A letter writing campaign encouraging Mayor Steve Bach – err, members of a Memorial Health System task force – to take a “Pledge of Integrity” was initiated by the public relations office at Memorial, according to documents obtained from a source.
“Many of you have expressed mistrust about the bidding process over Memorial’s future and the task force overseeing it,” Memorial spokesman Brian Newsome said in an email that was apparently sent to Memorial employees in the past week or so.
“In response, we have drafted a letter and “Pledge of Integrity” designed to address these concerns. If you would like your name on this letter as a show of support, send an email with your name to firstname.lastname@example.org,” he wrote.
“Your friends and family can e-mail me as well. We will submit the letter to the task force prior to Friday’s meeting,” he added.
Newsome advised recipients of the email to not feel compelled to participate.
“It is our belief that this small act may help build trust and alleviate some of the cynicism and uncertainty many of you are feeling,” he wrote.
The letter drafted by Memorial states that the pledge is not intended to question anyone’s integrity.
“To the contrary,” the letter states, “we believe it will help address mistrust and cynicism and create broader community support of the eventual ballot proposal.”
Memorial’s campaign worked.
More than a 1,000 Memorial employees and supporters signed the letter.
Here’s the email that Newsome sent out:
This is an All Users Communication:
Many of you have expressed mistrust about the bidding process over Memorial’s future and the task force overseeing it. Nearly 100 percent of those taking our informal web poll believe the task force should agree to follow Colorado Open Records and Open Meetings Laws.
In response, we have drafted a letter and “Pledge of Integrity” designed to address these concerns. If you would like your name on this letter as a show of support, send an email with your name to email@example.com.
Your friends and family can e-mail me as well. We will submit the letter to the task force prior to Friday’s meeting.
Please do not feel compelled to participate. This is strictly voluntary, and we are only trying to be responsive to those of you who have expressed your desire to do something.
The letter and associated pledge (both attached) ask all task force members, elected and non-elected, to voluntarily agree to abide by Colorado Open Meetings and Open Records Acts, and to disclose in writing any personal or financial ties associated with affected health systems or the outcome of this process.
It is our belief that this small act may help build trust and alleviate some of the cynicism and uncertainty many of you are feeling.
-Brian Newsome, public relations.
Sept. 7, 2011
To members of the Memorial Task Force:
We, as employees, physicians, volunteers and community supporters of Memorial Health System, thank you for your time and dedication as you help chart the future of this treasured asset. Whether you are a business leader or a bedside caregiver, you are trying to do something good for this community.
Therefore, we must be especially vigilant in protecting Memorial from the risk of conflicts of interest. Memorial, as such a valued community asset, is vulnerable to special interests if we do not safeguard the process. To that end, we respectfully request each task force member or advisor, appointed and non-appointed, agree to the attached “Pledge of Integrity” in a good faith effort to build trust and transparency.
The pledge is no way intended to question the integrity of anyone sitting on the task force. To the contrary, we believe it will help address mistrust and cynicism and create broader community support of the eventual ballot proposal.
In short, we ask you to:
1. Voluntarily agree to abide by the Colorado Sunshine Laws, which requires transparency among elected officials. This would include, among other things, making meetings of three or more task force members public, and any Memorial-related emails public records.
2. Sign a disclosure form that acknowledges there is no personal or business-related financial gain related to the outcome of Memorial’s future, and addresses any close personal ties you have with Memorial employees or employees of competing health systems.
PLEDGE OF INTEGRITY
Pledge of Integrity
I, _____________________________, as someone chosen to advise or decide on matters related to the bidding process to manage Memorial Health System, willfully and voluntarily agree to the following terms in an effort build trust and transparency with the community.
–I will voluntarily agree to uphold the basic tenets of the Colorado Sunshine Laws, including but not limited to making meetings of three or more members of the task force open to the public, with at least 24 hours notice accompanied by a posted agenda. Making any of my emails and other documents related to the business of the task force subject to the public in a timely fashion.
–I acknowledge that neither I nor my family or those close to me will incur a financial gain, personally or professionally, as a result of the outcome of
this process or from a specific company that may submit a bid.
–I disclose the following close personal and/or professional relationships or other ties with Memorial Health System, HealthONE, or other health systems that may be a part of this bidding process: