Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where is the 24 hour Respiratory Therapist at Northern Montana Hospital?

The Corrector received the following letter to the editor

We want to warn everyone about the recent decision to cut the essential 24-hour critical care given by respiratory therapy at Northern Montana Hospital. Our loved one required a ventilator to save his life. Medical personnel treating ventilated patients have seconds to make critical decisions that could either save or take a life. Although a respiratory therapist can be called in from home, they are no longer in house for emergencies. Every person in the ER and ICU did a wonderful job in saving our loved one, even though we witnessed the need for more training.

We tried to explain to the CEO, without success, while we understand the need to cut costs, there should have been previous training given to the new primary care givers for ventilated patients. Every second counts when trying to save the life of someone suffering from anaphylactic shock. (Anaphylactic shock: A widespread and very serious life threatening allergic reaction to bee/wasps stings, adverse reaction to medications etc.) On-the-job training after the respiratory therapist arrives at the hospital is not acceptable. The CEO wanted the names and departments of the persons we saw needed more training to properly run the machines, breathing equipment and accurately administer medication during breathing treatments previously handled by highly trained respiratory therapists. Our answer was EVERY person who comes in contact with a ventilated person whether in the ER or ICU needed the proper training before the first patient walked through the ER door. The CEO wanted a scapegoat. The only person we feel did not take seriously the job of saving a life and fell short of doing the job he is highly paid to do is the CEO, Mr. Henry.

Again, we want to thank Dr. Ward, the ER and ICU nursing staff and especially the new ER doctor for saving the life of our loved one, despite the lack of additional training the new primary caregivers should have received before the professionals’ hours were cut.

Larry and Linda Nitz


  1. I think we should take part of the coe's pay and give it to the people who could save a life with out his huge pay package we could have a few more people working.

  2. How many secretaries does Mr. Henry need I heard he has at least three if not four of them currently. Exactly what do they do on a daily basis? Maybe if the hospital treated individuals instead of sending them to Great Falls the hospital would make a little money or maybe start bring back specialty doctors and get rid of Dr. Shar

  3. havre59501
    It's crazy how Mr.Henry thinks that every one else should have hours cut back or pay reduced but he is not willing to lead by example. I watched him go in the cafiteria and get food then leave with out paying wonder what would happen if a employee did the same?

  4. Get over it. It was a business decision. If you don’t like it pay for one out of your own pocket.

  5. Robert that is was a business decision and a lot of Havre people have made personal decisions to go to Greatfalls because of these poor business decisions. People like you tollerate poor business decisions and the rest of us pay for it. If you drive people out of town then soon we will have a rough time keeping our hospital open. Get over that.

  6. Does anyone from the remember the facts from when the hospital was originally built?

    IIRC, there were 2 hospitals, one where the Parkview Apts now are, and the other one in College Park Plaza. If I further remember correctly they were shut down when the NMH opened.

    It seems to me there was a lot of community organizing going on for the new hospital, that was to be a NON PROFIT service provider for the community. It seems to me there was a lot of fundraising and charitable giving that went on for the hospital to be in operation.

    One would think that as a non-profit, service organization that does recieve some government monies, that full financial disclosures and balance sheets should be published in the local media pertaining to the solvency and profitability of the organization.

    I am also unsure of what NMH actually owns-
    Do any Havreains in Correctorland know?

    I have heard they have interest in an old folks home in Malta- Is that the case? They own the clinic? What is their stake in the Sletten cancer place?

    Are they considering buying a local cemetary to fill?

    I am not real sure of these business arrangements and the original accurate history of what actually happened in the beginning.

    If anyone can remember accurately, I am sure the community would like to know.

  7. Let me see if I can let everyone know exactly what this letter is about.

    OK folks.

    Ben, needed a ventilator. He was in the process of suffocating because the person was untrained. HE WAS DYING AT THE HANDS OF NMH'S CUTBACKS.

    HEY ROBERT. go to hell. I hope your family member doesn't die because of a business decision. It would appear that you have the market on heartless, cruel and no regard for human life. And why are you defending the hospital? Do you not think "care" is necessary? eventually not.

    I think the hospital is or such be a health care facility; not a place to have sub-contracted therapists. where would that lead ...... nurses, doctors, x-rays, etc.

    I say to all you people who insist on getting your loved one out alive....get out of Havre. except of course, you Robert, no need to keep that family trait going.


