KAISER PERMANENTE ®
Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program
October 5, 2006
Mrs. Jacquelyn Finney
Dear Mrs. Finney:
Your letter to George Halvorson dated August 22, 2006, which was received in his office
on September 7, 2006, was referred to me in my role as Program Manager for California
ADA Compliance, to respond to the ADA Title 111 issues raised in your letter. The issues
in your letter regarding the medical care in the Orthopedics department for your advocate,
Robert Finney, have been addressed in a separate letter to him from our Member Services Department
in San Diego.
You expressed concern in your letter about staff at the San Diego Medical Center not
being able to identify or connect you with the ADA Coordinator for the facility. We are
still looking into this issue, but apologize if you were in any manner inconvenienced in
attempting to locate the ADA Coordinator.
For your future reference, the ADA/Section
504 Coordinator for San Diego is David Horton, Department
Administrator for Preventive Medicine, (858) 573-5444.
Also, for your information, the San Diego Medical Center, along with all of our other Medical Centers in
California, are developing and
implementing policies and procedures for improving access to facilities and services for
our members with disabilities at Kaiser Permanente. In addition, we will be providing
training to our staff on issues relating to patients with disabilities.
In your letter, you allege that there are ADA violations at the San Diego Medical Center
regarding doors at the Medical Offices that have not been modified to allow access for
disabled patients. If you provide more specific information regarding the specific doors
and locations where you believe these conditions exist, we can be better able to address
your issues. We have completed an architectural access survey of the San Diego facility
as part of our California-wide program to identify and remove architectural barriers and
developed an action plan for barrier removal at San Diego. Hopefully, this project will
address your concerns about the accessibility of doors at the facility.
If you have any further questions about disability access at our facilities, please do not
hesitate to contact me.
California ADA Compliance
cc. George Halvorson
Brad Jenkins [Member Services]
Jaime Crippen [Member Services]
1800 Harrison Street, 19th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
Kaiser Permanente, Palomar Hospital, Tri-City
The Community Paper.com
by lyle e davis
February 12, 2009
February 6, 2009. A phone call is received from a subscriber to The Paper:
Mr. Davis? I’m a subscriber to your paper. I absolutely love The Paper and, in particular, I loved this
week’s cover story about Illegal Immigrants. I went to the Kaiser Pharmacy in Escondido to get four or
five other copies to mail to friends and family and there were no papers there! I always get extra copies
there! There wasn’t even one!
I acknowledged this was unusual as we routinely deliver 300 papers to the various Kaiser departments
in the Esconido facility by 5pm every Thursday. I told the subscriber I would look into it and I did.
Not only were there no copies of The Paper in the pharmacy, there were none in the Primary Care
Module, nor in the Laboratory, nor in the Nurses Clinic, nor in the second floor Primary Care module.
We had censorship issues with Kaiser Permanente about five months ago that
involved the San Marcos Kaiser Permanente facility.
On a hunch, I drove to San Marcos. Not one copy of The Paper. At the San Marcos
facility we deliver 900 copies each week.
They had all been confiscated and, we presume, destroyed. I secured the San
Marcos Facility Manager’s name, Dave Horton, and his phone
I drove on to the Vista Kaiser Permanente facility and was pleased to learn that we had
our regular display of The Paper available in Vista.
I returned to the Escondido facility and conducted an investigation. I learned that the
Escondido facility had been called by someone from the San Marcos facility,
presumably Mr. Horton, the facility manager, and he instructed Pam Weikert, the
Escondido Kaiser facility manager (760)839.7170 to pick up all copies of The
Paper and destroy them. This information apparently was transmitted to Terry
Price, (760)510.4144, head of the x-ray (radiology) department who then
instructed members of her staff to collect and destroy all copies of The Paper
not only in her department but throughout the Escondido complex.
