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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jeanette White

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News >  Nation/World

Baby Ryan Defies The Odds Doctors Say His Chances Are Slim, But Then, No One Thought He’d Make It This Far

FOR THE REDORD (August 5, 1995): Nine-month-old Ryan Nguyen's doctors did not say his chances of living are slim. His pediatrician said his chances of growing up to be a normal child are small. A headline in Friday's Spokesman-Review indicated otherwise. 1. Love is a full-time job Nghia Nguyen listens to Ryan's lungs with a stethoscope while Darla and her 2-year-old, Austin, watch television. Photo by Dan McComb/The Spokesman-Review 2. For a few hours each day, Ryan can be off his feeding tube and, under his father's supervision, close to his brother. 3. Nghia Nguyen waits with Ryan for a doctor at a Portland hospital. Photo by Dan McComb/The Spokesman-Review

News >  Nation/World

Taxpayers Pay Bills Through Medicaid

It takes more than around-the-clock care to keep Baby Ryan alive. It takes a pile of money, too. The tab already has soared far beyond a half-million dollars, not including hefty doctor bills. The meter started running at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where Ryan was born prematurely Oct. 27. He was there six weeks. The bill topped $181,000. Next stop: Legacy Emanuel Children's Hospital in Portland, where doctors took him off kidney dialysis and removed a blockage from his intestines.
News >  Spokane

Hospitals Start Alternating Trauma Care Sacred Heart, Deaconess Take Turns Treating Patients

Severely injured patients in the Spokane area no longer are guaranteed treatment at their favorite hospital or the one their doctor prefers. Instead, they'll go to the trauma center of the week. At 7 a.m. Tuesday, Spokane's two largest hospitals began taking turns treating trauma patients - one week on, one week off. The plan, which drew strong criticism from the American College of Surgeons, is one of just a few like it in the country.
News >  Spokane

Mental Health Pact Kept Intact

Spokane Community Mental Health Center will remain the county's top mental health agency for at least a year. Commissioners who favor opening the mental health contract to competitive bidding decided Thursday to delay their plans. "This is a huge contract and anyone who wants to respond to it needs some lead time," said Spokane County Commissioner Steve Hasson.
News >  Spokane

Holy Family Nurses Want Raise North Side Nurses Seek Raise Equal To Sacred Heart Pay Scale

Nurses at Spokane's North Side hospital are threatening to demonstrate for pay equal to that of their downtown counterparts. "They're wanting to give us much less," said Dayle Byrnes, a nurse involved in the contract dispute with Holy Family Hospital administrators. If a federal mediator can't settle the tense negotiations next week, nurses plan to hold an informational picket outside the hospital, 5633 N. Lidgerwood.
News >  Spokane

Pro-Choice Man Admits Threatening Anti-Abortion Staff

A Wenatchee man pleaded guilty Monday to threatening to shoot antiabortion workers under a law typically used to protect abortion clinics and staff. The court hearing in Spokane marks the first time the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act was used in a case involving a facility that doesn't provide abortions. Daniel A. Mathison, 24, told a federal judge he was drunk when he made several calls in January to First Way Center, a pregnancy counseling service in East Wenatchee.
News >  Spokane

Teens Sum Up Anger Against Scout Leaders Girl’s Suggestion Executive Board Step Aside Is Roundly Applauded

Two Girl Scouts stole the show at a Thursday meeting dominated by angry mothers when the teenagers blasted Scout officials for canceling a long-awaited summer camp. They'd just learned Roundup 1996, expected to attract 3,000 girls to Farragut State Park in North Idaho, was canned partly because of an ongoing dispute among Scout leaders. "What crime did the Cadets and Scouts do, other than selling cookies for $3.50 a box?" asked Alicia DeArth, a senior Scout from Mead. Jessica Larson, a Girl Scout from Bonners Ferry, said she dreads calling her friends to tell them camp is off.
News >  Nation/World

