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Belmont Park coaster company pays Newsom’s fixer

UCSD clinics need more Spanish

Non-English-speaking patients at UCSD Health-run hospitals and clinics may be getting second-class service.
Non-English-speaking patients at UCSD Health-run hospitals and clinics may be getting second-class service.

Political roller coaster

The San Diego Coaster Company, which runs the city-owned Giant Dipper roller coaster and related Belmont Park amusements, paid $12,000 to Sacramento-based Axiom Advisors in the first three months of 2021. The work entailed lobbying the California legislature and governor’s office regarding “Pandemic-Related Health Issues,” per an April 30, 2021, filing.

Gavin Newsom should recall the Axiom about business and pleasure.

In December of last year, the Los Angeles Times raised a series of questions regarding Axiom and its close ties to Gavin Newsom. The Democratic governor’s appearance at the 50th birthday bash of Axiom partner Jason Kinney at Yountville’s posh French Laundry on November 6 had kicked off a storm of controversy leading to the current Republican recall effort. “Kinney is well known around the state Capitol as a strategist, ghostwriter of Newsom’s speeches and unofficial fixer summoned to help loosen the governor from political jams,” the Times reported. “His dual roles as an advisor to Newsom and a lobbyist paid by companies to influence the governor and his staff have raised questions about potential conflicts of interest for the administration.” Added the account, “Axiom reported receiving $582,266 from clients in the first three months of Newsom’s term — a figure that ballooned to $2.3 million by the end of the second quarter. From Newsom’s inauguration in 2019 through the end of September 2020, Axiom reported a total of $10.9 million for lobbying work.”...

Todd Gloria got some golf goodies as a gift.

San Diego mayor Todd Gloria has filed a list of gifts received during the first six months of this year, including, on June 17, a “White large Adidas Golf sweatshirt” and related apparel from the United States Golf Association worth a total of $178.50, in connection with the USGA Tournament Opening.

No hablo español

Non-English-speaking patients at UCSD Health-run hospitals and clinics may be getting second-class service at the tax-financed facilities, per a newly-released March 15 internal audit report. “Out of the 15 [Limited English Proficiency] patients selected, 13 patients had a Preferred Language noted as Spanish,” says the document. “Since Spanish is the language that represents 5% of the geographical area served, California Health and Safety Code 1259 states that written documentation related to consent forms and [After Visit Summaries] are required to be provided in Spanish.” But that wasn’t always the case, the auditors discovered. “In some of the patient records we sampled, the native language of the person was who was signing on behalf of the patient was not clear. This raises questions whether the written document was understood by the person signing, and whether information of interpreter services available at no cost was provided to the person.” The audit details a raft of other Spanish-speaking communication gaffes. “Some units have a practice to encourage the family member to translate. [UCSD Health] policy allows a family member (with patient’s permission) to assist with providing limited, simple interpreting/translation services, such as simple patient instructions, making appointments, or registering and verifying insurance. However, if significant health information is communicated, a qualified interpreter should be used.” Concludes the report: “Based on interviews, it appeared that monitoring processes within clinical areas were inconsistent. Staff may also benefit from additional or more frequent compliance training or communications, as some staff seemed to be unfamiliar with the resources available or certain aspects of the policy. We also identified areas where UCSDH Interpreter Services Policy could be enhanced to provide guidance on assessing preferred language when another authorized person signs forms on the patient’s behalf and the need for interpreter services in those cases. Also, the policy did not contain information of the process for UCSDH faculty and staff to become qualified interpreters by completing the [Language Proficiency Assessment].”

Terminal lobbying

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority paid $22,500 to Sacramento-based Cruz Strategies to lobby regarding two bills during the first quarter of the year, per an April 8 disclosure report. “AB 302 expands the authority of [Metropolitan Transit System] to regulate for-hire vehicle services in San Diego County and any City within the County of San Diego regardless of MTS jurisdiction,” says an Assembly staff analysis of the legislation. No opposition emerged, and the bill passed both houses. On July 5 it went to Governor Gavin Newsom to meet its final fate. Also, according to the filing, another piece of legislation favored by the airport authority, the so-called California Tourism Recovery Act, got Cruz’s attention. “Generally, supporters argue that tourism is a critical industry to California’s overall economic health, and that it is essential to revive this portion of the economy quickly,” says a state senate bill analysis. “Without financial assistance, they say that California’s travel and hospitality industries will not recover until 2024.” The bill, which on May 28 was sidetracked by its author, state Senator Mike McGuire to the state senate’s inactive file, called for $45 million in start-up funding. Besides the airport authority, Cruz also worked for the San Diego County Water Authority, getting $43,764 in the first quarter of 2021, filings reveal.

