Marilyn Benson: Hospital board fails to represent the community

NewsMay 11, 2011

From an opinion article by NUHW member Marilyn Benson in The Salinas Californian:

When outgoing Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital CEO Sam Downing was interviewed two weeks ago for a newspaper article about the nearly $4 million in retirement benefits he’s been given by the SVMH Board of Directors, this is what he said:

“I think I’ve earned it. I’ve stayed here out of my commitment to try to build a great hospital…. I worked for this institution and gave them my heart and soul.”

When I read this quote from Downing, I was dismayed. You see, I’ve worked at SVMH for 37 years. That’s just a few years shy of Downing’s four-decade career at SVMH. I’ve worked hard, too. I’ve given every bit as much of my heart and soul to SVMH as Downing has.

But there’s a big difference between Downing’s retirement and mine.

He is leaving by choice with almost $4 million in retirement benefits in addition to his yearly $150,000 pension disbursements.

Like hundreds of other SVMH caregivers, I’ve been handed a pink slip and shown the door.

Read the full article in The Salinas Californian.