Why is the Hospital so Important to my Fellow Board Members (navel gazing edition)

So given the terrible results projected for this year, why would anyone fight so hard to keep a small, heavily subsidized, not superior (and possibly inferior) hospital open?  In the past, some of it could have been explained by a belief that “the will of the people” was being served, but that vote was over 10 years ago and circumstances have changed.  In addition, in my opinion, that campaign was fraught with misleading messages from the pro side (I voted for the District).  Also, political ambition has played a part (Lena Tam, Rob Bonta, Mary Ezzy-Ashcraft, and probably Leah Williams).  I don’t believe that any of my fellow Board members are looking to “upgrade” (?) to the City Council.  Of course, we don’t need an explanation for  Dr. Deutsch; closing the Hospital would probably mean a forced retirement for him and his ego is intimately tied up with the Hospital (understandably so given how long he has been working there).  For management, the answer seems obvious, but I think they also take cues from the Board as to what stance they will take.  Debbi Stebbins and Kerri Easthope are, based on what I can tell, competent administrators.  I assume they know this Hospital is essentially doomed in its present configuration.

I think the major reason that my fellow Board members don’t want to see the obvious is groupthink.  There is a rich literature in peer pressure regarding both the socially beneficial aspects (better teamwork, conformance to norms) and the costs (incorrect answers, lower self-esteem, lack of innovation).   I’ll continue to try to break this lock on their brains.

About egorelick

Gadfly. Former City of Alameda Healthcare District Board member.
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