Letters to the Editor

Hospital response bothers letter writer

On Dec. 22, 2010, the Whidbey News-Times published a letter I wrote concerning some issues at Whidbey General Hospital. On Jan. 20 I received an email at my home from Trish Rose, the hospital’s public relations and marketing director, in which she took issue with my opinions expressed in that letter.

She disagreed with my views and ended her email saying, “I have not seen you at any of the presentations. Can you tell me why you are saying differently in your letters?”

I responded and told her my statements were based on a page of a public program I found on a hospital cafeteria table. She then accused me of taking hospital documents and using them out of context to damage the reputation of the hospital. She ended this email with, “I can safely assume you will no longer be misrepresenting the facts?”

Did I miss the news that Ms. Rose is the duly appointed overseer of correct opinions? I presented Trish’s concerns to the State Auditor’s office and was told that the document was a public record and not a protected document. As for her concerns about damaging the reputation of the hospital? Her harassing someone in their home for expressing their views in a letter to the editor will do more damage to hospital’s reputation than anything she imagined I did by voicing my opinion.

The more distressing part of all this is that since no competent PR director would send out such emails without her superior’s approval I can only conclude that when the WGH administration doesn’t like what they read in the paper they attack the author at home. What’s next, if you need emergency care you’ll have to show a copy of your voting ballot to prove you marked “yes” for their $50 million bond issue?

Tom Leahy

Freeland

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