In October, 2008, the San Marcos Kaiser Permanente staff took it upon themselves to
ban The Paper due to the apparent actions of Dr. Jonathon Rott. As a refresher, we
republish a Letter to the Editor from November 13th, 2008:
The “physician-leader” that started all this nonsense at the San Marcos Kaiser
Permanente was Dr. Jonathon Rott. It was he who decided he didn’t like the
“editorial content” of the paid political ad you ran and insisted that The Paper be
removed and banned from being delivered. He gave the instructions to Steffani
We love The Paper and this was a stupid decision on both their parts. They should have
Following this episode we received a letter of apology from Kaiser Permanente
management, an acknowledgement that neither Dr. Jonathon Rott nor Steffani
Cobler had any right whatsoever to order The Paper to be banned; we were
further assured that The Paper would be welcome at Kaiser Permanente locations while
they reviewed the issue further.
We accepted this in good faith.
Confiscation and destruction of our copies of The Paper is called censorship. Kaiser Permanente has
broken faith with an agreement they suggested to avoid this type of infringement on First Amendment
rights. Here, as reported in the Local News Section of our November 20th, 2008 issue:
The Paper Now Available At Kaiser Permanente San Marcos
Kaiser Permanente has welcomed us back into their San Marcos Kaiser Clinics to distribute The Paper.
They have also acknowledged that their people were in error:
"We want to apologize for any confusion that may have occurred when you were told that The Paper
could not be delivered in mid-October. Some of the comments that were made to you were
inappropriate and do not reflect the position of Kaiser Permanente."
Readers of The Paper may now find it again in the patient waiting rooms of the San Marcos unit of
Kaiser Permanente, as well as other Kaiser units throughout North San Diego County. The Paper had
been banned from that and other Kaiser units, briefly, but all is now well. Lyle E. Davis, editor and
publisher of The Paper, said: “I regret the incident ever occurred. We were pleased to work with Kaiser
Permanente top management and it appears the problem is now resolved. I want to thank the many
readers who wrote to Kaiser, who called them, who sent us Letters to the Editor, who called us in
support of our First Amendment rights. We could not have accomplished this resolution without your
support and for that, we thank you. Bottom Line? We have kissed and made up and agreed to play nice.
We’re back in good graces with Kaiser Permanente and hope to keep it that way.”
Sadly, such was not to be. Someone within Kaiser obviously decide he or she was in a position to
decide what you, the reader, should be able to read or not read. In so doing, they broke faith with the
agreement that we and Kaiser management had entered into.
(We had been delivering The Paper to Kaiser and its patients for seven years before all this began to
If you are unhappy about being told what you can read and what you cannot read, you may want to call
the persons listed above and let them know of your displeasure. We already have and our attorneys
shall as well. You may wish to add Casey Hart, Public Affairs Officer for Kaiser Permanente. She can be
reached at: (619) 528-7483. If you wish to read about the earlier Kaiser Censorship, please go to:
An additional list of senior management contacts follows at the end of this story. Kaiser Permanente is
not the only medical facility that seeks to censor The Paper. Palomar Medical Center had welcomed us
into their facility for years. We provided copies in the waiting room at the hospital entrance as well as in
the waiting rooms in the Emergency Room.
No problems. None.
Suppressing Freedom of Speech, or the attempt to do so, is not all that uncommon. For some strange
reason, our freedom of speech seems to be drawing most attention from area hospitals. We’ve done
three well documented and unchallenged expose’s on Mike Covert, the president and CEO of Palomar
Pomerado Health District. As soon as our first expose broke, guess what happened? They sought to
ban our papers from the hospital.
Then, within a matter of days of the second publication, we were no longer welcome in the waiting
rooms of Palomar Medical Center.
A spokesperson for Palomar Medical Center claimed it was a policy that had been in force for some
time. Strange how that policy was enforced only after we wrote two critical cover stories about Mike
Covert, the president and CEO of PPH. (who is being paid $676,000 per year.)
Since that time, we deliver 200 copies of The Paper every week to Palomar Medical Center. 100 copies
to the front waiting room area, 100 copies to the ER waiting room area. Within hours of their delivery
Palomar Medical Center staff have confiscated them and destroyed them.