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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Non-English-speaking patients at UCSD Health-run hospitals and clinics may be getting second-class service.
Non-English-speaking patients at UCSD Health-run hospitals and clinics may be getting second-class service.

Political roller coaster

The San Diego Coaster Company, which runs the city-owned Giant Dipper roller coaster and related Belmont Park amusements, paid $12,000 to Sacramento-based Axiom Advisors in the first three months of 2021. The work entailed lobbying the California legislature and governor’s office regarding “Pandemic-Related Health Issues,” per an April 30, 2021, filing.

Gavin Newsom should recall the Axiom about business and pleasure.

In December of last year, the Los Angeles Times raised a series of questions regarding Axiom and its close ties to Gavin Newsom. The Democratic governor’s appearance at the 50th birthday bash of Axiom partner Jason Kinney at Yountville’s posh French Laundry on November 6 had kicked off a storm of controversy leading to the current Republican recall effort. “Kinney is well known around the state Capitol as a strategist, ghostwriter of Newsom’s speeches and unofficial fixer summoned to help loosen the governor from political jams,” the Times reported. “His dual roles as an advisor to Newsom and a lobbyist paid by companies to influence the governor and his staff have raised questions about potential conflicts of interest for the administration.” Added the account, “Axiom reported receiving $582,266 from clients in the first three months of Newsom’s term — a figure that ballooned to $2.3 million by the end of the second quarter. From Newsom’s inauguration in 2019 through the end of September 2020, Axiom reported a total of $10.9 million for lobbying work.”...

Todd Gloria got some golf goodies as a gift.

San Diego mayor Todd Gloria has filed a list of gifts received during the first six months of this year, including, on June 17, a “White large Adidas Golf sweatshirt” and related apparel from the United States Golf Association worth a total of $178.50, in connection with the USGA Tournament Opening.

No hablo español

Non-English-speaking patients at UCSD Health-run hospitals and clinics may be getting second-class service at the tax-financed facilities, per a newly-released March 15 internal audit report. “Out of the 15 [Limited English Proficiency] patients selected, 13 patients had a Preferred Language noted as Spanish,” says the document. “Since Spanish is the language that represents 5% of the geographical area served, California Health and Safety Code 1259 states that written documentation related to consent forms and [After Visit Summaries] are required to be provided in Spanish.” But that wasn’t always the case, the auditors discovered. “In some of the patient records we sampled, the native language of the person was who was signing on behalf of the patient was not clear. This raises questions whether the written document was understood by the person signing, and whether information of interpreter services available at no cost was provided to the person.” The audit details a raft of other Spanish-speaking communication gaffes. “Some units have a practice to encourage the family member to translate. [UCSD Health] policy allows a family member (with patient’s permission) to assist with providing limited, simple interpreting/translation services, such as simple patient instructions, making appointments, or registering and verifying insurance. However, if significant health information is communicated, a qualified interpreter should be used.” Concludes the report: “Based on interviews, it appeared that monitoring processes within clinical areas were inconsistent. Staff may also benefit from additional or more frequent compliance training or communications, as some staff seemed to be unfamiliar with the resources available or certain aspects of the policy. We also identified areas where UCSDH Interpreter Services Policy could be enhanced to provide guidance on assessing preferred language when another authorized person signs forms on the patient’s behalf and the need for interpreter services in those cases. Also, the policy did not contain information of the process for UCSDH faculty and staff to become qualified interpreters by completing the [Language Proficiency Assessment].”

Terminal lobbying

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority paid $22,500 to Sacramento-based Cruz Strategies to lobby regarding two bills during the first quarter of the year, per an April 8 disclosure report. “AB 302 expands the authority of [Metropolitan Transit System] to regulate for-hire vehicle services in San Diego County and any City within the County of San Diego regardless of MTS jurisdiction,” says an Assembly staff analysis of the legislation. No opposition emerged, and the bill passed both houses. On July 5 it went to Governor Gavin Newsom to meet its final fate. Also, according to the filing, another piece of legislation favored by the airport authority, the so-called California Tourism Recovery Act, got Cruz’s attention. “Generally, supporters argue that tourism is a critical industry to California’s overall economic health, and that it is essential to revive this portion of the economy quickly,” says a state senate bill analysis. “Without financial assistance, they say that California’s travel and hospitality industries will not recover until 2024.” The bill, which on May 28 was sidetracked by its author, state Senator Mike McGuire to the state senate’s inactive file, called for $45 million in start-up funding. Besides the airport authority, Cruz also worked for the San Diego County Water Authority, getting $43,764 in the first quarter of 2021, filings reveal.

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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