Wednesday, August 26, 2015

St. Luke's process moves forward, despite questions about cost, connectivity and public safety

East End neighbor Heather Steele voices her opposition to closing Jefferson while St. Luke's executives and board chair Skip Oppenheimer (center) look on. Steele was describing injuries her husband suffered after being struck by a car on one of the already traffic-burdened nearby streets. St. Luke's took full advantage of a last-minute schedule change to fill Council Chambers early with staff and board members; residents like Steele—unable to leave work early—wound up waiting up to seven hours to testify.
Note. The following information and links are based on information in the public record and/or available to KBC members and believed to be reliable; corrections are welcome as needed to ensure accurate accounting. KBC members have never taken issue with development on privately held land. We have consistently expressed concerns about changes to Boise’s comprehensive plan and the taking of a public right-of-way by a private corporation without a transparent, credible and defensible public process with meaningful input from stakeholders most impacted by the changes.

What City Hall said
In the aftermath of the City Council’s four-to-one decision to approve St. Luke’s Master Plan (to include loss of two blocks of Jefferson Street between Ave. B and N. 1st), two formal statements have been issued:

See the most recent Council discussion on the topic here:

See Planning Director Simmons’ 7/23/15 letter to Jeff Hull at St. Luke’s here:

What others have said
As was made clear by residents and independent transportation, walkability and health care design professionals, losing two blocks of Jefferson would permanently sever a historic and direct connection between those living east of Avenue B (basically everyone in the 83712 zip code) and the rest of Boise. It also robs all commuters of a critical ‘pressure-relief valve’ that serves as the only practical route into or out of the East End during gridlock associated with special events at Dona Larsen Park, the Botanical Gardens/Outlaw Field, or construction projects.

The importance of street grid integrity in this area was specifically referenced in the 2013 Downtown Walkability Analysis commissioned by CCDC. National Walkability expert Jeff Speck couldn’t have been any clearer:
“Downtown Boise benefits from a quite small block size—about 300 feet square—and almost none of these blocks have been consolidated into superblocks, which tend to decrease walkability by focusing traffic on fewer streets, causing them to become too wide. The logic of small blocks suggests that no further block consolidations should be allowed, such as the one currently considered at St. Luke’s, which will significantly undermine the effectiveness of the street grid in that location.”
Boise’s P&Z Commissioners were also clear on this issue when they denied St. Luke’s application “for the reason that it does not comply with substantial elements of the comprehensive plan.” The final vote was six to deny and one to defer.  (2/9/15 P&Z Transcript).

Justifications, conditions and assumptions
Justifications. St. Luke’s subspecialists and consultants argued repeatedly that ‘seconds count’ when patients need to move within their proposed ‘contiguous main floor plate’ to be built to the north of the existing hospital on what is currently Jefferson Street. However, this argument fails for the vast majority of patients throughout the 350-mile service area who can’t conveniently access a suburban-scale hospital in the first place, either because of its isolation from projected population growth centers or due to traffic congestion.

Another factor presented as a justification from City Hall involved economic impacts from a $400M development and another 400–600 jobs. What wasn't discussed was that as St. Luke’s has acquired massive real estate holdings, those properties are taken off the tax rolls. More importantly, residents heard a very different perspective from an independent economist familiar with the Treasure Valley and specializing in economic impact analyses of hospital expansions. After reviewing the St. Luke’s Master Plan, he concluded, “the economic argument the hospital is promoting in its printed material is not valid.”

Here’s what he had to say about the importance of defining the appropriate study area for an economic impact analysis, in this case, for a ‘regional medical center' drawing patients from a multi-state market:
"The study area is the lens through which all economic results are interpreted. The study area is usually what I like to call a ‘functioning economic unit.’ The Treasure Valley is a complex and integrated economy that is not divided materially by political boundaries. Goods and services, workers and supplies flow freely from Boise to Meridian to Kuna to Caldwell and beyond virtually unimpeded. In order to talk about economic benefits to the city of Boise, one must talk about economic benefits to the regional Boise economy, because the Boise economy extends beyond the city boundaries.
The hospital will bring the same economic benefit to the Boise region whether the hospital is fully in Boise or in several communities in the region. No jobs will be lost, no hospital services will be lost, and no difference in economic benefit will be discernable if select hospital services move just several miles away."
KBC shared these observations with the Mayor and Council prior to their decision, but are not aware if they took them into consideration.

