On the SC Democratic Party website, they show the SC Party Chairman, Jamie Harrison’s, official biography. As would be expected, there’s a lot of good said about him and all he’s accomplished. He’s also doing a lot to move the party forward and accepts responsibility helping develop young people in the state to become future leaders. But the official biography doesn’t report some things it probably should.
Harrison became the SC Party chairman 2013 making him the first black person to hold the position. But, Harrison also is a principal at the Podesta Group, a lobbying and PR firm founded by John and Tony Podesta (brothers), with that same John Podesta also serving as Hillary’s presidential campaign chairman.
PR principals should recognize the need for full disclosure in this situation. Without it, both Harrison and Podesta look like they are trying to hide something, and let’s face it, that information is coming out – it’s better from their perspective if they are in control of where and when.
There are already concerns being expressed about the fairness of how Clinton’s opponent, Sanders, is being treated. David Swanson, spokesperson for Rootsaction.org, said, “If you want to avoid appearances of conflict of interest, you need to be completely open and reveal that. Someone can be in favor of one candidate and still conduct a fair primary election, but if they’re hiding that they have close ties — beyond just electoral interest, but with actual monetary interests — that starts to look bad.”
Patient death turns into race-related PR crisis
One Florida hospital is in the midst of a striking PR crisis after Barbara Dawson, a 57-year-old woman was arrested for refusing to leave the emergency room. Her crime? She didn’t think she was okay, or, at least healthy enough to be discharged. When police attempted to put Dawson into a patrol car, she collapsed, dying less than two hours later.
The tragic incident happened at Calhoun-Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Florida. The secretary for Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration has gone on record now, calling the problems at the hospital so egregious that the facility will face fines and may be suspended from the Medicaid program…if the myriad problems aren’t corrected by March 1.
“Our agency takes very seriously our responsibility to ensure the health and safety of all patients and to hold any healthcare facility that fails to do so accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Secretary Elizabeth Dudek said in a statement Thursday.
But, regardless of whether or not the hospital meets the conditions leveled by the secretary, their PR crisis is just beginning. The deficiencies cited by the AHCA include “failing to properly examine the woman when she complained of difficulty breathing.”
That sounds like a failure of emergency health care 101. It gets worse when you look at the case report, which cites the nursing staff for multiple failures to follow hospital policy. And even worse when you review the police dashcam video that shows a nearly 20-minute gap between Dawson collapsing and when she was finally taken back into the ER.
That would be PR problems enough, but, because Dawson is black, some are already saying the case sounds eerily similar to that of Eric Garner, a black man from Staten Island, who died in police custody after complaining he could not breathe. Adding fuel to that particular narrative, principles in Dawson’s case have already hired Benjamin Crump, the firm which handled cases involving Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
Outspoken attorney Daryl Parks has said this case is a “civil rights case of modern proportions.” When Parks’ is involved, you know the narrative is about to be ripped out of the air and fully controlled. The hospital needs to jump on this quickly if they have any hope of not being universally and perpetually branded as the hospital that won’t treat black people properly.
Hospital CEO Ruth Attaway is trying to get some traction, talking about how the facility is “extremely proactive about making improvements” and plans to meet the deadline of the AHCA.
That’s not nearly enough, though, and Attaway seems to realize this at least. She is planning to meet with civil rights leader RB Holmes to try to undo any racially-tinged damage. For Attaway, goal one is to turn “racial incompetence” into just garden-variety medical malpractice. That will be a tough sell, but that’s the hill she must successfully climb.