Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
February 24, 2014
Murl Harpham led the flag salute. Tom McMurray Jr. gave the invocation. He mentioned casually that Greg Pierson and he just returned from Jerusalem where he was almost arrested and he had to wear a skirt. Apparently Greg set off the metal detector at the shrine of the Dome of the Rock with his mezuzah (and you have to have a pretty big mezuzah to do that!) and Tom was wearing shorts, so they gave him a skirt to wear. He didn’t however, have to shave his legs.
Our President-Elect, Gregg Gardiner, announced that next year’s Rotary Project would be the rehabilitation of the Boys and Girls Club. The building’s roof has failed, there’s lead paint peeling off the walls, and there are numerous ADA violations. He said it would be the single biggest project ever undertaken by our District. He has commitments of support from Old Town, Southwest & Rotary Sunrise Rotary Clubs.
Rotary Fact: Did you know you could do Rotary Meeting make-ups online now? It’s just like traffic school. You can also attend a Board meeting or other Rotary meeting and then call or email Steve Lafferty to let him know what you’ve done.
We have two new club members. Gregg Gardiner introduced Paula Patton, Publisher of the Times-Standard. Kim Bauriedel introduced Dr. David O’Brien, CEO of St. Joseph Hospital. Then Ziggy transitioned into recognitions.
Greg Pierson received a T-shirt for the trip he and Tom made to Norway, Russia, and Israel.
Pete Vallerga got a shirt for an award he and Dick Storre received for volunteer service to the Eureka Police Department.
Jesse Klair was shirted for acquiring the Fortuna and Bayshore Mall McDonalds.
Lisa Slack was dinged for her recent trip to Whistler B.C.
Ziggy then asked if there were any more nominations for Rotary President. Hearing none, he took a vote and said that Jay Bahner would be the 2015-16 Rotary President.
Hank Pierson received a standing ovation for contributing his fourth Paul Harris Fellowship. Now he has as many gold medals as the US earned in this year’s winter Olympic games.
Dr. Kim Bauriedel then reintroduced our speaker, and new Rotarian, Dr. David O’Brien. Dr. O’Brien got his start as a general practitioner in Eureka where he worked with Dr. Kim. Somewhere along the way he traded in his stethoscope for a tie and “went over to the dark side,” entering hospital administration. Now he is President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Joseph Hospital. The hospital is owned by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. They are a religious order that got its start in 1650 in France. Their initial mission was to help the poor. In 1912 they arrived in Eureka planning to do religious instruction. During the 1918 flu pandemic they started a hospital and became nurses. Now they have evolved into a 4 Billion dollar hospital system in 4 states.
St. Joseph Hospital has 138 beds and 200 physicians. Their daily census averages 78 critical care patients. They get 40,000 emergency room visits a year. Dr. O’Brien then talked about changes the health care. Right now, the more a hospital does, the more they get paid, but he sees that in the future quality of care will be paramount. They will be moving from acute care to community based preventive care. The challenges he faces are physician recruitment and cost containment. He thanked Bruce Emad for his role as Chairman on the Board of Directors. Ziggy then told Dr. O’Brien he could count his presentation as a craft talk. Then, not to be outdone, Ziggy whipped out his mezuzah and rang the bell with it. The crowd was impressed.
Naughtily narrated by Hank Ingham