Rock's Letter Of Interest Betty Rock Letter on pdf
As a matter of public record, we give you the letter of interest dated 12-12-11 from Vice President,
Nursing/CNO Betty Rock of Uniontown Hospital, wanting to serve on the FCBHA advisory board.
Writes Rock, "I am the Chief Nursing Officer at Uniontown Hospital. Our hospital opened an 18 bed
geriatric behavioral health unit and structured out patient program on July 1, 2010. Prior to that time,
Uniontown Hospital had not provided behavioral health services beyond emergency treatment and
referral to other facilities. Our new unit was built in hopes to add needed inpatient behavioral health
and consultation to our medical physicians in caring for their patients in all areas of our hospital."
Rock continues, "It would be beneficial for our hospital to be involved in and aware of all behavioral
health services and issues in the county and to provide others in the county with information about our
services. Collaboration and coordination of care across the continuum is one of Uniontown Hospital's
goals for the provision of care that we provide."
For what it is, Rock's letter seems to show her genuine interest in serving on the board and serving her
community. But it seems so unlikely that someone in her position would have been unaware that the
geriatric unit she wrote of would expand to include adults over 18 as well, within just 3 months. For all
we know, that expansion to include 18 year olds may have taken place sooner than March. But in March,
the hospital became eligible to bill county behavioral health for Medicaid recipients 18-55.
Since we last wrote about the board appointments, another round of persons who worked extensively in
community mental health has been in touch to say that they don't ever recall a provider agency
staff/administrator being allowed to serve on the county's advisory board. That makes about 30 of us
with not a single name on our recalled list.
To date, the FCBHA administrator has not answered our thrice asked question, whether a CRCSI clinic
doctor or an administrator of a provider agency has ever served on the advisory board. We shouldn't
have to ask repeatedly such a basic question that would take a mere 10 seconds to answer under RTK to
get a response. Apparently, however, we must.
Make no mistake, this editor is not one so rigid to say tradition must continue just for the sake of
Simply put, Rock has to be removed from the board or the board has to be open to other administrators
from other provider agencies. No ifs, ands, buts or ors about it. And if Rock doesn't go, well, someone
from Highlands must be seated now -- even if it means holding special meetings and removing someone
who's on multiple boards already.
What is most troublesome to many is that the county of Fayette approved a Uniontown Hospital
administrator when someone had to know that that facility was to become a huge provider of inpatient
care for adults 18 and over, cutting into business that Highlands managed very nicely for many
successful years. Please hold the letters; we're well aware of Rock's letter date and date of approval for
the board. Commissioner Vince Zapotosky made the motion to appoint Rock and Al Ambrosini seconded
her approval in January. We're not saying that Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink's choice should have
been approved, as we don't know her, either.
What we're saying is that all the cards should have been on the table and, clearly, were not. The FCBHA
director should have made all commissioners aware of advisory board past practices when Rock was
being considered. Not telling was not the right thing to do. No wonder there's a breakdown of
communication between the county and Highlands. No wonder the FCBHA director actually snubbed her
own advisory board president yesterday downtown at a public meeting.
The county of Fayette missed such a sweet, golden opportunity to put all the cards on the table months
ago, but chose instead to keep tight-lipped all the big news... and that the silence escalated into the
current, tense stand off. There are quite a few board positions under the state's required specific
groupings (local citizens' organization active in mental health, local health and welfare planning
organizations, professional fields of psychology, social work, nursing, education, etc) for the advisory
board structuring that would have allowed Rock's counter-part at Highlands Hospital to join the board as
well. Why not?
If traditions were being broken to allow a provider onboard, then the FCBHA director should have
informed all the commissioners that the board needed to be opened to representation from both
hospitals 7-9 months ago.
And, of course, she should have informed all of the commissioners and Highlands exactly what was going
on inside her agency, while her staff and Value's medical director went to train Uniontown's staff to
Value's requirements. This addition of Uniontown's 18-55 year old patients being included under the
county's behavioral health Medicaid equation was not just a mere piece of administrative paperwork to
sign or shuffle.
Equal representation on the advisory board earlier in the year could have brought all the specifics to the
front burner and all the key players to the table in a more respectful, positive approach.
Including Highlands, rather than childishly hiding the facts from its staff, might have been a much
healthier start to planning the future of Fayette's mental health delivery of services in an open, honest
way. Rock's placement on the advisory board simply rubbed more salt into the wounds.
22 Aug 12