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Ricky Gill’s mom pushed patients for votes

By Josh Richman
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 at 10:20 am in 2012 Congressional Election, Jerry McNerney, U.S. House.

Lodi Memorial Hospital’s CEO had to tell Republican congressional candidate Ricky Gill’s mother to lay off soliciting votes or campaign donations from patients.

Gill’s mother, Dr. Parampal Gill, is a prominent obstetrician in San Joaquin County; Gill is challenging Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, in the 9th Congressional District.

A former hospital employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said she was one of those who complained to hospital administrators.

“She handed out her son’s cards at Lodi Memorial Hospital, and she even would go as far as to say things to them like, ‘I delivered you a beautiful baby and in return I want four votes,’” the former staffer said. “The hospital has a no-soliciting policy which I assume extends to physicians… I was offended for and on behalf of patients.”

“Our CEO did have a conversation with Dr. Gill about this and it came about because we had a staffer bring to our attention that she heard Dr. Gill saying something like this to a patient,” hospital spokeswoman Carol Farron confirmed this week. “We have had no complaints from patients themselves, however a staffer did bring it to our attention and it’s our policy and our practice if a staffer brings a concern like this to our attention that we would speak to any of the parties involved and just caution them that it’s not appropriate behavior. Because we didn’t have any direct patient complaints, that’s as far as we took it.”

The hospital’s vice president of nursing also spoke with Dr. Gill about the verbal solicitations, Farron said.

“Dr. Gill has a right to advocate for her son, just like any mother would,” Gill campaign spokesman Colin Hunter said today.

Jennifer Simoes, chief of legislation at the Medical Board of California, said things like handing out campaign literature or soliciting votes wouldn’t be actionable by the board, which deals with Medical Practice Act and quality-of-care violations.

“However, absent permission of the patient, using information from patient’s medical records for anything other than the care and treatment of the patient, is something that the Board would look into if we were to receive a complaint,” she said. “The Board would look at the facts of each individual case to determine if there was a violation.”

Molly Weedn, spokeswoman for the California Medical Association, said a physician who provided patient information to a campaign most likely would be violating privacy rules in the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. But “if the physician was using the information to reach out to a patient on his/her own, then it wouldn’t be considered a violation,” she said.

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  • Mr. 209

    The McNerney campaign’s operating principle seems to be, “When the going gets tough, attack your opponent’s family.”

  • Josh Richman’s Double Chin

    Have to hand it to the Gill campaign. This is some next level stuff. *slow clap*

  • Pingback: CC Times: Ricky Gill’s Mom Pushed Patients for Votes | East County Today

  • Toon

    This nutjob should lose her medical license.

  • Fandango

    they’ve already been fact checked for making false claims about Gill and his family. why should we believe the new lies they’re pushing? http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121002/A_NEWS/210020313

  • John W

    Doctor to patient: “I delivered you a beautiful baby and in return I want four votes.”

    Patient to doctor: “You didn’t build that.”

    Four votes? What’s up with that? Is the doctor promoting election fraud?

  • Elwood

    Is there no depth to which McTurdney will not sink?

  • Frandango

    Democrats: “What happens between a woman and her doctor is private. Unless we think it benefits us politically, in which case we will pitch it to the media.”

    Kind of lowbrow to use anonymous sources to attack a candidate’s family member less than a week before the election.

  • Chariot LLC

    McNerney has been trying to plant this story to every newspaper in the area. Almost none of them were willing to publish a story about a candidate’s mother just days prior to an election.

  • Truthclubber

    “…We have had no complaints from patients themselves [about Dr. Gill's supposed solicitating on behalf of her son], however a staffer did bring it to our attention….”

    A F-O-R-M-E-R staffer, I might add. ;-)

    Nice try, Gerr — good luck retelling that one on the unemployment line!

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Politics is a rough biz but youse leave momma outta dis!

