All psychiatrists at Sacred Heart, resign.

All of the psychiatric doctors at Sacred Heart Medical Center have turned in their resignations.

Sacred Heart provides (provided) critical in-patient psychiatric services in the Spokane area.

A comment to the story (unverified) says other psychiatrists in the area have also resigned from at least one other facility. No specific reason has been given for these resignations; several comments to the story note that except for the Inlander, local media has ignored these resignations yet this is potentially a serious crisis for the Spokane region.

Spokane Medical School: UW says WSU feasibility study is badly flawed

WSU hired a national consulting firm named MGT of America to produce a feasibility study for a WSU medical school. MGT’s report says Washington needs a WSU medical school.

The University of Washington responds that the consultant’s study done for WSU “contains a number of deep flaws”.

Many of the key justifications cited for starting, funding, and accrediting a second public medical school in Washington are based upon faulty assumptions, omissions, and erroneous data that draw into question many of the report’s central conclusions. These flaws raise significant concern about the actual feasibility of a WSU medical school and are important questions that require answers.

Local Spokane promoters and politicians previously relied on a consultant’s report on the economic impacts of the Spokane Medical School. However, that report was essentially a work of fiction, as pointed out in this blog’s analysis – “Forecast Economic Impacts of the Spokane Medical School“.

This blog would like to see a med school in Spokane and is supportive of WSU running such a med school. But both parties have engaged in flaky promotional efforts.

Update: WSU’s study may have left out the fully accredited Pacific Northwest University of Health Science’s, College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Washington, with another 140 or so medical students beyond those at the UW.


“Amgen’s exit a new blow for Seattle biotech industry”

Amgen’s exit a new blow for Seattle biotech industry | Business & Technology | The Seattle Times.

Seattle’s biotech sector has been in free fall for a decade, unfortunately.

The problem, obviously, is they never built a heated pedestrian/bike bridge! The Spokesman-Review assured us the essential requirement for a local biotech sector is the heated ped/bike bridge (really): Spokane’s biomedical economy will collapse without the heated ped/bike bridge

Seriously, if Seattle cannot retain its biotech industry, the likelihood of a huge biotech sector in Spokane is low. With or without heated pedestrian/bike bridges.



Seattle Times: State does not need a WSU Spokane med school

Now, as Washington State University tries to gain statewide support to build a new medical school in Spokane, some regional and national experts say there’s no longer a pressing national need for another one.

State might not need a WSU medical school, some experts say | Local News | The Seattle Times.

A lot of this is about market control. The UW, which has failed to provide adequate med school slots in the state, does not want WSU as a competitor in Spokane and would prefer to go down the WWAMI route of having med school students rotate through various locations. The UW argues its brand reputation is stellar and will attract top students while a first year start up med school run by WSU would start, on day one, with the lowest reputation of all med schools nationally.

WSU-Spokane argues that a med school is needed in eastern Washington to ensure doctors in rural areas even though there is no evidence this solves the root problem: pay is lower in small towns, which does not work for young doctors paying off med school debts, and the lifestyle may not be what young doctors are seeking.

Only a few years ago local Spokane promoters convinced us that a Spokane med school was essentially a done deal and would be opening shortly. Now its pushed out another decade or more (UPDATE: Should be accepting students in about 2017-2018 assuming all goes to plan – this is good news. Meanwhile, the UW has partnered with Gonzaga University on future medical student training in Spokane. There is zero justification for Spokane to have two medical schools –  but one makes sense.)

Our past posts on the Spokane med school including the outrageous lies told about the alleged economic impact of a Spokane med school. In Spokane, people just cannot stop lying. I have never seen a community where lying is conducted so openly and passionately.

WSU, UW in pissing match over future Spokane medical school

UW and WSU continue to argue over Spokane-based medical education or a med school.

Spokane promoters again point to an exaggerated and fictitious economic impact, and the parent of a Spokane WWAMI medical student rips the Spokane operation, saying facilities are inadequate and students are abandoning the program.

Spokane leaders point with pride to the city’s growing importance as a provider of medical services, and cite a 2010 consultant’s report which says that a new medical school there would have a $2.1 billion statewide economic impact — $1.6 billion of that in Eastern Washington.

via WSU, UW spar over future of region’s med schools | Local News | The Seattle Times.

