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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Top 10 Things Overheard at the OHSU President Interviews

What? No Kitzhaber? The three finalists for the presidency of OHSU are being shown around this week, and, mirabile dictu, the ex-guv ain't one of them.

It's a crucial week in the history of that august institution. Here now are the --

Top 10 Things Overheard at the OHSU President Interviews

10. "I hope you can squeak by on $600,000 a year and a free mansion."

9. "You're gonna love it. You can be public or private, whatever you suits you at the moment."

8. "There's lots of opportunity out here -- ever think about running an electric company?"

7. "One thing we're very careful about is not to alienate our neighbors."

6. "You want to hear a funny one? Keith, tell him about the time we threatened to move to Hillsboro."

5. "Portland has a wide variety of excellent criminal defense lawyers for you to choose from."

4. "There's just one drawback -- there's a nurse named Amanda that you have to watch out for."

3. "Careful with those hors d'oeuvres -- if you choke to death your family only gets 200 grand."

2. "The hot line from Neil's winery is in the top desk drawer on the right."

and the Number 1 Thing Overheard at the OHSU President Interviews:

1. "You know anything about fixing a ski lift?"

Comments (13)

"Okay, here's the part of the interview where we give you a hypothetical situation, and you tell us how you'd react. Let's say negligent care by OHSU caused permanent brain damage in a young boy. Could you still do your job on a moral level knowing that the boy wouldn't be taken care of financially? Knowing that OHSU was protected from paying the boy's family a fair amount in damages? Okay, would you still be able to whine incessantly - at the same time - that OHSU wasn't being treated fairly by the city? Knowing about the boy, could you still find the gall to argue that OHSU wasn't getting a fair shake financially from the city council? Could you threaten to go to court, if the right thing wasn't done, even as you fought the boy's family to avoid doing the right thing? Oh yeah, and at the same time could you find the temerity to run an ad campaign touting OHSU's Smart Healthcare? What's that? You'd be worried the local daily paper would crucify you? Okay, let's say we were literally in bed with the local paper...."

I could go on and on about how Kohler set the low standard,
but State Senator Kurt Schrader (D) had him pegged long ago.

,,"Senator Schrader, ,,, expressed concerns about the way OHSU conducts itself generally. Referring to the president of OHSU, Senator Schrader said, "Peter Kohler is a liar... he is extremely disingenuous" and "a poor steward of the medical community".

Every hard working, dedicated OHSU employee (and taxpayer)should be furious over Kohler's unethical management tenure. He has so weakened the institution's fiscal stability that his replacement will be facing years of financial
calamity and core mission degradation while Kohler easy-chairs his own retirement conglomerate.

I concur with Senator Schrader.

The last message I read from Dr. Kohler claimed the the tram *rimshot* would reduce greenhouse gases. I'd like to know how that would be possible when it will not replace the surface transport system already in place (as required by the contract to run the tram *rimshot*), nor will it reduce the number of auto trips from outlying areas to the city core. If anything, it will increase the latter, especially if they push it as some kind of tourist attraction. On top of all that, the tram *rimshot* will be powered by three (count'em THREE) large diesel engines which will run the entire time the tram is operational.

Yet another lie to the employees at OHSU and the citizens of Portland.


Yet another lie to the employees at OHSU and the citizens (the Sheeple) of Portland.

Very nicely done. And this is coming from someone that doesn't always (often?) agree with you... I wonder what we can do to make OHSU more accountable to folks like that family?

Larry, thanks for the kind words. Let's see: What can be done for this family? I think OHSU should do the right thing on its own. It would be good public relations. If they have the latitude to build trams they can help this kid. And our city council, including Dan Saltzman, who trips all over himself saying how much he's looking after the children, could have negotiated taking care of this kid in exchange for flipping his vote on the tram. That would have been a nice touch. I know the kid's not from Portland, but that's even a better reason. He came here to our city for help and look what happened. The story was all over the news, but I'm not sure the city council even thought about it. They're not in a partnership with the least amongst us. They're in a partnership with developers. As much of a thrill as they must get when one of these projects goes through, they'd feel even better helping a child who came to the Rose City and got crushed.

OHSU is run by a many-headed hydra, and Kohler is just one snake. The most visible, but not necessarily the biggest or the most powerful. There are many other physicians in the mix. The known OHSU budget is supposedly about $1 billion per annum, but nobody really knows what it truly is. OHSU is the most complex medical organization in the state, probably the most complex organization period in the state. There is so much money up there, state dollars, federal dollars, federal grant dollars, federal research dollars, private research dollars, private gifts, insurance payments, patient co-payments, fee for service payments, pharmaceutical dollars, tuition payments, all kinds of dollars from all kinds of sources flying every which way, an unknown amount of which is squirreled and secreted away, slush funds here, slush funds there, so much so that nobody really knows how much there is, where it is, or how it's all really spent. The various revenue streams and pools of money are mostly controlled by various physicians with gargauntuan egos, power trips galore, and who are locked in fierce political and financial competition with each other. OHSU is quite a place. Ask anyone who works there, especially in a management position. Intentionally fomented chaos rules the day.

I wonder if it would be a stretch to say that if there was no Peter Kohler, there would be no Tram? I think the whole Tram spectacle has been one of the stranger events in Portlands History and I think it really deserves a book. I sent a personal e-mail to Phil Stanford begging him to write a book on the subject because I think he is uniquely gifted for such a subject. Peter Kohler might also be an interesting subject for a biography as well because he is a true visionary; part genius, part lunatic. How does one man convince a city to build one of the strangest conveyances at enormous cost and to such a vague purpose? As I understand it his education has been in the literary arts and he is like a character out of a work of fiction, like Captain Ahab who says "What I dream I will and what I will I'll do." Kohler is like Ahab, a maniac who convinces sane men to insane purposes. That's my take on all of this, but then I'm a bit of a lunatic myself.

As a quasi public agency, don't we (the public) have a right to know what kind of break OHSU physicians receive in malpractice premiums? At a 200k cap it oughtta be significant? C'mon Portland investigative journalists it's FOIA time! Sorry about perpetuating the detour.

if there was no Peter Kohler, there would be no Tram?

It would have happened without Kohler.

It would not have happened without Goldschmidt.

Goldschmidt. Now there is a subject for a biography by Phil Stanford.

How does one man convince a city to build one of the strangest conveyances at enormous cost and to such a vague purpose?

I dont think he had to "convince" anyone. The dopes running Portland are so blind to their utopian agenda that anything that's not a car is golden to them.

On top of all that, the tram *rimshot* will be powered by three (count'em THREE) large diesel engines which will run the entire time the tram is operational.

OMG, now THATS rich....powered by technology that will not be available to passenger cars when the new regulations come into effect, because its not "clean" enough. So much for their eco-friendly image...oh wait, Im sure they will run bio-diesel right?

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