Thursday, June 02, 2005

Sutter Health From an Employee's Perspective

Graphic from Sutter Corporate Watch

On Tuesday, May 31, the San Francisco Chronicle led off the business section with this hot news item:

Sutter Health CEO to move on
Leader of state's biggest hospital network
to train Mormon missionaries

You might say that Van Johnson, Sutter Health's chief executive officer, is leaving his job for a higher calling. . . Johnson, 60, is giving up a $1.94 million salary running one of the state's largest hospital networks to take the unpaid assignment. He and his wife, Barbara, will be responsible for about 180 young people, most between the ages of 19 and 26, serving two-year missions in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

A friend of mine who has been working in a Sutter hospital for Mr. Johnson had some thoughts on the boss' departure; since the Chronicle didn't print this worker's letter, I thought I'd share it here:

I was touched that Sutter CEO Van Johnson would leave his job "for a higher calling." As a Sutter Employee, I know that many of us would love to do something similar.

Perhaps we'd like devote ourselves full time to working to end poverty, achieving racial justice, supporting low income kids to stay in school. Some of us would simply love to devote ourselves full time to taking care of our children, our parents or our neighborhood.

Unfortunately, none of us have been making a $1.94 million salary like Mr. Johnson. I am sure that many of us could do as well as he does for Sutter. We know the rules:

1) Lay off employees and then those left will be so frightened that they will gladly do the work of two.

2) Cut back patient services while proclaiming first class health care in expensive TV ads.

3) Make certain that 97 percent of your resources are denied to the uninsured and limited to those with MediCal.

4) If underpaid employees give you ample notice of a lawful one day strike, unlawfully lock them out for 4 more days so they lose a weeks pay. That will show them! It will also give you time to hire outside paramilitary security firms to frighten the workers, and give the Berkeley Police time to plan to encircle Alta Bates Hospital with police cars -- rape and robbery be damned!

5) Finally, if any of your practices cause legal action to be brought against you or fines to be levied against you-who cares! You can afford it. You are saving money in all the right places -- on your workers and your patients!


Please withhold my name as I am a Sutter employee and would be fired for this.

It has to be time to revive the simple idea of health care as human right, not a profit center for the greedy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It gets better - Johnson actually bagged 5.6 million in 2006 - that is post retirement - he didn't lift a finger for it.
check out page 6 of Sutter's 2006 990 form here:

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