Healthcare Facts

Curious about the South Curry Health Care Alliance (SCHCA)?

After the 97415 voters overwhelmingly rejected annexation to the Curry Health District (CHD) in 2015, a small, diverse group of ordinary taxpayers began meeting to research facts about health service possibilities. The South Curry Health Care Alliance (SCHCA) believes public policy should be inclusive, transparent and accountable. We also believe taxpayers deserve accessible, cost-effective, competent health care. Adequate health care is essential for any sustainable community. We all know friends, family or neighbors who left 97415 because of needed health care services: not because they wanted to.

Our primary goal was to verify what was legal and possible.

The SCHCA obtained and reviewed public records, met or communicated with federal and state officials, Asante, CHD, the Del Norte Health District, and the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Tribal Council. Oregon Statutes, Administrative Rules and licensing regulations were reviewed. The federal regulations were verified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS is the federal agency regulating Critical Access Hospitals (CAH), including Curry General Hospital and its satellite clinic on 5th Street.

SCHCA and Curry County’s BOC then co-sponsored, “Working Together for Expanded Health Care” in August. Facts regarding essential, expanded health care services in 97415 were presented, as well as the positions of Brookings’ and CHD representatives. State and federal representatives were not available at the time. Their official positions haven’t been received. This collaborative workshop was a first, had significant attendance, yet, no newspaper coverage.

Join the conversation to learn more.

Catherine Wiley,

chair, SCHCA

Huxley’s Good deeds

Just thought it would be nice to write about some of the good things that have happened in Curry County government since Tom Huxley became our commissioner.

Money has been saved just by Tom working for no salary or benefits. The reduction in compensation and benefits will save the citizens of Curry County over $320,000 during his four-year term. He drives his own car, pays for his own gas and has never charged his county credit card for travel.

Here are just a few of the things Tom has done:

•Outsourced at a significant savings to a neighboring county the design and hosting of a new Geographic Information mapping system (GIS) that is now fully operational benefitting county citizens and cities within the county.

•Lead the development of a new county website designed and hosted by Revize Software that will enable county staff to update their respective department pages from any location.

•Fought for a state of the art audio/video system that serves our community with streaming video of each county meeting. We can actually hear the speakers. Archived video of meetings can be watched from most electronic hand held devices.

•Was instrumental in the organizational restructuring of the county to include a county administrator. The position was recently filled with an interim administrator who is in the process of departmental consolidation.

Tom has never been a part-time commissioner and constantly works on county business. Weekends are no exception. The work Tom does is for no other reason than to make things better in our county for our citizens, many of which are retired, living on fixed incomes.

He is smart, a good businessman and problem solver, honest and strong. I am very proud to be his wife.

Kathy Huxley


Huxley’s Bullying

In response to the “Huxley, Boice Clash…”(Pilot, Nov. 4), the main issue is not the removal of items from the agenda, but the serious nature of one of the items removed, and the manner in which they were removed.

The issue is the right and ability of the public to question their elected officials. Back in the summer I asked the commissioners, “Now that an administrator will be doing all your day-to-day executive and administrative work, what are your goals for your remaining time in office?”

At the time it seemed like a simple and legitimate request for a citizen to make of his elected representatives. Commissioner Boice reminded me of the plan he offered up back in January. From Commissioners Huxley and Gold, silence.

I have asked again twice since then, the last time on Oct. 18, when Commissioner Huxley inappropriately prohibited other commissioners from commenting, and wrongly gaveled Commissioner Boice into silence. The behavior of Commissioner Huxley met all the minimum standards to be classified as “bullying” and led me to request Commissioner Boice to file the charge against him for violation of his own Rules of Decorum, the first item removed on Nov. 1.

The item to discipline Commissioner Huxley was “tabled” on the motion of Commissioner Gold and a second and vote by Huxley himself. “Tabling” a matter is to kill it without discussion and is considered by Roberts Rules to be “out of order” and “a violation of fair procedure,” a dirty trick to silence a minority.

For Commissioner Huxley to then both second and vote on a disciplinary matter that directly named him is a blatant violation of conflict of interest and completely disregards all tenets of propriety. Yet he did so anyway, and in spite of Commissioner Boice’s protest, neither Counsel Huttl nor Administrator Hitt did anything to point it out or stop him.

The 6,800 people who voted for Court Boice have had their voice in government silenced by the bullying of Tom Huxley.

David Barnes

Gold Beach

good place to start

We wish to respond to the problem heading from the article “No Camping Ban at Mill Beach” (Pilot, Oct. 4).

The norm of a shower, clean clothes and a hot meal is a luxury to others.

Our personal experience at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church refutes the article’s quote of “free daily handouts,” which brings to mind throwing raw meat to zoo animals. What actually occurs is a twice-a-week, meticulously planned nutritious, hot and delicious meal served by dedicated volunteers. The grateful recipients are the elderly/low income, children, and the people we refer to as our homeless friends.

St. Timothy’s also provides a shower, soap and shampoo, and clean towels. Used clothing, shoes, and new socks and underwear are available.

What we witness is the following: being clean is empowering. A clean body and clothes are the first step to cleaning up a drug habit, being willing to open up about the cause of their homeless state, and believing that our genuine care can lead somewhere.

We help them find their social security number and/or birth certificate, which leads to a driver’s license or ID card, which leads to a job interview.

And when you engage these individuals at whatever point in this process, their stories will humble you.

Do we want clean, fed and hopeful people in our community or dirty, hungry and hopeless ones who may panhandle or turn to stealing?

Nothing is perfect, but compassion and dialogue are a good place to start.

Kathy and Peter Vasile


Fix the bridge

The south end of the old Pistol River bridge on Pistol River Loop needs some attention, like resurfacing.

It has been getting worse for the last four to five years.

You cannot help but notice it when you drive on it.

Please use some of the $30 million and bring it back to where it is drivable.

Milt Walker

Gold Beach