The New Grady Coalition Speaks out
It's not about the Politics? Who is kidding us?
By: Ron Marshall
(Editor's Note: The New Grady Coalition is a grass roots organization of Grady doctors, nurses, employees and patients.)
The Grady crisis has unfolded, and the media has sounded a drumbeat that we need an "independent" private board to remove the board from politics, and insulate Grady from conflict of interest.
Now, here is the flip-flop we've been predicting. Emory wants to control this board. Instead of nominating truly independent persons, the chairman nominated has been a top Emory official, and even a member of Emory's trustee board. What gives? This is the independent person we've been promised? This is not about the politics? Come on. Now we know what we suspected from day one, this is entirely about the politics, and it appears that Emory (who dominates the Grady task force) is the dominant player looking to achieve power. Emory is feeding on Grady like dolphins feed on minnows.
To be clear, this is not an attack on the man, but on the principle. The purported purpose was to get someone totally neutral. Instead, it appears Emory wants their own man to run Grady behind closed doors.
The chilling effect of a private board running a publicly-funded hospital became all too clear in the Fulton County report, in which examples are given of public hospitals that went private solely to hide their books and operations from Open Records requests. Attorney Anthony L. Cochran filed suit against Thomasville's Archbold Memorial Hospital for evading Open Records requests by establishing a private board, the exact move that Grady is attempting.
How long will Atlanta and Georgia be run by secrecy, and without open government, or behind closed doors? The Atlanta Captains are on the right track but on the wrong train.
We do not have a single detail of the purported private board plan. The Atlanta Journal
Constitution is the most distinguished paper in this area, and surely, it should find out the details before it advocates a major reform. The AJC claims that “Running Grady by a private board does not amount to "privatization".
Oh? What dictionary are they using? Why does the AJC continue to duck my good-faith query to find out what exactly do they mean? How can the AJC say with a straight face that private does not mean private?
I'm sure the citizens of Thomasville were also reassured that private does not mean private, and that they would always have a transparent system. Up until the day it actually became private. Then, the hospital locked their books. No one is going to see what happens in that hospital again, ever.
Do we really want the same fate for Grady?
No matter how you slice the salami, Grady is going to remain publicly funded, and thus remain a tax-payer controlled hospital. Claiming a private board will find millions or billions from thin air is a pipe dream. No sane person is going to donate the money. Our nation was founded on the idea of "no taxation without representation." The AJC calls this notion "outdated." Since when? Who is really going to pay tax dollars without representation on how Grady spends that money?
The entire private board plan appears to be an attempt to avoid oversight, regulation and accountability. No one has said what this private board will do. It is a secret. I don't like secrets. I would like Open Government, and for everything to be spelled out why we need such a board. Now the board is talking about a lease. To whom at what price? The board decided to hold a public meeting two days after Christmas, why? Trying to maintain the secret?