  8. Boy, am I out of the loop. But then, I don't live in Havre.

    It was brought to my attention that Robert "IS" Mr. Henery.

    OK Havre people. Stand up and get rid of MR. Henry or pay the price as each one of you take a life and death chance of going to the Havre hospital.

    IF nurses can do the job (oops, they couldn't thus the near murder of Ben) that it took years for the respitory therapist to earn his degree ..then why would anyone go to college to get the degree? I think the state board of health and human services should check into this. YUP!! think I will do that.

    Robert (Mr Henery) get over your bad self. You are on your way out of there. Staff at NMH.... grow a pair

  9. There are a number of inaccuracies and errors in some of the above comments. I would be happy to sit down with the owner/representative of the Havre Daily Corrector and clarify a number of things going on at NMH and healthcare in general. Thanks Dave Henry

  10. well, Mr. Dave Henry, when you sit down with the representatives of the Havre Daily corrector be man enough to face the family of Ben and the community of Havre. You owe everyone an explanation.

    Because get over it is not an answer, Mr Henry.

    I challenge you to call a meeting for the public to attend. Then you won't be such a smart a** and kick us out of your office, which seemed like a good idea at the time. But we are not going away. I guess you found that out when the state paid NMH a little visit today.

    Put your money where your self rightous explanation is.

  11. When we made the original post, we simply wanted the people of Havre and surrounding area to be aware of some changes that have taken place at the hospital. Unfortunately, one of those changes had an adverse effect on our family. We certainly did not intend for this to become a point of conflict and name calling. Our intent is to simply inform people so they can make their own decisions when seeking healthcare. We understand the necessity for budget cuts, but please provide the proper training for the staff who will be filling in for respiratory therapy. Unfortunately our attempt to make the hospital aware of a potentially dangerous situation fell on deaf, uncaring ears.
    Larry and Linda Nitz

  12. I agree, no name calling should happen. No sense stateing the obvious. I don't live in Havre and nothing can be done to rectify what happened. I pity the person who has no choice when they need emergency care. Good luck Havre. The ball in rolling ....follow through or put up with it.

    I hear that nothing can be done. RIGHT!!!! that is what the CEO thought in my town. He had a big surprise and a garage sale. LOL

  13. Mr. Henry,

    We would be happy to publish your account of what is going on at Northern Montana Hospital and with Healthcare in general

    Just e-mail us what you would like to post and we will post it just as you submit it

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  15. Oh, how I do NOT miss Northern Montana Health Care! Havreites beware! I am so thankful every day that I got out when I did.

    First off, I have been out of touch for quite sometime, but the last time I knew the hospital was a nonprofit organization NOT owned or managed by an outside firm. If I remember correctly, Mr. Henry was originally hired for the hospital through Brim (a hospital management company based in Texas), but the Brim contract was later terminated and Mr. Henry hired as an employee of the hospital by the Board thereby getting rid of the "middle man". This may no longer be the case, but that's how I believe it originally happened.

    Second, the lack of 24-hour IN-HOUSE respiratory therapy is going to kill someone. By law, ventilator patients require 24-hour certified respiratory management whether it's by a respiratory therapist, nurse, etc... not just someone who can be called in if there is a problem. I am certain that the nurses do the very best that they can ("can" being the operative word). However, certification is required and has not been obtained by anyone in that building other than the respiratory therapists, most of whom have now been forced to find new jobs, all in the name of "budget cuts". Let's see... they have also gotten rid of Home Health Care and Hospice ~ both without warning. This is really in stark opposition to the building of the new Sletten Center. Exactly who is going to provide dignified, medically supervised home care for the very unfortunate, dying cancer patients?

    Third, if budget cuts are where it's at, perhaps they should consider limiting the number of vice presidents in the organization. Is it really necessary to have FIVE (yes, FIVE) vice presidents in an organization that cannot/will not pay for adequate clinical support personnel? Surely, they are making a hefty chunk of change while the "peons" have been under a wage freeze for the past three years. I'm sure there's an argument to be made that the CEO and vice presidents have also been under the wage freeze, but do you suppose it's the same for them as it is for employees who make well less than $100,000 per year? I think not. In addition to the wage freeze, the prices for services at NMH are so astronomical that even their employees cannot afford to seek care in their own place of employment (though I'm not sure that's a bad thing given the recent downturn in service availability!). Everyone is always being told that their prices are competitive ~ a complete load of crap. Do a little price shopping around the state and see for yourselves... I bet you can get the same (better, actually) services for a fraction of the cost at NVH.

