Betsey Bayless: AZ Republic suffers memory lapse

We knew the newspaper was ailing, but this is a serious affliction

This past weekend we reported on the obscene salary increase given to nearly retired Betsey Bayless, 68, the CEO and president of Maricopa Integrated Health System, the county‘s structure for providing indigent medical care. In the flash of a 3 – 2 vote by this five-member Board of Directors, Bayless received a hefty $125,000 raise. Her base salary soared 33% overnight, from $375,003 to $500,000 — excluding benefits.

Only Chairman Susan Gerard and Vice Chairman Elbert Bicknell voted against this gift of taxpayer money to the already exceedingly well compensated Bayless.

This morning’s Arizona Republic runs an editorial under the headline: Pay raise for Betsey Bayless: $125,000 pay hike is unwise, unfair. Although the editorial ostensibly takes the raise to task, the opening three sentences, extol Bayless — saying she has done a “splendid job.”  It goes on to state that “It’s true what they say” about her job performance….“we’ve said so ourselves. Many times.”  Then the editorial gushes “she deserves the public’s undying gratitude for a job well done.”

Really?  And who are “they” who heap such lavish praise worthy of “undying gratitude?”

The newspaper’s editorialist must have fallen and suffered amnesia similar to Hillary Clinton, who did her best to skirt testifying regarding the massacre at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Her cover-up was finally addressed as she angrily screeched, “What difference does it make?”

In April 2008, the Republic’s Yvonne Wingett wrote this scathing assessment of Bayless, citing “Health-care experts and recruiters who specialize in executive searches for hospitals across the U.S. say it is highly unusual to put at the helm someone who lacks extensive health-care experience.”

Yep. They were referring to well-heeled and well-connected politician Betsey Bayless about whom Wingett also wrote: “Her resume is impressive. But it was missing a key ingredient — experience with health-care management. Bayless’ credentials have come under scrutiny since a national-accreditation organization found significant flaws with MIHS last year.”

And more:

Not all has gone smoothly for Bayless. Last year, MIHS received a preliminary denial of accreditation after inspections by the Joint Commission, a national organization that accredits more than 15,000 health-care organizations, including 4,200 hospitals. Less than 1 percent of hospitals surveyed by that organization in 2006 received that rating.

The inspectors evaluated staff performance, patient care and key operations that affect the quality and safety of patient care. Bayless and staff appealed the rating to an accreditation-review committee. Last month, they submitted evidence that they are in compliance with many of the problem areas identified by inspectors, and that plans are in place to address other issues.

The hospital system is now conditionally accredited. Three percent of hospitals surveyed by the commission in 2006 held that rating, said Ken Powers, spokesman for the commission. Inspectors typically survey conditionally rated hospitals in a follow-up, unannounced visit, he said.

The Republic asked to review the commission’s initial report to evaluate the problems. MIHS’s attorneys have asked a Maricopa County Superior Court judge to determine whether they are obliged to honor the newspaper’s public-records request. Since then, MIHS attorneys have argued against its release for public inspection.”

That’s right.  When faced with mountains of evidence of incompetence, Bayless and her lawyers did their best to stonewall the release of any information.

The same newspaper that today states it has long agreed with the accolades given Bayless by unspecified admirers, oddly forgets they have revealed her lack of skills for the job, clumsy incompetence, and attempts at legally dodging legitimate records requests.

Amnesia didn’t suit Hillary well. It is especially egregious when the state’s largest newspaper is so afflicted.

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14 Responses to Betsey Bayless: AZ Republic suffers memory lapse

  1. Claire Voyant says:

    Mary Elizabeth “Betsey” Bayless has been appointed to nearly every post she’s ever held. It’s her “Man Friday” (Warren Whitney) who follows her from place to place and actually does the work she is so over paid to do. She’s a politician, not a hospital administrator.

    • Diogidog says:

      This third generation Arizonan certainly remembers dirt roads and $1.50 an hour minimum wage – if you could even get that working in in downtown Phoenix – and now she has forgotten from whence she came. Like so many in her country club league, she has gotten fat on a government related paycheck and largesse in benefits. Well, we all wondered where fat tax Jan Brewer was headed. Keep that seat warm Betsey. Your retirement replacement is on her way ! Birds of a feather …

  2. Westnash says:

    Keep up the good work in pointing out this WASTE of public funds.

  3. PV PC says:

    We’ve been played for suckers with our own money lining this wealthy woman’s pockets. Apart from this lucrative position, Bayless owns more property than most of us could dream of holding deeds to.

    As far as her devoting so many hours to her job:
    1. Such industrious types often arrive early and stay late due to the necessity of having to work double time to hide their incompetence.

    2. She is unmarried and has neither children nor grandchildren. Her life is not rich except for the taxpayers money stuffed in her pockets.

  4. Westnash says:

    It is not just this woman…it is case after case of members and employees of city, county, and state government who are vastly overcompensated in pay and/or benefits.

    • Seen It All says:

      You must not be fully aware of her history. Others are bad, but Bayless is breathing evidence the Peter Principle is alive and well and works like well oiled machinery. Incompetence, aided and abetted by high level chums, gets rewarded.

  5. Army Of One says:

    I got a real kick out of the use of the word “they” (as in those who think Bayless’ job performance is worthy of praise) and “undying gratitude.” The editorialist must have mush for brains. What a load of unadulterated BS!

  6. Stanford says:

    Among its other obvious ailments, it doesn’t take a psychiatrist to see the local newspaper clearly suffers from a chronic case of schizophrenia. The editorial and the 2008 article referred to here make that clear. Keep up the good work. I wouldn’t have known about the previous article to make the comparison. SRAZ’s efforts at informing are much appreciated.

  7. Observer says:

    Betsey Bayless has made quite a career of being gifted with jobs she neither ran for nor deserved. She was APPOINTED Secretary of State when Jane Hull left that post to become governor after Gov. Fife Symington resigned. She was also APPOINTED to the Board of Supervisors. She was APPOINTED director of the Department of Administration, APPOINTED acting director of the Arizona Department of Revenue, and APPOINTED assistant director of the Arizona Board of Regents. Her only qualification for any of the jobs she’s held is being well connected; first through her influential family and then by virtue of political connections made through all of the appointments. Were it not for her assistant Warren Whitney and others who bailed her out, she would have fallen by the wayside long ago. This incompetent woman certainly wouldn’t be earning more than the President of the United States! Still, she gets the last laugh, doesn’t she? All the way to the bank…..

  8. Westnash says:

    Here is the problem that Arizona also faces and is avoiding:

    Let’s start with a few paragraphs that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Carl Demaio writes this week:

    Consider California, where just 10 individual pensioners will cash $50 million in pension checks from state and local governments over the next 25 years. Already some 30,000 retired California government employees pull in pensions higher than $100,000 a year. One retired librarian in San Diego receives a $234,000 annual pension. Beach lifeguards in Orange County are retiring at age 51 with $108,000 annual pensions plus health-care benefits.

    Note that those benefits are cost-of-living-adjusted. But the problem is not just in California; it is nationwide.

    • eubykdisop says:

      How much are lifeguards retiring with in Arizona, Westnash? Do we have a lifeguard problem here? You see, Westnash, this is Arizona, not California!

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