Turmoil Entangles Girl Scout Council Leaders Face Questions About $100,000 Deficit, Unionization Of Employees, Canceled Summer Camp

Leaders of the Girl Scout Inland Empire Council face a tough job tonight: Calm dozens of angry volunteers demanding to know why they went $100,000 over budget last year and how they plan to make it up. And once those questions are answered, the mothers and grandmothers from this 18-county council will want to know more. Is the council, which covers Eastern Washington and North Idaho, at risk of being disbanded? Why do Girl Scout staff members suddenly feel the need to join a union? Perhaps most disheartening of all, the regional turmoil has prodded national Girl Scout officials to back out on sponsoring a summer camp in North Idaho for girls from around the world. A top Girl Scout official from New York City headquarters will be here to help sort through the problems. Troop leaders and volunteers who have worked with Girl Scouts for decades say the growing dissent is an embarrassment to the non-profit organization, which includes more than 4,400 girls and 1,500 volunteers. "The management style of this council is deplorable," said Molly Pearson, who has been involved in Girl Scouts for 29 years. Darla DeCristoforo, a South Hill troop leader, said Girl Scout board members are too secretive and aren't taking volunteers' concerns seriously. "There's just a myriad of messes we don't have answers for," said DeCristoforo. But President Judy Frigon said any problems have grown far out of proportion. "We have a communication problem - I will admit that," said Frigon. "And we need to take care of it." Frigon, who is serving her sixth year as president, said she never has seen so many volunteers so interested in the organization. "Wow! Somebody's waking up and finally paying attention." Tonight's special meeting will focus on finances and why volunteers haven't been able to get annual reports which should have been available last fall, Frigon said. Recent figures from Girl Scout accountants reveal a deficit of more than $100,000 - the largest in at least a decade. A computer crash is blamed for the long delay in making that information public. "There are some unexpected things that happened," said Frigon, who plans to discuss details at tonight's meeting. Among the unexpected happenings was a drop in cookie sales - a big moneymaker for Girl Scouts. Sales went from $396,412 in 1993 to $370,573 last year, records show. Scout officials also will try to dispel a rumor that Peggy Pruitt is in town from Girl Scouts USA because the region may lose its council, Frigon said. The turmoil was a factor, however, in a recent decision by national Girl Scout officials to pull their support for Roundup, a 1996 summer camp planned in North Idaho, said Frigon. "If the girls are going to travel here from all over the world, we'd want to make sure we gave them the very, very best experience. At this time, we feel we're really diluting ourselves and unable to do the best we can." That news only made a bad situation worse, said Chris Parker, a Girl Scout manager in Coeur d'Alene. "It's not a very good example for the girls," many of whom already were saving money for the camp, said Parker. The discord was compounded this spring when two staff members were fired abruptly by Executive Director Judy Edlund, said volunteers. Brusan Wells, an 11-year employee, said she was given 30 minutes to clean out her desk a few days after warning Edlund that employees had lost confidence in her management abilities. That incident, coupled with the firing of a registrar, prompted nervous staff members to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, said an employee who didn't want her name published for fear Edlund would fire her, too. "We feel she's going to clean house - make us reapply for jobs and then not hire us," she said. Volunteer Jackie Brown-Fairbanks said Girl Scout officials have denied requests to meet with board members about morale and communication problems, despite a "letter of no confidence" signed by 170 volunteers. But they have plenty of questions about finances, in the meantime. "One of the Girl Scout laws is use your resources wisely," said Parker. "They didn't do that."
News >  Spokane

State Bans New Patients At Valley Nursing Home

State inspectors have ordered a Spokane nursing home to stop accepting new residents after fining it for the sixth time in three years. If conditions don't improve drastically, Valleycrest Nursing & Rehabilitation Center may lose its federal Medicare funding, virtually shutting down the 190-bed nursing home, officials said. Deficiencies ranged from improper care of bedsores and catheters to lack of respect for residents' privacy.