Update Sat afternoon, Mar 28 - will post two or more paragraph updates
The story of Dr. Lin being fired from his job at St Joseph Hospital in Bellingham is rapidly going viral in newspapers and online news sites across the United States today. The Washington Post has it, as well as several other prominent sites. Bellingham gains national attention for something stupid. PeaceHealth and the contract corporation that provides ER doctors to the hospital, TeamHealth, are each saying they did not fire Dr Lin. A close reading of what they have told the Seattle Times and Associated Press suggests that St Joseph asked TeamHealth to terminate his working at St Joseph. That gives them both cover and allows each to say they are not responsible. TeamHealth says they plan to find another location for Dr Lin. While Bellingham gains the national ‘stupid move’ publicity today, the TeamHealth in Knoxville, Tennessee is really where the ‘stupid move’ label belongs. I am trying to learn more. Hopefully the Seattle Times is also seeking clarification on who and why Dr Lin was fired. He was fired. He reported for work Friday noon for his shift and was marched off the hospital campus by administrative staff.
This is NOT a Bellingham stupid move. Our St Joseph hospital used to be owned and managed locally. But now PeaceHealth in Vancouver, Washington state, over 250 miles from Bellingham, owns the hospital. And TeamHealth, the company that jobs out doctors to PeaceHealth and thus St Joseph Hospital, is located in Knoxville, Tennessee, over 2,000 miles from Bellingham. Dr. Lin had to work for TeamHealth in order to work at St. Joseph hospital. These two corporations, in protecting their images and their profits, worked together to fire Dr. Lin. They don’t have any connection to Bellingham beyond our contributing to their profits. Through skillful public relations processes, they are each denying that they fired Dr. Lin. The stupid move we did was allowing St Joseph to be sold to a group outside our community. They are now showing how little regard they have for our health. Don’t miss taking a look at the top 8 executives at TeamHealth. These guys in the old deep south are in charge of what doctors we have at our only local hospital. After this pandemic is over, perhaps it would be a prudent idea for us in Bellingham to organize a second hospital, locally owned and staffed. We should be able to do better.
Below posted Friday and Saturday morning, Mar 27 & 28.
Dr. Ming Lin was fired from PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital today. I spoke with him earlier this evening. He was escorted off the hospital campus this afternoon. We should have more info from him later this evening or on Saturday and we will update this post.
Update: He has posted a with a message to all of us in the community. It is posted on YouTube. More info added Sat: The video was made by Casey Schmidt of Northwest Grip in Seattle. He traveled up to Bellingham to film the doctor in his home.
The S on his firing. They posted it up at about 8 pm Friday evening. The Bellingham Herald has briefly mentioned his name once in one article. (corrected from saying no mention) Normal for the Herald.
Saturday morning Update: See graphic to right for the most read article in the Seattle Times this morning. The Bellingham Herald followed after the Times story by 15 hours with the Associated Press (AP) story written and distributed nation wide. The Herald has belatedly recognized they cannot totally ignore this story. There is no Saturday print Herald, so this online story may or may not make it into the Sunday print edition of the Herald. To say it again, the Herald policy of ignoring or minimizing local news that is negative for their advertising clients is the whole reason NW Citizen was started 25 years ago and continues to report.
The AP story makes plain that St Joseph Hospital caused the termination of Dr. Lin, not his employer, TeamHealth, the firm that provides emergency room doctors to St Joseph. TeamHealth made it clear they had not fired Dr. Lin and are now seeking to place Dr. Lin in another health facility. You can at the AP website. It is the same as what the Herald has - but you will miss the plethora of ads.
If you are new to this, Dr Lin, an emergency room doctor, has been posting on his facebook page with criticism of how the hospital is not protecting staff - doctors and nurses - and not protecting the public. Indeed, “several” hospital staff have become infected with the virus - but Charles Prosper, the CEO, says - without any evidence - that they did not get it from their work at the hospital.
Dr. Lin posted this on Thursday morning.
SHAME ON PEACEHEALTH
Chuck is telling us we r having adequate supplies but got a memo today as well as reliable sources today that the OR is allocating one surgical mask a day to their staff
They are to keep their used one in a paper bag
I hate to think what happens when we run low on toilet paper
Please share and pass the word
We are making a difference
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Additions to this post.
Dr. Ming Lin has over 1,500 followers as of this Friday evening on his. He has provided factual and honest information to Whatcom County residents. And he has nudged St Joseph Hospital to implement several safer practices - ones to protect their doctors and nurses as well as patients. He has done our community a service by using his right to freedom of speech. He performed his work with outstanding reviews and was fired for speaking out. We need all our doctors as this pandemic continues to grow.