CalPERS Office of Public Affairs Failure to Use
Legitimate Power to Expose Kaiser Permanente Abuse
and Abandonment of California Retirees
July 13, 2011
By: BobbieVezina — Clawson Michigan
CalPERS Office of Public Affairs Sacramento California
400 Q Street, Rm 4340 Sacramento California 95814 United States of America
Phone: (916) 795-3991
The CalPERS Office of Public Affairs and CalPERS Press in my view are two of the most
important offices in all of California State Government.
That is so because they are offices with the power to legitimately and publicly investigate
and describe services that are or are not being conducted properly when tax payer and
retiree resources are being used to finance those services.
Generally speaking, I have great respect for both the CalPERS Office of Public Affairs and
the CalPERS Press.
However, recently, as a patient advocate, I have had great difficulty in obtaining either
Offices' attention regarding a violation of ethics, and charity; a clear incident of patient
abandonment, and alleged breaking of State and Federal Elder Abuse laws taking place
less than twenty miles from the Office's location....all violations that deal with programs
coordinated by CalPERS.
At the South Sacramento Kaiser Permanente campus, the Department of Physical
Medicine, under the command of Dr. Susan Scholey, has abandoned a State retiree, Dr.
Ronald Bernard, a former Department of Social Services' manager; consultant on loan at
commander rank to the California Highway Patrol; as well as the designer of the computer
systems used to track the field recovery of Californians in the aftermath of both the Los
Angles and San Francisco earthquakes of the 1980's. These systems were designed by
Dr. Bernard on an emergency basis, his having to put in 96 hour shifts in order for FEMA
and the Department of Social Services to be able to respond to recovery needs. During
that time, Dr. Bernard was clearly a hero who was never properly recognized. Perhaps
now the Office of Public Affairs and CalPERS Press can make up for that oversight.
Over the heartfelt and vociferous objections of his attending physician, Dr. Bernard has
been abandoned by both the Department of Physical Medicine, as well as all
administrators with the power to countermand the abandonment order of Dr. Susan
There are several reports both on the Ripoff Report and the Scam Informer describing the
abandonment, and abuse, so I won't spend an untoward amount of time describing the
However, that said, it is critically important that the Office of Public Affairs and CalPERS
Press investigate and publish information relative to this case, for several important
First, information of this kind is seldom available when Kaiser Permanente's level of
services are described for the purpose of aiding members to decide which direction to
take when choosing a medical provider for themselves and their families.
Second, the patient is suffering from a crushed spine, and without the services of his
spine specialist, Dr. Gary Rinzler, he is subject to intense pain, pain that is totally
unnecessary, and controllable as it had been for ten years prior to the promotion of Dr.
Scholey to the position of Chief of the Department of Physical Medicine just three months
ago. As you will read in other RipOff Reports, she is a physician capable of carrying
personal vendettas forward and punishing patients and subordinates alike for perceived
Thirdly, State employees need to hear about a former hero like Dr. Bernard. State
employees need to be reassured that their services are critical to the health of the State,
and to read of the "exploits" of Dr. Bernard while the Office of Public Affairs investigates
Dr. Scholey's actions. Such descriptions will have a marvelous effect on State employee
morale, and reenforce in State employees' minds that someone does indeed care to
make certain that they are taken care of both now and in the future.
Fourth, only minds trained to see through PR obfuscations will be able to understand why
it is that patients rarely, if ever, have their inputs considered by CalPERS relative to
In another Report on this site a patient advocate speaks of the ways in which
abandonment and abuse are hidden by Kaiser Permanente including:
-Office of the Ombudsman
-Prohibitions in place prohibiting Kaiser employees from divulging the abuses and
abandonments they personally witness;
-Member Services (Kaiser) complaint and appeals processes that haven't found FOR a
patient in over ten years;
-Risk Management units in major cities which meet in secret and whose members are
never identified to either patients or authorized representatives, and whose findings
always begin with the word "DENIED;"
And, several more, the upshot of which is to bury (sometimes literally) patient complaints
which otherwise would paint a picture of Kaiser Permanente far removed from the
requirements of the Hippocratic Oath.
In other words, the Office of Public Affairs and CalPERS Press will not only have a good
story, but might be able, simply by investigating, to correct a wrong being perpetrated on
a State retiree, even though CalPERS is paying Kaiser Permanente $5,000 annually to
deliver services to this person and his family. None of Dr. Bernard's family is receiving any
services at all as of this writing. However, Kaiser Permanente continues to accept
Dr. Gary Rinzler, Dr. Bernard's spinal physician has vehemently attempted to restore
services to Dr. Bernard, but he too has been penalized for these attempts. Even a second
and third opinion delivered in support of Dr. Rinzler has not moved Kaiser management to
do the right thing.
Congress passed the Elder Abuse laws to prevent this very kind of behavior, and just
plain decency would command quick remedial action.
All appeals and direct contacts to higher management at Kaiser Permanente, including
appeals to Kaiser Plaza in the Bay Area, have proven fruitless, as the medical community
in charge continue to oppose one of the best trained physicians in the spinal area in the
Country, Dr. Rinzler (Trained at Massachusetts General Hospital.)
So, I beg of CalPERS Office of Public Affairs and CalPERS Press to simply call these
people on this case. Doing so will certainly open CalPERS eyes to a suspicion that a five
star rating for Kaiser Permanente services may be way over the top in terms of a
numerical description of what former State heroes can expect once their stars begin to
Dr. Bernard is now 69 years of age, is suffering, with no relief in site.
Additional information regarding this matter can be obtained (as mentioned above) on this
site, the Ripoff Report, by using the search box under the titles:
"Dr. Susan Scholey"
"Kaiser Permanente Risk Management"
"Dr. Robert Midgley"
"Dr. Robert Pearl"
"Dr. Richard Isaacs"
These reports have been submitted by the patient advocate network which has been very
active regarding this most obvious case of abandonment, State retiree abuse and clear
dereliction of duty by Kaiser Permanente.
Both Dr. Gary Rinzler and Dr. Ken Hu have verified that the regimen that had been
followed so long (ten years) and so effectively by Dr. Bernard is exactly appropriate to
care for Dr. Bernard.
It is Dr. Susan Scholey alone who made the decision to abandon Dr. Bernard, and
subsequently it has been the supporting administrators' covering for this doctor that has
created such a terrible situation for this honorable State retiree.
LIST OF WEB SITES THAT
SPECIFICALLY STUDY KAISER
PERMANENTE AND PROVIDE
ADVOCACY AND OFFER
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE
Conahan v. Sebelius and Kaiser
Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
Cases and news
Doctors who cause death
Doctors who go along
with Kaiser tactics
Doctors in charge of