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.”
“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.