Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

BY Dr. Greg Duncan

First, the court date for a Hearing requesting an injunction against Sutter Health has been moved to October 3, 2012, in Crescent City. If granted, the injunction would extend the current Temporary Restraining Order which blocks Sutter Health from implementing their transfer of ownership (Regionalization),Critical Access designation, and downsizing the business office at Sutter Coast Hospital.

Sutter Health has filed Court papers in opposition to the Injunction. The papers reiterate statements made by Sutter Executive VP Mike Cohill, as noted in my most recent email, and published in the Triplicate on 8/13/12. Here is direct quote from Sutter’s Court papers: “Sutter Coast must have the flexibility to explore other models, such as “critical access” designation in the future, if necessary for Sutter Coast Hospital to survive and continue to provide any hospital services to the community.”

So, Critical Access (which would reduce our hospital bed capacity by 50% and limit average length of stay to 96 hours) is clearly on the table. Based on information supplied by Sutter Health, we know there is a consultant being paid to study Critical Access, an attorney assigned to Critical Access, and now, a motive to implement Critical Access (claims of financial losses). Sutter Health fails to mention that a multimillion dollar loss at Sutter Coast was the result of their own mismanagement. As reported in the Del Norte Triplicate, Sutter Health’s decision to outsource our community based billing service to their Regional company resulted in multimillion dollar losses. Now, Sutter is using those losses as justification for Critical Access.

Sutter Health also claims that “Critical Access designation will not diminish the services provided” [at Sutter Coast Hospital]. Without reiterating earlier statements, I ask you to read the 8/13/12 article in the Triplicate (available at–type “Hospital” in the search bar).

Finally, a word about the Triplicate. Our local paper has been very good about covering both sides of this issue, and printing letters to the editor. Richard Wiens is the best editor I have seen in my 20 years here. If you would like to voice your opinion, consider writing a letter to the Editor, either online, or by mail to: Del Norte Triplicate, 312 H., P.O. Box 277, Crescent City, CA, 95531. I know it is hard to write to the newspaper, but if Sutter thinks the community doesn’t care about this issue, Regionalization will likely take place, giving Sutter Health the authority to implement Critical Access.
Triplicate staff will fix your typos and misspellings. Please consider taking the step of writing the newspaper. (As a physician, I know sharing your opinion can only be good for your blood pressure).

Triplicate staff will fix your typos and misspellings. Please consider taking the step of writing the newspaper. (As a physician, I know sharing your opinion can only be good for your blood pressure).

NOTE:  The is in favor of the opposition to regionalization and joins the rest of our area in solidarity on this issue. Dr. Greg Duncan is Chief of Staff at Sutter Coast Hospital.



  1. After listening to your presentation at the board of supervisors meeting, i only hope that you have an attorney advising you and the attorney is not from del norte county. This is a very serious matter, I would try to contact Troy Szabo out of sacramento as I believe he is up on this particular matter subject. He currently works for Wilke, Fleury, Hoffelt, Gould and Birney and their number is 916-441-2430.

    Troy was my professor at UCDavis Extensions paralegal program, I believe at that time he worked for the State as developing statutes for these form of issues that are currently at hand.

    Linda Sutter, not related

  2. If Sutter Coast Hospital no longer has a contract why don’t they have another hospital bid for a contract. We need new services in this town. ONe service would be dialysis.

  3. I thank the Crescent City Times for sharing my letter with the community. I can assure the readership I am in no way connected this publication, but I sure appreciate the efforts they take to bring information to our region.

    Greg Duncan

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