  • moderate voter

    I read somewhere 25 yer old Ricky Gills wealthy parents are still providing him with a $10,000 a year “allowance”, if that’s the case I would imagine they would be in a hurry to get the youthful Gill. Gill is pretty old to still be getting an allowance, and that’s a pretty hefty allowance, as allowances go, so the behavior of Gill’s mother is quite understandable.

  • moderate voter

    I read somewhere 25 yer old Ricky Gills wealthy parents are still providing him with a $10,000 a year “allowance”, if that’s the case I would imagine they would be in a hurry to get the youthful Gill a real job. Gill is pretty old to still be getting an allowance, and that’s a pretty hefty allowance, as allowances go, so the behavior of Gill’s mother is quite understandable.

  • SJCWoman

    Why are we even talking about McNerney?

    This post is about some seriously disturbing behavior from the Gill camp that is corroborated by the hospital. Nowhere does it mention McNerney. No reporter would print this if it was just gossip that wasn’t confirmed.

    I would die if I was at my OB-Gyn and she brought something up like this mid-appointment. Just die.

  • Mr 209

    Stockton Record: The claim that Gill receives an allowance is false. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121002/A_NEWS/210020313

  • Bananaman

    I read somewhere that Jerry McNerny lied about where he lives to run for office. McNerny is pretty old to be lying about where he lives to run for office.

  • Elwood

    “I read somewhere”

    Always a reliable source!

    Good find!

  • Winston

    Read this twice, nothing about donations reqested, HIPAA violation, or patient complaint. Richman should learn more about healthcare delivery, hospital governance etc. before getting his panties bunched up.

  • Rob Wood

    Don’t worry Ricky! Mommy will take care of everything!

  • Allen Payton

    Regardless of which candidate you support in the campaign, the operative paragraph in this article is “A former hospital employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said she was one of those who complained to hospital administrators.” Hmmm, I wonder who that former, anonymous employee supports? I wonder if that person was fired from the hospital and if Dr. Gill had anything to do with it? I don’t know, because they’re anonymously taking a shot at Gill’s mom. Much ado about nothing or very little. This is guilty by association, like Jimmy Carter and his brother Billy, whose antics and behavior was out of Jimmy’s control. Let’s stay focused on the issues because they’re too massive in this election to let such pettiness take our eyes off the ball.

  • Elwood

    @ 14

    Promises, promises!

  • John W

    Re: #18

    “…the operative paragraph in this article is “A former hospital employee…”

    Actually, the operative paragraph is the quote from the named hospital spokesperson, confirming that the hospital CEO spoke with Ricky’s mom about the matter and making no mention that the claim made by the former employee was denied by her.

    Very poor judgement for a doctor to exploit the patient-doctor relationship in that manner. If a doctor of mine did that, he or she would get an earful from me and would no longer be my doctor. No trust left. There’s plenty of politics in medicine, but it doesn’t belong in the exam room in the middle of a conversation about the patient’s health.

  • Mr 209

    @John W

    The operative statement is “We have had no complaints from patients themselves.” Your hypothetical misses the mark. We don’t know who anonymously complained or what his or her motivations were.

  • John W

    @ Mr. 209Says

    As Joe Biden might say, that’s a bunch of malarkey.

    Of course, no patients complained. A couple of reasons why a patient wouldn’t complain. First, the patient might actually support Ricky and, therefore, see no reason to complain. Second, the doctor-patient relationship is not equal. The doctor, especially an OB-Gyn, is in a position of power, which is why it is wrong to exploit the relationship. Also, the Gills have a large OB-Gyn practice in San Joaquin. OB-Gyn patients in that area are highly dependent on them and are unlikely to rock the boat. It’s a bit like employees who are subject to hostile workplace abuse by a boss and hesitate to say anything.

    Finally, the fact that the former employee is un-named is completely irrelevant. It became so once the matter became a conversation between the hospital CEO and Dr. Gill. If the hospital spokesperson had said anything to indicate that the doctor disputed the former employee’s claim, that would be one thing. However, the spokeperson said nothing to indicate that.