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Your article on Ward 1 candidate Jim Graham (“Race for the Cure,” 6/19) touched on a basic problem residents have in choosing ward representatives: Can they be effective in implementing change?

While I admire and donate to the Whitman-Walker Clinic, I’m not sure Graham will be any improvement over the hapless current Ward 1 rep, Frank Smith Jr.

My professional experience with Graham has been with the D.C. Nurses Association trying to rescue D.C. General Hospital, where I used to work, from the hands of its wretched management. Jim Graham is on the board of directors of the body currently overseeing the hospital, the Public Benefits Corporation (PBC).

The hospital employees have been persistently advising the PBC, and Jim Graham directly, to help save the hospital by implementing accountable, responsive, and effective management. Some top managers need to be fired; others need to be re-trained.

After three years, what do Jim

“I’m Running for Change” Graham and his PBC board have to show for it? Zero. Nothing.

Under Graham’s PBC, the hospital set up a phony nurses’ sick-out in January and fired a dozen nurses. Its clumsy racist and political agenda was evidenced by the fact that the only nurses fired were foreigners, except for the African-American union president. Intensive care units were closed or run at half occupancy because most of the fired were critical-care nurses. After embarrassing protests and legal action, they recently won their jobs back.

The same top managers who sabotaged patient care before the PBC took over are still at it today. The crisis of low morale and severe nursing understaffing is worse.

So if Graham failed to enact the needed change in a single hospital, why should we expect him to change our jumbled city, which also desperately needs accountable, responsive, and effective management?

Mount Pleasant

via the Internet