Friday, June 20, 2008


Muhlenberg RIP
Dottie Gutenkauf yesterday posted the up to date state of affairs pertaining to MRMC.

Her report should have been no surprise. The one group, our local and state political leaders, that may have had some effect in slowing the process excelled in minimal action. At no time did any municipal government use proactive action to achieve time to preserve the hospital. An injunction might have worked.Who knows? It was never considered.

I knew a month ago that the Colon/Rectal groups were folding their tent and terminating a 50+ year affiliation with Muhlenberg. The promise of a dedicated floor which they can fill at JFK and reserved OR slots would be too much to resist. Solaris had previously stopped providing specific Muhlenberg OR times to the orthopedists and the vascular surgeons who subsequently transferred their affiliation to the more cooperative JFK.

Residency terms begin July 1 for the year. Since there were none offered for 2008-09 no service could be given to the CCUs effectively shutting them down. Without house officers no acute care hospital can safely function. The only alternative would be the employment of coverage physicians.

No nursing staff would stay under such condition.

We must accept the fact that Muhlenberg no longer exists. Solaris has made it almost impossible for another operator to run the hospital even in a cut down mode. We can also be assured that conditions would not have reached this point without the active collaboration of Commissioner Howard, and the tacit approval of the Governor.Howard's earlier public remarks about the need to close Muhlenberg were callous but revealed a complete disregard of constitutional rights and procedures.

It is unfortunate that now no legal action can be timely enough or effective. We have a fait accompli before the final hearing and DHSS action.

Perhaps there may be grounds for action against Solaris executives and Board as well as the Commissioner for collusion and malfeasance. There may even be evidenced of criminal altering the books, Who knows and who has the funds to pursue such a course?

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