In the wake of 15 diagnosed COVID-19 cases among staff, and the latest fracas over face mask policy at Maui Memorial Hospital, South Maui State Rep. Tina Wildberger sent a sternly-worded letter to CEO Michael Rembis and COO Debbie Walsh Thursday. In it she told them them that [parent company] Kaiser has “an obligation to offer transparency and follow [Centers for Disease Control] guidance to protect our precious health care workers.”
Wildberger wrote that after she received numerous communications from concerned staff, “I find it critical to call out what has been described as a clandestine, unsupportive and punitive administration.” She added, “From the outside looking in, your administration seems to be preoccupied about bottom line or public impressions…Lack of leadership and confidence in your administration is creating chaos at Maui’s only hospital and detracting from patient care.”
Among other questions regarding policy and procedures, the letter asks the hospital to explain why it has so far failed “to follow CDC guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect workers…Your administration’s assertion that CDC is only a guideline and that your infectious disease doctor can make his own recommendation puts staff, patients and the public at risk.”
Wildberger asked, “What concrete changes in how you operate will be implemented immediately so your staff can come to work and feel safe and supported? It is important to listen to the professionals with clinical experience.”
The letter added, “Your kuleana is to protect your staff and, therefore, the greater community…Your staff needs to have faith and confidence in their administration without constant fear of retaliation and secrecy.
“Maui Memorial Medical Center needs to provide appropriate PPE to every single employee from doctors to custodial staff, and make COVID testing available to every single exposed person.”
Wildberger told MauiTime that she wrote the letter “to be a voice for my constituents and the under-represented, where one is needed. Especially during a crisis, we must shine a light where policy is clearly not serving the community. Management is asking for tens of millions of dollars from the state legislature; they need to be protecting their employee-taxpayers.”
Wildberger sent copies of the letter to Lt. Gov. Josh Green and state Department of Health director Bruce Anderson.
Read the full letter below (click to enlarge):
More COVID-19 coverage from MauiTime at www.mauitime.com/covid-19