Conditions. Council’s decision did propose certain conditions: chiefly the re-opening of Bannock Street to (at a minimum) bicycle and pedestrian traffic between Avenue B and N. 1st Street. The second condition involves working with various stakeholder groups to develop a plan for a more diverse health district and ‘activated’ ground-floor space around parking and other structures. This means including some public retail activities that engage surrounding neighborhoods.

A little research into ‘urban health districts’ provides examples of development compatible with an urban form. KBC members—with generous support from Boise residents—were able to bring the country’s foremost expert in hospital and health district design to Boise for some much-needed perspective on this topic. We hope Council found it of value.

Assumptions. Naturally, any conditions may be unwelcome by St. Luke’s. Planning Director Simmon’s 7/23/15 letter to Jeff Hull notifies St. Luke’s of its options to request a ‘regulatory takings’ analysis—ostensibly for placing conditions on the plan’s approval. These involve restoring Bannock Street to a public right-of-way as partial compensation for the ‘taking’ of Jefferson from the public, and council's recommendation to incorporate best practices in health district design in the master plan (as described by Professor Allison). We are not aware whether this is in response to a suggestion* that St. Luke’s would pursue a regulatory takings lawsuit or simply standard practice. See below:

*St. Luke’s did ‘suggest’ it would move operations to Meridian if Boise didn’t hand over Jefferson, and subsequently implied that ‘people would die’ if they couldn’t have Jefferson "because seconds matter" (we assume they were only referring to people in Boise’s East End, living next door to the hospital and arriving through a ground-floor entrance and not via LifeFlight, which involves an elevator ride we were assured would add more seconds). In a dispute with Blue Cross over reimbursement amounts for certain procedures, St. Luke’s also threatened to close its Wood River Valley facility. See more on that story here:

A takings lawsuit would fly in the face of Mayor Bieter’s admonition to hospital executives that the burden is on them to re-establish badly damaged public trust:
“When the issue of St. Luke’s tax-exempt status came up several years ago, my opinion (was) that St. Luke’s kind of muscled through the legislature a law removing the requirements of the tax exemption that I thought were a great benefit to the public and had served us well for around 100 years.
More recently, what I view as quite an aggressive approach to the litigation with the Idaho Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission.* I think that’s placed a significant disruption into health care in our community.
 “The request for vacation of a right-of-way is a request for an act of faith, of trust in you. And the question, I think, before this council, is: Are you trustworthy?” 
“…Leaving aside what I thought was a major misstep in the PR efforts before the application, at times, the supporters and employees of St. Luke’s seemed to me to be somewhat dismissive of the legitimate concerns of your neighbors as, to quote one such supporter, dismissing those concerns as “insignificant noise.” I am an East Ender, too, and that’s a troubling statement.”
Read more here:

*Here Bieter references concerns about St. Luke’s evolving antitrust saga. Ninth Circuit Judge Winmill has ordered the hospital to hand over its divestment plan for Saltzer Medical Group. Reading between the lines, the Justice seems skeptical of St. Luke’s promises. You can form you own opinions here:

Give the Mayor credit for plain talk on the increasingly dysfunctional aspects of the relationship between new St. Luke’s leadership and Boise’s lawmakers and residents.

Corporate Access to Local Government:  
These were tough words—and a tough stance—from the mayor, particularly in light of the ever-widening revolving door and entanglements between City Hall and Saint Luke’s:

·      Mayor Bieter’s wife works for St. Luke’s
·      Mayor Bieter’s former media relations assistant was hired by St. Luke’s to serve as the expansion spokesperson.
·      Mayor Bieter’s current assistant is married to a St. Luke’s physician
·      City Councilman Ben Quintana also serves in a leadership position at St. Luke’s.
·      City Councilman T.J. Thompson’s “Healthy Communities” project receives significant support from St. Luke’s, including one-on-one work with hospital executives.
·      Most recently, the Boise Parks and Recreation Community Relations Manager was hired as St. Luke’s Communications Manager.

