Community Activism Continues at North Shore Health Board Meeting

Still energized by the termination of Emergency Room Doctor Bruce Dahlman, a group of taxpayers, patients, and visitors was formed to try and collaborate with the existing NSH board. 

The group arose after some of its leadership withdrew a petition calling for the board to terminate hospital CEO Kimber Wralstad. The petition had more than 700 signers earlier this month when the hospital board called a “closed-door” meeting to discuss possible legal action for a defamation claim. The board did not indicate in the meeting notice what specific actions it felt were defamatory, but petition organizers felt intimidated and withdrew the petition. 

Following that withdrawal, its organizers formed a non-profit group called Concerned Citizens for Cook County Healthcare (CCCCH). 

A representative of CCCCH, Rowena Claxton, addressed the hospital board during the public comment section of its meeting on December 21. 

In her statement, Claxton said, “Our group is made up primarily of Cook County residents… We are committed to ensuring that an impartial and independent investigation takes place as soon as possible into all aspects surrounding the non-renewal of Dr. Bruce Dahlman’s contract and that those findings be presented to the citizens of Cook County.”

Claxton said the group wishes to work collaboratively with the board to determine the appropriate, independent entity to perform the investigation.

The group's second priority is to investigate and address what seems to be a “troubling workplace culture” at North Shore Health (NSH). 

“We specifically ask that this independent investigation into the hospital’s culture and work environment be conducted immediately and completely separate from the Board’s strategic planning endeavors,” Claxton said.

She then went on to provide NSH board members with a two-page outline of specific areas of more concerns the group has identified, a sincere willingness to work with the board, and proposed actions that will create more trust in the public regarding NSH and its board’s leadership and responsiveness to community concerns. 

CCCCH lists an Interim Management Team of Vicki Biggs-Anderson, Rovena Claxton, Bob Evans, Chuck Heller, and Michelle Miller. It has posted a video of Claxton’s testimony before the NSH board, along with documents referred to above, on the Facebook page of Cook County MN Community Conversations.