MT. ZION: USCF Officials Blasted for Skipping Meeting
San Francisco health commissioners Tuesday blasted officials from UCSF Stanford Health Care for failing to attend a hearing to discuss the community impact of closing Mt. Zion Hospital's emergency room, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Hospital officials closed the emergency room on Nov. 23, one month earlier than expected (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/8). Only one representative from UCSF, Joyce Newstat, appeared at the meeting, and she was unable to answer many of the commissioners' questions. Newstat told the commission that the absence of UCSF Stanford officials was the result of a "misunderstanding." She said, "If they knew they were supposed to be here, they would have been here." Charging that the commissioners had been treated with "disrespect," Health Commission President Lee Ann Monfredini said, "I find it absolutely unbelievable that you [Newstat] are the only person sent hear to answer." Although the commission has no authority to block the emergency room closure, they can determine whether the move is detrimental to the community. UCSF Stanford officials contend that they have expanded emergency services at the Moffitt and Long Hospitals to make accommodations for the closure. The commission intended to determine at Tuesday's meeting whether those promises had been kept, but Newstat did not have the authority to answer any of their inquiries. Following the meeting, UCSF Stanford spokesperson Mike Lassiter said, "We are very sorry that there was a misunderstanding. We had no intention to slight the commission in any way." However, Monfredini indicated that she had "first-hand knowledge" that officials knew they were expected to be in attendance. Lassiter assured the commission that officials would be present at the Dec. 21 meeting (Torassa, San Francisco Examiner, 12/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.