Influence Beyond City Hall
No one questions the integrity of individuals involved. At the same time, it’s easy to see why the public is increasingly cynical about this process, particularly when they see the vanishing line between City Hall and St. Luke’s, and they learn of the many personal, professional and financial relationships extending beyond City Hall.
  • Idaho Statesman Publisher Michael Jung also serves on St. Luke’s Strategic Initiatives Committee. (This was not disclosed to KBC members meeting with the Statesman’s Editorial Board, but seemed consistent with the way neighborhood opposition was portrayed by the Statesman early on. To be fair, the Statesman’s Audrey Dutton has done an admirable job covering issues of antitrustmonopoly and the impact on Idaho’s health care industry and cost inflation)
  • St. Luke’s launched a massive ad campaign in an effort to burnish its image and present its version of the project. Radio and TV ads continue on heavy rotation following a social media blitz and printed mailers implying a Utopian combination of happy children, ponies and cycling families frolicking on Bannock Plaza.
  • Local nonprofits, media outlets and city council projects have been the beneficiaries of this investment. Those who express their opposition to the hospital’s tactics and goals in private are unwilling to speak freely as they feel it would risk sponsorship and revenue.
The above strategies are standard practices when corporations want to gain access/advantages or compensate for an image problem, but can have a chilling effect on open and objective analysis of a major development with many unanticipated side effects. That frustrates taxpayers and voters who can’t possibly gain the levels of access that St. Luke’s enjoys.

Public opinion of St. Luke’s has definitely taken a turn in the past few years, particularly as St Luke’s began its aggressive acquisition of independent practices. A search for local news stories involving the hospital and a review of the comments section offers a clear feel for public sentiments. As one local public relations professional pointed out, "You can’t make good P.R. out of bad policy; promotional budgets are often inversely proportional to public trust."

What’s next?
As of mid-August St. Luke’s still needs to sign off on the deal as proposed by Council in order to move forward. And a key decision rests with the Ada County Highway District (ACHD). ACHD Commissioners are responsible for transportation and storm water infrastructure, which would involve committing taxpayer dollars to accommodate St. Luke’s desire to expand in an already traffic-burdened area.

Independent analysis suggests alternatives. To date, only residents and independent economic, land-use, transportation and hospital expansion professionals have questioned what they see as a completely inappropriate location for expansion. They suggest distributing medical office buildings instead to areas with existing infrastructure that are easily accessed by a broad cross-section of Ada County residents—and currently owned or controlled by St. Luke’s near Americana and Boise’s’ new Westend development.

ACHD Commissioners won’t likely be persuaded by the kind of overtly emotional  appeals heaped on City Council, described by one reporter as “…something you might see on the St. Luke’s Children’s Miracle Network Telethon.” (Boise Weekly 4/1/15)

Independent bike safety and transportation experts feel the resulting increase in traffic volume, coupled with complex, costly and compromised mitigation attempts may in fact threaten public health and safety.
“…there is absolutely no way I could advocate for, or be in favor of shutting down Jefferson St. It really boils down to safety and connectivity, and the closing of Jefferson presents significant problems to both of these. For those who don’t know, Jefferson at Ave. B is a preferred and heavily used bike route for accessing the East End Neighborhood from Downtown Boise and vice versa.”
—Jimmy Halyburton, Boise BicycleProject (League-Certified Bicycle Safety Instructor, Participant in St. Luke’s Cycle Discussion)

Even P&Z Commissioner Danley’s comments to St. Luke’s suggested that commuters may in fact switch from bikes to cars rather than risk mall-like traffic and impatient drivers trying to beat signals. In his words, “We’re now trying to combat chronic diseases, obesity, diabetes, all of the things that you all are experts in. I believe that this exacerbates that problem.”

So, the process moves forward.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Testimony from Professor David Allison

Thanks to neighbor Bob for capturing Professor Allison's testimony to Boise City Council. We are grateful for the opportunity to hear from one of America's “most influential people in healthcare design.”