See “Forecast Economic Impacts of the Spokane Medical School” to learn why this claim is a work of fiction. Spokane is famous for its tall tales and lies. Also see “WSU-Spokane’s Diversity Problem” (enrollment is 73% female, 27% mail overall, and 87% female at the undergraduate level).

The parent of a WWAMI student at the Spokane campus (see comments of “user492056”) provides this feet on the ground perspective that the facilities are inadequate and most of the students are abandoning the program – something that Spokane’s propaganda shill media are not reporting on:

The current Spokane medical sciences education site is a cooperative venture between Eastern, Gonzaga, Whitworth, and WSU for the education of nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dental students, and pharmacists.  The afterthought space left over for medical students is completely inadequate.  The lecture space accommodates at most twenty students without even providing electrical outlets to let students use modern technology.

Only nine of the past year’s twenty first year Spokane medical students are choosing to stay in Spokane for their second year.  This fact speaks volumes.  None of Pullman’s first year medical students are going to Spokane for their second year despite aggressive recruitment.  All of them are transferring to Seattle to complete their medical education.

If true[1], Spokane’s multi-zillion $ economic impact medical education program seems to have failed at launch. In real cities, these allegations would be the subject of the 4th estate keeping local government in line. But, you know the story, this is Spokane and we have Spokane promotional media.

[1] Since Confirmed as true. Buried in the Journal of Business on page 27 a few days after this post went live. Thank you JoB and SR (also) for eventually covering this story.

Keywords: Spokane medical school Hoopfest lilac festival parade

Deaconess Hospital ranked among nation’s worst for infections and complications

Really: “Deaconess Hospital places among hospitals with highest infection rates

Deaconess Hospital scored a 9.675 out of a 1 to 10 scale. Of the over 3,300 hospitals ranked, only about 60 have scores higher than Deaconess. According to Kaiser, hospitals scoring 9 or greater are likely to be assessed financial penalties.

Hospitals landing in the bottom quartile will lose 1% of every Medicare payment starting in October of 2014 (meaning they will charge everyone else more). They could lost up to 5.4% including the impact of other programs.

Given KREM’s past headlines, this should have been tilted “Deaconess Hospital staff among busiest in the nation at fighting infections“!

Related: Sacred Heart Medical Center had its own brush with management incompetence not long ago. The Spokane area has a hard time attracting and retaining world class talent, to put it mildly.

Police Shooting Propaganda Manual

Update:  Today, after this was published, another dead body was found and then SPD shot and killed someone near the dead body scene this afternoon. Well, we know how the press coverage will pan out over the next few days … read on … oh wait, the SPD PIO was  a witness to this shooting, … Welcome Bloomsday runners and walkers – yes, Spokane is a crime ridden mess. Oh well.


Every time there is an officer involved shooting, the public relations is predictable:

  • Make a statement about the person shot – he or she failed to comply with repeated orders, was seen as a threat, and was shot (and usually killed).
  • Over the next few days, dribble out information confirming the person shot was obviously a bad guy who deserved it. Probably on drugs, mentally ill, ex con. Impugn the subject’s reputation by press release. Never say a positive word about the deceased.
  • Make a statement that we should wait for the official investigation before passing judgement on the officer’s actions (but ignore it when it comes to making statements about the deceased).
  • Days later, release a press release with the officers’ names, their extensive training, awards, commendations, and their gold stars. Elevate them to pure saint hood.

Works every time. Very predictable.

The Sheriff issued a press release giving a one line bio for a deputy who has his own “topics” page at the local newspaper.  No attempt was made to hide the obvious propaganda spin.

With another shooting, the PR spin went down the usual path:

  • Police Chief Straub made a statement about how the suspect was given multiple commands from the police after stepping outside and the PD opened fire because they feared for their safety.
  • Then a video surfaced showing a different situation than what the Police Chief described. (See our analysis of the video and audio track).
  • The SPD dribbled out information about the suspect’s background: he’s a burglar, he’s had drug problems, he’s served time, he’s had mental health issues, he probably committed robberies. 
  • Then go for the kill: obviously the suspect was a bad guy who deserved and wanted to die! Local TV says he left a “suicide note” and quotes from a heroin-addict friend who “thinks” the suspect did not want to continue on. A  TV station photographs the suspect’s note – this would usually be evidence withheld from the court of public propaganda. (The SR refers to the note as an “apology letter” which seems accurate.).

