Thursday, February 12, 2009

Frances Townsend's Organization Determines Effectiveness

Bush White House Homeland Security Adviser Frances Townsend continues to advise the Obama team from the sidelines. Her CNN commentary stated:

There is no more solemn responsibility that the president bears than to protect American lives. During my 4½ years at the White House, I came to believe that, for this reason, organization must be dictated by effectiveness.

Effectiveness is dictated by organization? What organization inspired Mrs. Townsend to omit the hospital with the highest death toll from her White House Lessons Learned Report on Hurricane Katrina?

Bush's most solemn responsibility failed 34 patients in New Orlean's Memorial Medical Center. Twenty four deaths belonged to LifeCare Hospitals. The long term acute care hospital company rented a floor of Memorial. Tenet Health had the other ten deaths.

Weeks before Katrina sideswiped New Orleans, The Carlyle Group purchased LifeCare. President George W. Bush served on the board of Carlyle affiliate CaterAir in the mid 90's. Tenet Health appointed Jeb Bush to their Board of Directors in 2007, just over a year after the release of Fran's incomplete report. Jeb's board compensation is $37,000 a day.

Aware citizens know most of the red team is tainted. Why didn't the blues weigh in on Fran's sorry tome? I found two connections. One, Bob Kerrey, D-Nebraska of 9-11 Commission fame, sits on the board of Tenet Health. The for-profit hospital company benefits from federal silence as they face wrongful death lawsuits.

Two, the firm that sold LifeCare to the Carlyle Group is connected to Rahm Emanuel, Preisdent Obama's Chief of Staff. Between his service in the Clinton White House and his Congressional position, Rahm Emanuel worked for an investment banker. GTCR Golder Rauner's chairman advised Mr. Emanuel on his career. GTCR was Rahm's account. Representative Rahm Emanuel headed the Democratic Leadership Council. Did Golder Rauner want their connection to LifeCare omitted from the Lessons Learned report?

Organization determines effectiveness. It's easy to see why Fran's report was so hapless. Calling it an investigation is a sad joke.

No comments: