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Hoag Hospital Donates Portable Defibrillators to 10 Golf Courses

Los Angeles Times Orange County Edition
April 10, 2001

Robert J. Heath, director of golf at Pelican Hill Golf Club near Newport Beach: "This will definitely help us react in emergency situations."

Comment: Now that Hoag Hospital has extended its outreach to meet the needs of the millionaires that frequent Orange County's golf courses, perhaps the hospital board members can turn their attention to addressing the unmet medical needs of the uninsured servants of these millionaires.

Felix Schwarz, Executive Director of Health Care Council of Orange County, responding to my comments about Hoag Hospital's gift of defibrillators to ten golf courses:

"In defense of Hoag -- they provide outstanding support to the Share Our Selves (SOS) free medical and dental clinic, and to the Costa Mesa Senior Center. The Hoag Foundation and the hospital have contributed generously to the Health Care Council's support -- I can think of a great many targets in Orange County who have done little or nothing for the working poor while raking in obscene profits from the health care non-system, but Hoag is not one of them. Giving defibrillators to golf courses would not be high up on my list of urgent health care needs in this county, but, on balance, I wish we had more Hoags!"

Comment: Felix is correct. Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian is one of the finest hospitals in Orange County. They have provided more charitable services than our for-profit hospitals, but they have hardly made a dent in the need that exists. Orange County is one of the most affluent counties in the nation, and yet 90,000 of our children have no insurance. Hoag Hospital, representing the best of our health care system, should play a leadership role in advocating for health care justice for all. Hoag Hospital and the millionaire patients served by it have the status and wealth to move the agenda for health care reform. Yet they remain inert. I'm sorry Felix. Although they represent the finest that we have, they're still not good enough, and I'm going to continue to whack them and the rest of our leaders that are failing to support reform that will bring everyone under the health care umbrella.

Don McCanne