We hope his presentation helped City Council and others recognize that Boise can improve on the current proposed hospital expansion and street closure, simply by setting boundaries. We think enough questions exist to justify hitting the pause button on St. Luke's current proposal; more robust collaboration could help achieve needed expansion, better community relations and Mayor Bieter's goal of 'making Boise America's most livable city.' We can do better.

See more on David Allison here.

KBC invited Professor Allison because we think Boise deserve the very best in planning and design for what will be a significant development affecting generations of residents and visitors alike.

We hope city leaders also believe the future of this city is worth this consideration.

David Allison Testimony

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

KBC Welcomes Professor David Allison, FAIA, FACHA

David Allison, FAIA, FACHA
KBC members and supporters are honored to welcome special guest Professor David Allison, FAIA, FACHA—the Alumni Distinguished Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Architecture + Health at Clemson University.
Thanks to his interest in Boise's challenges after reviewing St. Luke's Master Plan, contributions from neighbors—and a little serendipity—we're happy to have one of America's most-respected educators and practitioners in the field of health care architecture.
We all want Boise to live up to Mayor Bieter's goal of 'America's Most Livable City,' so we thought, "why not bring in the architect voted 'one of the most influential people in healthcare design' in multiple yearly polls?" (source: Healthcare Design Magazine)
We took Professor Allison on a pedestrian tour of St. Luke's campus to give him an up-close sense of the current layout and proposed changes to compare with the proposed master plan. In the spirit of cooperation and fairness, KBC even lined up time the morning of the City Council hearing for Professor Allison to meet with some of the key folks from St. Luke's design team.
He will be presenting his thoughts on health district design in general, with a few observations of the proposed St. Luke's plan to City Council this evening. See the attached press release for more details.

6/28/15 Release available here. (Features bio for KBC Guest Prof. David Allison)

Former ACHD Commissioner speaks out

Kudos to the Statesman for publishing a contrasting voice to their own unsigned editorial.

Guest Opinion: St. Luke’s should reconsider expansion and use South option

Read more here:
Gary Richardson
St. Luke’s alternatives analysis for its master plan is incomplete, misleading, unconvincing and somewhat disingenuous. At least one other alternative exists that would meet emergency and other service criteria without closing Jefferson Street:

A southward expansion, replacing or built over the existing parking garage, meets the horizontal-service, connectivity and continuum-of-care objectives of the hospital’s proposed northward expansion.

It also obviates the need to take two more blocks of public right-of-way beyond that already vacated on Bannock and Avenue A.

Most of the hospital’s objections to expanding southward relate to placing the medical office building and parking garage eastward, across Avenue B. (St. Luke’s doesn’t own much of that land.) However, there is a way to keep those facilities north of Jefferson:

Expand southward, connecting the main expansion to existing hospital floors and corridors as desired.

Relegate parking, central plant, shipping and receiving facilities to the Front/First/Jefferson “island,” where they are more accessible to thoroughfares and farther from residential areas.

Locate the office building across Jefferson from the existing medical “plaza,” which can expand to the west as shown and/or provide additional parking.

The new facilities can easily be connected to the main buildings across Jefferson — underground, overhead or both.

The hospital also criticized southward expansion because it would move the main entrance and emergency department: “Expansion to the south causes redevelopment of the entire front of the existing hospital. Patient and visitor access to front door is problematic.” However, St. Luke’s preferred, northward expansion envisions just that: redeveloping the entire front of the hospital by moving the main entrance to the Fort Street side of the expansion.

Southward expansion offers several workable options for locating the new entrance and the emergency department without vacating Jefferson. There are two emergency options: a grand entrance at the corner of Jefferson and Avenue B (or farther west on Jefferson); or an entrance on Avenue B across from East Bannock.

Other St. Luke’s objections to the southward expansion were not stated in the plan but came up in discussions: The inconvenience of closing the hospital’s main entrance during construction, and the additional cost of dealing with the existing parking structure. These objections are not insurmountable.

Alternate entrances can be provided during construction — a temporary inconvenience, which should be weighed against the permanent inconvenience to the public of disregarding the important connectivity built into the city’s comprehensive plan.

