A hospital ‘layoff’ disputes decision


To the Editor:

My name is Christopher Knowles. I am one of Tim Walsh’s “one or two layoffs.” I was hired on July 7, 2005. My employment was terminated at 4 pm, on Tuesday, June 29, 2010, with no notice or cause even though they, as a nonprofit organization, had made a profit in the most recent fiscal year. At the time I was hired, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health had rejected the hospital’s application to build a new hospital because their community benefits plan did not address the needs of the community but, rather, had the hospital paying itself $2 million for doing what it was already required to do. After the approval of the application I wrote, the hospital paid itself $1 million of the $2 million it was required to spend on local community health initiatives. After I rewrote it, the hospital was granted permission to build the new hospital by the state.

Over the past five years the value of the grants I wrote were worth more than my salary and benefits combined.The federal law requires federal contractors (Medicare, the Department of Energy, etc.) to hire, promote and retain Vietnam era veterans. I served in the Vietnam War from 1970 until 1974. The feds have been put on notice, so the hospital will be answering to the federal government, as will their owner, Massachusetts General Hospital. The denial of federal grants will attach not only to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital but to both Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners Health Care.

If the hospital wants to make this right, I am willing to listen.

Christopher KnowlesVineyard Haven