They have offered a news rack stand outside. That is unacceptable to us. We maintain we have a state
and federal constitutional right under the First Amendment to distribute our papers within the patient
waiting area of this publicly funded hospital; that the taxpayers who support this hospital have every right
to have access to their community newspaper.
Palomar Medical Center is not alone, however. We at The Paper seem to have
our problems with medical centers and hospitals. Tri-City Hospital sought to
pass a bond issue last fall. It was the third attempt to do so. The North County
Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune both endorsed the bond issue.
We opposed it.
The day after our cover story came out that opposed the bond, suddenly The
Paper was persona non grata in the hallowed halls of Tri-City Hospital. A
hospital, we might point out, to which we had been delivering papers regularly for over a year, and that
is a public hospital, supported by taxpayer funds, and a hospital to which we, as a newspaper of
adjudicated general circulation by the Superior Court, State of California, have every right to distribute as
a free press.
The Tri-City officials don’t see it that way. The see their hallowed halls as sacrosanct. Not to be
blemished by The Paper. (Yet there are numerous magazines available in the various waiting rooms
there . . . which are news oriented . . . but not with local news. How can you allow one and not the other?)
Up to the point where we opposed the bond issue there had been no problems.
We’ve made our positions clearly known with both Palomar Pomerado Health and with Tri City Hospital:
they are public hospitals. We have every right to distribute our papers at public hospitals under the First
Amendment as guaranteed by both the Federal Constitution as well as the California Constitution.
So Who, or What Does Banning The Paper at Kaiser, or other hospitals Hurt?
It hurts you, the reader.
You won’t have the chance to learn the results of investigative journalism we have undertaken to protect
you, the consumer. You won’t get to read fascinating cover stories about adventure, travel, historical
slices of time. You won’t get to read the handy information provided by our brilliant columnists. And you
won’t get to chuckle at The Chuckles Column. (We’ve been warned by many of our readers the if we
ever took the Chuckles Column out of The Paper we’d be drawn and quartered. And maybe spanked).
If we find out about a corrupt politician . . . a swindler running around loose . . . a sex offender being
released into the community . . . how are you going to learn about this, absent your favorite community
paper, The Paper?
We have been very pleased at the consistent reports we get from our readers who have picked up
copies of The Paper while visiting the various Kaiser clinics. They enjoy the Chuckles, they enjoy the
cover stories. They either agree or disagree with our editorial positions . . . but they grant us our right to
express our opinions, just as we offer them the right to express theirs via the Letters to the Editor
columns and/or Guest Editorials.
Next time you go into a Kaiser Clinic, or Palomar Medical Center, or Tri-City Medical Center, and notice
there are no copies of The Paper, you may want to call the officials from each hospital and let them
know how you feel.
Editor’s Note: You may want to contact the following:
George C. Halvorson, Chairman of the Board, Kaiser Permanente,
1 Kaiser Plaza,
Oakland, Ca. 94612
Senior Executive: Med Director
Jeffrey A. Weisz, MD
393 E. Walnut St. 7th Floor
Pasadena, Ca. 91188
President of S. California Region:
Benjamin K. Chu, MD, MPH,
MACP (same address as above)
Arthur Flippin, MD (succeeded by Paul Bernstein)
Area Medical Director
4647 Zion Avenue
Communications Manager, Public Affairs
Phone: (619) 528-7483
Palomar Medical Center
Chairman of the Board
PPH Board of Directors
15255 Innovation Drive
15255 Innovation Drive
Chief Administrative Officer
555 East Valley Parkwy
Escondido, Ca. 92025
Tri-City Medical Center
Rosemarie Reno, Chair, Tri City Hospital Board
4916 BELLA COLLINA ST
OCEANSIDE CA 92056
Day: (760) 724-1545
Evening: (760) 724-1545
FAX: (760) 630-0985
Tri-City Medical Center
4002 Vista Way
Oceanside, CA 92056
Tri-City Medical Center
4002 Vista Way
Oceanside, CA 92056
David Horton, Assistant Area Medical Group
Administrator, Kaiser Permanente
updated April 2014