The possibility that the garage location could block optimal expansion alternatives should have been considered before the hospital built it; the public should not pay for the hospital’s shortsightedness.

Most troubling is the high-handed way St. Luke’s has approached its proposed master plan. Apparently its administrators haven’t heard of strategic development of informed consent.

This entails identifying at early planning stages everyone who might be affected by a proposed action and involving them deeply in the decision-making process so they have all the information upon which the ultimate decisions are based.

While they may not agree with the ultimate outcome, having been heard and understanding how costs and benefits were weighed, they are more likely to assent.

More importantly, these stakeholders actually may contribute to a better decision.

St. Luke’s “my way or the highway” attitude has turned out to be a two-way street. It has generated sentiment that perhaps St. Luke’s should move some of its services to the population center of the Treasure Valley: Meridian.

The city should send St. Luke’s back to work with their neighbors — with a copy of the city’s comprehensive plan — to guide them toward better integrating health services with neighborhood needs.

Gary E Richardson is a former Ada County Highway District commissioner (1997-98) who has lived in the St. Luke’s neighborhood for more than 30 years.

See the full Guest Opinion here.

Read more about Gary Richardson here.

Read more here:

Context and commentary from one of Boise's most respected citizen leaders

Diane Ronayne
Tonight at 5 p.m. the City Council considers St. Luke's expansion plan. Some 20 years ago, a bunch of us got together and formed the Neighborhood Alliance, which with the city's support nurtured into being dozens of neighborhood associations throughout Boise. Our purpose was to give citizens equal legal footing in the development processes that affected the value of their property and quality of their lives. I'm very proud of the way East Enders have responded to St. Luke's proposal through their neighborhood association and the ad hoc nonprofit Keep Boise Connected, Inc.

Unfortunately, the constructive give-and-take between applicant and neighbors that we worked so hard to codify in the city's planning process did not occur with this project. The applicant's attitude when making its mandatory presentation to EENA was non-negotiable in any substantial way.

If the council chooses to ignore this flawed process AND the recommendation of their own Planning and Zoning Commission to reject the proposal because it does not meet the requirements of the city’s comprehensive plan, they will set a dangerous precedent. Citizens who devote substantial time and effort to work within the system only to see its requirements for honest, constructive give-and-take ignored by policy-makers will be disillusioned and unlikely to use this avenue again. The consequences of citizen disengagement are subtle but ultimately devastating to creating the "livable city" our leaders say they want.

The council only needs to uphold the P&Z recommendation to deny this master plan application and send it back to the applicant with instructions to alter it to meet the requirements of our comprehensive plan. This project will dramatically alter the east end of downtown, cut off a neighborhood, and add thousands of vehicles to already congested intersections over 30 years. We can afford to take another six months to find an alternative with fewer negative consequences. One suggestion: Bring ACHD and Valley Ride into the process meaningfully NOW, so the parties can include mass transit/park-and-ride as part of the "moving people not cars" equation.

See more on Dian Ronayne here.

A Local Physician's Perspective

Ann CordumKeep Boise Connected, Inc.

