On January 31, 2014 The Petroglyph hand delivered a GRAMA (Government Records Access and Management Act) request to the San Juan Hospital in Monticello Utah. The request asked for three different items of information that was related to the new interim CEO Laurie Schafer. The three items of information were a list of her qualifications, all complaints she may have received in the last year, and her last two evaluations. The request excluded any specific details, names, or any personal information.
On February 13, 2014 Deana Dalton with the hospitals Human Resources responded to the request with a notice of DENIAL. In a nutshell she stated that Health District doesn’t possess any documentation of Laurie Schafer’s qualifications and that they are not required to provide the public with such a document. Basically the over all tone of the denial letter was that none of the information that was requested was classified as a public record and therefore it would not be released.
Despite Mrs. Dalton’s assertions the documents that were requested are not classified as protected records they clearly meet the public records definition 63G-2-201(2), 201(3)(b) and (c). Utah State code 63G-2-301 describes in detail what public records include,
(b) the name, gender, gross compensation, job title, job description, business address, business email address, business telephone number, number of hours worked per pay period, dates of employment, and relevant education, previous employment, and similar job qualifications of a current or former employee or officer of the governmental entity,
Mrs. Dalton refers to 63G-2-305 which describes in detail what constitutes a protected record. Subsection (25) of this statute and title clearly states that personnel evaluations are not protected as well as other types of records. It appears that Mrs. Dalton’s is clearly attempting to thwart the State of Utah’s GRAMA request law. The question is why?
Below is a copy of the letter from Deana Dalton in Human Resources.
Mrs. Dalton’s refusal to release this information raises even more suspicion and concerns about what is going on at the San Juan Hospital in Monticello. Maybe the refusal is simply a verification that interim CEO Laurie Schafer isn’t qualified which would explain why the “Heath District does not possess a document summarizing such qualifications” as Mrs. Dalton stated.
This lack of qualifications fits with the report that was received outlining the key points of the investigation that the Utah Rural Independent Hospital Network (URIHN) conducted for the hospital board. The source said that the hospital board was told by URIHN that Laurie Schafer was not qualified and did not have the skills or experience to effectively be the CEO. Also it appears that the San Juan Hospital has initiated a search for a new CEO as a result.
Under the current conditions with hospital staff and 3 doctors resigning, Spanish Valley Clinic closing, and the hospitals financial situation being far worse than they originally believed the denial of our GRAMA request really doesn’t help restore trust with the public. One would think the hospital administration would want to work to restore the public’s trust by ensuring the public that the administration personnel was qualified to do the job they had been hired to do. Another question that this raises is why did the San Juan Hospital Board appoint someone to run the hospital that wasn’t qualified as reported by URIHN? If the interim CEO isn’t qualified who else isn’t and is this lack of qualifications and leadership skill the reason staff and the doctors are resigning?