service Corporation International, the world's largest funeral home chain, is trying to buy Loewen with a 3.1 billion stock bid.