St. Luke’s provides excellent care and top-notch expertise. Hospital executives argue that expansion is necessary because in emergencies, seconds matter. Closure of Jefferson Street would connect emergency services to interventional radiology and save lives.
What save lives are the following: adequate staffing on the front lines of patient care, clinician competence, well-designed processes, and effective communication across the care team. Physical space does not save lives. The larger an organization, the more logistical challenges, and the greater the delays in care. Physical grandeur and proximity do not equal better care. In fact, studies show that patients who have a stroke while in the hospital suffer long delays in getting thrombolysis and life-saving care. Larger facilities are also typically associated with greater overhead which translates into higher costs that are ultimately passed on to us all. Outpatient care costs are substantially higher at a hospital than at a physician’s office.
Only a tiny minority of emergency room patients need interventional radiology. Most hospital admissions are for infections, congestive heart failure, drug overdoses, emphysema, blood clots, surgical issues, and the like. What good is it to whisk someone away for intervention while Mrs. Jones lies on a gurney for hours awaiting admission for her pneumonia? The reality is that cardiac and stroke patients are outnumbered by general medical/surgical patients who often sit in emergency rooms for hours awaiting admission and higher level care. Their lives are every bit as important as the stroke patient’s.
I would ask our community: Has access to your physician improved as a result of expansion, i.e. by hospital acquisition of local physician groups? Did the quality of your health care improve? Has it become more cost effective? Would you prefer to navigate a larger hospital campus?
St. Luke's has a large enough footprint to reconfigure on its existing acreages without closing tax payer owned roads and encroaching on historic properties to expand intersections and roadways. Options include building upward from the existing hospital parking lot or relocating outpatient services to its other Boise properties. This would leave plenty of room at the existing downtown campus for inpatient services and future growth.
For community health, it benefits all to have a safe route of access to downtown, whether on bike, foot, or car. Jefferson Street is the safest route for a child, commuter or family to access downtown.
The solution to growth is reconfiguration, avoiding duplication of services (leave the trauma care to St. Al's), adequate staffing, and reduction of costly executive and managerial positions.
In conclusion, while I am thankful to have St. Luke’s in my neighborhood, there are better ways to spend $400 million improving heath care in Boise than the proposed campus expansion.
Ann Cordum
East End resident
Internal medicine physician

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Statesman backs St. Luke's expansion, street closure; public responds.

See the Statesman's full editorial here

From the editorial disclosure:
"Statesman editorials are the unsigned opinion expressing the consensus of the Statesman’s editorial board. To comment on an editorial or suggest a topic, email Disclosure: Publisher Michael Jung is a member of the St. Luke's Strategic Initiatives Committee."
Note. A KBC member alerted the Boise Weekly (BW) that the above disclosure had in fact appeared in the print and online version of the opinion piece. Mr. Jung's St. Luke's affiliation was not, however, disclosed to members of KBC when meeting with the Statesman's editorial board in May, which would have been appropriate. The editorial board has every right to its opinion, just like others following this process.

Everyone makes mistakes; we're happy to see the BW print a clear correction to its story. The BW is the only 'local and independent' paper that has consistently given coverage to both sides of this issue, which is what the Fourth Estate is all about.

Read more here:
Public responses to the online editorial (none affiliated with KBC):

    • Jim Philpott ·  Top Commenter
      Until the Statesman addresses the credibility gap between its endorsements and "and can you believe this scandal…" coverage of the Otter administration, it's opinion will be ignored.

      • Bill Goodnight ·  Top Commenter
        The Editor parrots St. Lukes in citing the need for saving precious seconds in moving stroke and cardiac patients within their facility. They say nothing of the time it takes to transport emergency patients to the Northeast perimeter of our city when a logical place for emergency treatment exists in Meridian adjacent to the Interstate and where the center of Ada County's population exists.

        There is a reason why one Boise business after another is moving to Eagle road. That's where the people are! St. Lukes should be next, much to the benefit of their beloved neighborhood.

        • Jay Rais ·  Top Commenter · Northwest Nazarene University
          The purported reason that St.Lukes purchased all those additional bare acres of land surrounding their Eagle Rd. facility was FOR just this type of expansion. Now all those very desirable acres are off the tax rolls and they want to expand downtown. Seems they want their cake and eat it too.

      • Denise Baird · University of Idaho
        The traffic mess created by this expansion (with increased traffic and road closure) seems likely to add several minutes to the time that it takes for emergency vehicles to get to the emergency room - which will more than offset the 'seconds saved' once the patient gets to the emergency room. I simply do not believe that closing Jefferson is essential to hospital expansion - nor have I seen any 'innovative measures' from St Lukes to address the traffic concerns! Planning and Zoning did not like the closing Jefferson idea because it is not a good idea for Boise long term!

        • Jason Hamrick ·  Top Commenter · Nile C. Kinnick High School
          St. Luke's doesn't "deserve" anything. They have to earn it.

          • Benjamin Shelley ·  Top Commenter
            sounds like somebody was paid to publish a puff piece.

            • TJ Cullen ·  Top Commenter · Independent Contractor at Self
              These are the same people who urged everyone to reelect Otter for a third term after he spent the first two terms screwing over Idaho and Idahoans. Guess what Otter is still doing to Idaho and Idahoans.

