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October 26, 2004 > Susanna Wong Candidate for Washington Township Healthcare District Board 2 Year Seat

Susanna Wong Candidate for Washington Township Healthcare District Board 2 Year Seat

TCV: How long have you been on the board and what were the initial reasons you ran for office?

Wong:I've been a member of the Washington Hospital Board since April of 2003, having been selected to fill the seat of the late Don Pickinpaugh. My family and I moved to Union City in 1977 and opened the first of our two restaurants in Union City that year. Seven years ago my father became a patient at Washington hospital where he was treated with high quality patient care. When I learned of the possibility of serving on this board, it seemed fitting for many reasons. Not only because this is our community, but because it is this hospital which on a personal level, means so much to me and my family.

TCV: What to you hope to accomplish, if elected?

Wong:The hospital needs to continue bringing affordable health care closer to our residents. I've been a strong advocate of the Women's Center, the Mobile Health Clinic, and for the expansion and upgrade of our emergency room facilities.

We have been able to maintain our solid financial stability, and even provide expanded health services to our community, while other hospitals are cutting back. I'll continue to use my business background to further strengthen our financial base.

I'm committed to maintaining our role as the region's premier medical center. We achieve this through state-of-the art medical facilities, such as our Center for Joint Replacement and Heart Program. I am committed to making sure Washington Hospital continue to invest in our employees.

TCV: What are the primary challenges currently facing the board and what skills do you have that will help meet these challenges?

Wong:The board of any governing body should be a representative of the community that it serves. As a former patient of the hospital, I bring the user's perspective to the board. As a small business owner, I bring a business perspective and as women, I bring it in the women's perspective. In addition, I have acquired two years experience of the board and am well aware of hospital administration issues.

Washington Hospital's facilities are aging, over-crowed, and do not meet SB 1953, state mandated requirements for earthquake safety. We need to address the shortage of qualified nurses and health care workers. We need to address the fiscal impacts of state and local cutbacks on health care spending.

TCV: Do you have a unique perspective or idea that you will advance on the board, if elected?

Wong:Large corporations such as Sutter and their specialty hospitals are real and looming threats to community hospitals such as Washington Hospital. In effect, specialty hospitals skim profits away from programs such as cardiac and orthopedics. Currently, services such as cardiac and orthopedics help fund non-revenue producing programs in Washington Hospital like the emergency room and birthing center. We fought back against specialty hospitals through state legislation that would require specialty hospitals to offer full hospital services such as emergency rooms. I've been personally involved with lobbying and speaking with state legislators against specialty hospitals raiding community hospitals of our profitable services.

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