KREM.COM goes straight to the punch:


KHQ.COM finds the friend who says “he wanted to die”:


THEREFORE, we can pat ourselves on the back and thank the police for executing the suspect. He was, after all, a low life, mentally ill, heroin addicted ex-con who wanted to die anyway – so no problem. He got what he deserved and what he obviously wanted.  A comment says “Sounds like a bunch of losers living in a house. The guy got what he deserved, quit defending the criminal.” Let’s pat ourselves on the back for another well deserved street execution! Hip hip hooray! Drinks all around!

Days later, we get the usual press release with the officer’s names, awards, commendations, training, medals, gold stars and saint hood.

Many commenters to the Spokesman-Review story saw through the propaganda stream:

  • “just adds to the public’s perception that the cops are trying to make a case that this was “Suicide by Cop” before the case is even investigated”
  • I can picture the perceptions and attitudes changing with every news story, and the local news media is as complicit in this cover-up attempt as anybody could be.”Oh, he was a drug offender”
    “Oh, he wrote a note that said he wasn’t going to prison”
    “Oh, he came out with a gun in his hand”.
    Yep, he got what he deserved. Cops are just doing their job.
    No need for a court. Saved us a lot of money, etc.”
  • How…given Straub’s comments…the questionable release of evidence to the media…a previous OIS case where a cop before the investigation was completed basically said in a sworn affidavit it was “Suicide by Cop”…does any cop expect the public to believe that OIS investigations aren’t bias?

Time To Rethink Police Shootings

There is zero question in my mind or most anyone’s mind that there is a need for police to shoot to kill in many situations. Both of the above situations were likely examples of those cases. But those events are not the point of this post.

The problem is we view these shootings as good outcomes! He deserved to die! He wanted to die! Yay! Let’s go have a party!

He probably wanted “suicide by cop”.  This assertion of “suicide by cop”  is common after OIS incidents – but it is just an assertion that goes along with excited delirium, a medical condition that exists solely in people in a fight with police. Both have become code phrases to justify a killing. Many of the “suicide by cop” claims are just a pop culture meme to justify shootings – rarely proven and definitely not a good outcome.

All of this is sick beyond measure.

In Spokane, each time a suspect is shot dead and no police officers are harmed, it is treated as a positive outcome. (Seriously, I do not want any police officers hurt. Ever.)

But we need to change our mindset – dead bodies are a sign of failure, not success.

We will not see a reduction as long as we view killings as a successful and desired outcome.

Is it possible to stop so many killings? NYPD used to kill 100 people a year but with improved training they cut that to about one-tenth to one-fifth that number. Yes, it is possible.

But until we change our mindset, the killings will continue.

The need for change is recognized elsewhere:

Until the SPD changes its mindset and adopts a new approach, the killings will continue, law enforcement will respond with the usual and predictable propaganda spin, and more people will die due to “suicide by cop” and “excited delirium”.


This post is not opposed to police shootings, as required.  This post is about the propaganda spewed forth and lapped up  – propaganda designed so that readers and viewers will relax in their easy chair and conclude “Good thing the police shot and killed this thug – he not only deserved to die, he wanted to die!”

That is a sign of a sick community and media. Look back at the killing of Otto Zehm or Quentin Dodd. Then look at how the NYPD drastically reduced officer involved shootings with a different approach and new training methods. The fundamental issue is that police killings need to viewed as failures (yes, many are justified) – and not viewed as successful outcomes.

Until the SPD and the community recognize these shootings for what they are – a sad failure – not a success – the shootings will continue. The media must stop playing along with this game – but press release reporting is easy so they continue to play along.

If you do not get what this about, read the full Use of Force Commission Report. Nearly every propaganda statement issued by the SPD after the murder of innocent Otto Zehm was a lie. The SPD hid and withheld evidence that contradicted their public statements. To this day, the SPD continues to spin and engage in propaganda. And that is a serious problem.

Keywords: Bloomsday, Lilac, Festival, Parade, Marching, Bands, Spokane, Police, Sheriff, County, shooting, shootings