Indiana News Center has a full-length video on their website of an interview between Eric Clabaugh and Mike Packnett.  The article may be read here, while the video may be downloaded here.  I must say that the video clip is worth watching, even though it didn’t change my feelings on the topic one bit.  In fact, it only deepened my dislike for the situation.  I don’t buy for one instance that they are going to cultivate meaningful long-lasting positive relationships with people who go to the ballpark.  I think there were other ways to make a strong impression/impact on the people in this community and it’s health.  

Mr. Packnett talks about Parkview Health being a not-for-profit competing with for-profits in the community.  Well, perhaps that’s part of the problem.  If you’re able to run your facilities at a “surplus” and have that “surplus” to invest in such things as advertising, marketing and naming rights, then perhaps it’s time to examine your true mission. 

He also goes on to talk about Parkview’s role in stimulating economies:

[…] think about those areas where the economy is weak, the health systems in those communities is having a tough time.  So, as the largest employer we really believe strongly that we have to look at different projects throughout Northeast Indiana that help the health of the economy as well as the direct health care that we give every day.

So the not-for-profits should be helping to stimulate the economy?  A Hospital of any kind – not-for-profit or for-profit’s main job is and always should be patient care!!!  Perhaps another way to stimulate the economy would be to back off from people who have hospital bills, give them more favorable terms when working out payment arrangements and not be so quick to take people to court to sue them.  When that happens, people have to file bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy sure can’t be good for the economy either…

The next question asked why Parkview didn’t give their workers a raise or improve patient care instead of spending the money on naming rights.  Mr. Packnett responds that they serve 350,000 on average a year and that would have meant decreasing all their bills by a dollar.  Ok, I’ll buy into that one.  But other alternatives could have been explored to help those without health care.  I’d almost bet my last dollar that $300,000 given to Matthew 25 could have gone quite a bit farther that naming a ballpark would ever give in return.

I’ll leave you with a final quote from Mr. Packnett:

[…] From my perspective, and from the Board’s perspective, we have corporate citizenship responsibilities as well that says, in addition to the things that we do with direct patient care, we must as the largest employer in the area look at things that help the, the, what’s the greater good question as well.  Again, one of the neat things about being not-for-profit is that all of our funds stay within Northeast Indiana to do the best work those funds can do…

But isn’t that the point?  The “greater good”?  I guess it depends on your definition of “greater good”.

But don’t let me persuade you, watch the clip and form your own opinions.  Which, by the way, I’d really like to hear! Give me your two cents worth and I’ll even give you change!  🙂

Please note: at 2:30 pm on 9/17/2008, I made some changes to the fourth paragraph.  slp

2 COMMENTS

  1. “…give their workers a raise or improve patient care instead of spending the money on naming rights”.
    Both of these issues are on the top of the employees wish list. While a pay raise for employees would by most welcome (3% is limit for top ranked nurses), patient care is a CRITICAL issue for the hospital. Naming a ball park just doesn’t seem to trump the reason Parkview says they exist!

  2. Stephen – Thank you for posting this (and your other recent activities in re Redevelopment).
    I wrote an email to Mike Packnett in regard to his “response” and I suggest that others of like mind (I see over 40 people have responded to your poll) take the time to do the same. Mr. Packnett’s e-mail address is
    mike. packnett@parkview.com

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