    I urge the community of Havre to contact the Board of Directors and demand accountability. Mr. Henry is a liability to NVH and the Havre community. I guess this may be of little consequence, however, given that a growing portion of the population has figured out that it's much wiser to seek care elsewhere.

    It's a good thing that they got rid of the slogan "Our Family Caring For Yours". I was taught that lying is a bad thing.

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  19. Luv~n~Life, thank you for stepping up and speaking out. We appreciate your insight into NMH's management practices. Our only interest is for the people of Havre to receive the quality of care they deserve. Remember when the Sletten Cancer Center was under construction? How many times each day did you hear NMH on the radio, begging for money? End of life care should go HAND in HAND with services provided at Sletten. Now we learn those services are no longer available. I can see a time when NMH will be nothing more than a walk-in-clinic with a management team completely filling a five story building. What a loss!

  20. It would appear that the "comment deleted author" was having a moment. 4 of them .... one minute apart. LOL Just say it......
    Doesn't the board know about Mr. Henry's plans to save money before he impliments them? If they hired him because they thought he did a good job, perhaps, ( It is pretty easy to grasp the reality that he is not doing a very good job) it is time to re-evaluate his preformance.
    I am only aware of one of the board memebers. He grew up on the same block as Ben, and I always saw his family as an upstanding good churched, kind, group of people. If that went away in exchange for the love of money and power then I am stunned.
    I hope the state, does the right thing, whatever that is. I thought is was against the law, or at the least, morally wrong to not have the qualified care available.
    Now, not only should Mr. Henry be held accountable but also the board is to blame for their lack of supervisory skills.
    The board memebers live in Havre, I assume, that sooner than later they will need medical help. Where will they go?

  21. Here is a list of the directors of the foundation:

    Perhaps one may want to give them a call or stop by their place of business.

    I thought there was another super secret board of directors for the hospital, that make the big decisions and are probably the secret shareholders in the business. That does not appear anywhere on their website at this time.

    a statement on their official position of compliance:

    And here is a statement from the CEO, (Dave? Robert?)about the "quality" of care at NMH:

    I would suggest anyone dealing with NMH make copies, as these pages will probably change without notice. It might be a good community service for the HDC to acually host copies of these pages.

  22. We are still waiting, Mr. Henry, because it was you who offered an explanation.

    I guess I win the pole. !!!! LOL

  23. just as I suspected. Mr. Henry can not come up with an explanation as he "intented" "pleaded with the corrector"

    Now all I am left with is the same thing I started with. My opinion of the man. !!!

  24. What's the most shocking to me is the total lack of transparency by the leadership at NMH. They expand and build onto the hospital and then make drastic cuts without giving any explanation (maybe Dave Henry has a problem admitting he's gutting a community's hospital).

    Actually, I take that back. It isn't the most shocking. What's the most shocking is how everyone who depends on this hospital, for either employment or care, is simply rolling over. Where's the Tea Party in all of this? Why aren't they organizing picket lines and screaming bloody murder? This is a case of an overpaid executive (Henry, and probably a dozen others) making risky investment decisions (the Sletten Center) and then cover their mess by laying off their (essential) employees.

    C'mon Tea Party! These fat cats are taking away jobs and risking people's lives just to pad their pockets.

    Havre, it's time to take out the trash.

  25. Mr. Henry I believe is a stockholder in SouthWest, the insurance they provide the employees at NMH...Isn't that a conflict of interest???? Billings, Helena and almost the rest of the state have this insurance if you work in their hospital...Dave Henry,Ms. Mariano and her husband enable the employees to only purchase this insurance...unless you want Cobra,or something else not paid by the hospital...The insurance that they provide is the "worst" coverage package in the state...She, by the way is the one being setup to take over after Mr. Henry leaves...I agree with the last blog, hypocrites...and a definite conflict of interest,just stuffing all their own pockets...I think everyone should strike or do something..Can you really get to the next hospital..??? Is your child or loved one going to have proper treatment??, perhaps die... And is becoming bankrupt your only choice??? You don't have a choice for quality care....It's time for the community to take back thier hospital....

  26. Wow, even more good people are leaving NMH...When is this community going to take notice that they will forced to take an expensive flight out of here to get medical care?????