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Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Re: "Hospital controversy may settle down" (3/26/14 Star)

Letter to the Editor


I don’t think so. It isn’t just Scott Graham that the hospital staff does not trust. It is the entire administration. And the board still doesn’t see why that is.

This administration has ruled with intimidation, secrecy and double standards, and is more self serving than any before it. They used intimidation constantly at monthly leadership (department manager) meetings by regularly stating “CMC is an at-will employer and can fire anyone at anytime for any reason,” and they expected department managers to follow administrative decisions without question and convince department staff to do so, as well. I know because I used to be one of those sheep who blindly followed, partly because I believed in some of what administration was doing, but mostly so I could remain employed.

This administration is cloaked in secrecy. How many additional properties does CMC own besides the vacant lots across the highway earmarked for a “wellness center” and the house on Fortuyn Road in Grand Coulee? How many properties does CMC rent besides the Orthopedic office in Spokane or houses in town for selected people to live in? Is St. Rita’s good for some but not others? Are Spokane patients coming to Grand Coulee for their surgery after their visit to the Spokane Orthopedic office? I doubt it.

And let’s not forget the Coulee Medical Foundation, which still receives public donations but is now governed by the administrator and two community members chosen by him. Maybe a full disclosure is in order. After all, this is a public hospital and the public has a right to know where their monies are going. Isn’t that part of “transparency,” Scott?

This administration has double standards. They have terminated the employment of countless employees, including mine, because we “Did not live up to the expectations of CMC’s Mission, Vision and Values” and “our yearly Employee Engagement Survey results showed lack of support from some of our staff.” Why did Chief Operating Officer Alan Wagner’s college degree information disappear from the hospital website a few weeks after a community member questioned its validity at a board meeting? Did HR fail to do her job, or did she look the other way if this was on Alan’s job application? How does this fit in with the “Integrity” portion of the Mission, Vision and Values?

It’s interesting that this administration’s yearly survey results (available to the public) have been appalling since the surveys were first started almost three years ago. The results clearly show that hospital staff do not trust and are not willing to follow any of the administration team. Staff are particularly afraid of and avoid the HR director, who walks the halls without a smile or hello until spoken to. How does this fit in with the “Professionalism” or “Respect” portion of the Mission, Vision and Values? Yet, every member of the administrative team still has their jobs? Why?

This administration is self serving. They give themselves the lion’s share of a bonus and give the medical providers the scraps. They very recently gave salaried department managers $5,000 bonuses each, while giving the true worker bees a measly $50 gift card. Were the leadership bonuses given to try to clear administration’s consciences?

The employees in the trenches are the ones who have given up the most. They have been forced to use hard earned vacation time, have taken time without pay and some have changed to part time employment to keep their hospital alive. And this is how their loyalty is repaid?

Administration changes policies to meet their own needs. They wrote the nepotism policy and expected everyone to follow it without question. Yet when one of their own needs to change job duties, the policy is edited. All of these actions clearly contradict the organization’s Mission, Vision and Values.

I understand that part of the job for CMC Hospital Commissioners is to hire and oversee the CEO. You are basically that person’s boss. Don’t be like a sheep and blindly follow, as I did. Ask questions. Dig deeply into matters that affect all of the CMC staff and this community. Be sure that not only is the CEO meeting the goals you set forth for him but more importantly, do his actions and those of his administrative team meet or exceed what is expected according to the CMC Mission, Vision and Values. It is a well written and important document that was actually thought out and put together by a diverse group of Coulee Community Hospital staff. Its core teachings should drive your actions, as well. Finally and more importantly, as board members, never forget the community you serve.

Maryann Winn


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