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Alameda Hospital Defends Wellness Newsletter

Alameda Hospital officials say they mail the community wellness newsletter every fall.

Alameda Hospital officials are defending as routine the mailing of a glossy ‘community wellness’ newsletter depicting all five hospital board members at the height of election season. Action Alameda News readers had questioned if the piece sent out by the publicly funded hospital wasn’t a campaign mailer in disguise intended to support hospital board incumbents.

Two challengers are running against two incumbents on the Alameda Health Care District Board of Directors which has oversight of the hospital and some $6 million in public funds raised each year through a $298 parcel tax on Alameda property.

Design, printing and mailing of the newsletter, which hit Alameda mailboxes earlier this month, cost over $8,700.

Hospital CEO Deborah Stebbins told Action Alameda News that the newsletter is published every fall to coincide with the Hospital’s community health fair. This year, the fair was on October 20th.

Another reason for the timing of the mailing, Ms. Stebbins said, is to coincide with health care plan open enrollment, which typically occurs in September or October.

“The document is written in-house so the costs, which have always been in this range, are related to printing and mailing. The newsletter was mailed to all residences in 94502 and single family residences in 94501,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Additionally, she provided electronic copies of past newsletters from 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2004.

1 comment to Alameda Hospital Defends Wellness Newsletter

  • Marie

    It certainly is a little suspicious. Why not send flyers specifically to announce open enrollment for health care plans, they must know who is enrolled. This material should come under the self-promotion budget rather than “wellness”. Just a measly $8,700. Oh please.

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