              • Bill Goodnight ·  Top Commenter
                Yep! Here it is!

                St. Luke's Boise / Meridian Strategic Initiatives Committee.
                Jefferson Jewell, Chairman.
                James Bailey
                Art Berry
                Ted Bohlman, MD.
                Kenny Bolton
                Mike Brassey
                Stephen Brown
                Larry Chetwood
                Jeff Cilek
                Ed Dahlberg
                Sandra Dalton
                Darin DeAngeli
                William J. Deasy
                Michael Fery
                Gary L. Fletcher
                Jerry Frank
                Bill Gilbert
                Bob Glaisyer
                David D. Goss
                Dick Hackborn
                Steve Hanks
                George Harad
                James V. Hawkins
                Alice Hennessey
                Barton F. Hill, MD
                John Jackson
                Mike Jung***************************************************
                Joy Kealey
                Celeste Keller
                Jim Kelly
                Jim Kissler
                Vincent M. Kituku, PhD
                Peter Langhus, MD.
                Michael Ling
                Scott Madison
                David McAnaney
                Pat McMurray
                David Merrick, MD.
                Doug Oppenheimer
                Skip Oppenheimer
                David Palfreyman
                Dick Parrish
                David Pate, MD, JD.
                Herb Patriarche
                Rich Raimondi
                Bob Rice
                Tom Ripke
                Mark Rivers
                Mike Shannahan
                Walt Sinclair
                Gordon C. Smith
                Shannon Stoeger
                Scott J. Straubhar
                Duane Stueckle
                Michael W. Sullivan
                Jim Swartley, MD.
                Carolyn Terteling
                Karen Vauk
                Chuck Walter
                Jim Webb
                Bill Whitacre
                Tim R. Wilcomb
                Tom Wilford
                Barbara L. Wilson
                Charles Wilson
                John Witte, MD.
                Ed Zimmer

              • Bruce Parks · Union College
                The "unsigned opinion expressing the consensus of the Statesman's editorial board" has the same pedigree as an unsigned letter to the editor published by the Statesman; unacceptable. The Statesman should provide the names of those expressing consent and their affiliations with any and all institutions, whether compensated or not by that institution. Is it true that Statesman Publisher Mike Jung sits on the St. Luke's Strategic Initiatives Committee? That sounds like a conflict of interest.

              • Bill Goodnight ·  Top Commenter
                Is it true that Statesman Publisher Mike Jung sits on the St. Luke's Strategic Initiatives Committee?

                • Evaly Poole · BYU (Brigham Young University)
                  I live 5 minutes from downtown St. Luke's and would be more than happy to have them build their expansion in Meridian. That is where they have the room and the population growth. I think that the people in Meridian are just as deserving of critical care for strokes as the people downtown are. Which brings up the point that St. Luke's would like us to believe that the only way to deliver critical care is if everything is located on the same floor. Is there any data showing this to be the case? Or is it like them telling us that we would all be better off if St. Luke's buys up every physician practice in the area because healthcare would be cheaper and seemless. That has not worked out - healthcare delivered by St. Luke's is more expensive, wait times are longer and the quality of care has not improved. I have had two foot surgeries done in a surgery center near Overland Road and Eagle because it was half the cost of doing it at St. Luke's downtown - and as I said, I live 5 minutes from downtown St. Luke's. St. Luke's has botched the Saltzer Medical Group deal which has cost the hospital millions of dollars. Dr. Pate and the rest of the decision makers at St. Luke's have not proven themselves to be capable and trustworthy business planners. They have lost millions of dollars in the lawsuits because they were convinced they knew what was best for the Boise community. They don't. Move to Meridian.

                  • Bill Goodnight ·  Top Commenter
                    The Idaho Statesman Editorial board consists of: Ben Ysursa, Angie Nelson, a Boise public relations manager, Statesman Publisher Mike Jung and editorial page editor, Robert Ehlert.

                    Ysursa and Nelson are long-time Boise citizens, Jung and Ehlert have each been in Idaho for less than four years.