tv [untitled] December 21, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
honda's. we are not going to let arnold schwarzenegger have his way so that people can have the option of dignity. thank you all for joining us today. [applause] >> san francisco has a great elected city family. i want to acknowledge the president of the board of supervisors, president david chu, supervisor maxwell, subp-- superviser chiu, jose cisneros, the former mayor -- we are all proud to have you here. thank you.
we have a special supervisor because he represents this district and has been looking out for laguna honda since he was elected. we are very grateful to him for that and for all he did to make today house -- to the possible. police help -- please help me recognize supervisor elsbernd. >> good afternoon, and welcome to beautiful and sunny san francisco. i would also like to single out and think my friend and colleague and recent father, supervisors mirkarimi, who is over there with his son, for all he has done. there are a few more things that i would like to offer. we are going to hear from one of the two directors of the laguna hospital foundation, and i would like to single out the
volunteers who are also here. thank you to the volunteers. [applause] for more than 50 years of service to laguna hospital, thank you to the volunteers. we recognize the architect, but also recognize turner construction. they are the federal contractor who have been on site since the beginning. thank you for all you have done. the two city employees who served as project managers -- one i know is here, the current project manager, joe connors. thank you and john predecessor stole away from us, michael lane. thank you, michael, wherever you are. lastly, my personal reflection
on this building. this building, to me, is truly a monument to the tremendous capacity of generosity in the heart of sentences go. the voters of san francisco in their great willingness to support this facility will always have this hospital as a sign of their willingness to help those most in need. these neighborhoods that surround this facility, i think, consider laguna honda at their private treasure. we really do look at this hospital as our own. we love this hospital. we have great care and great love for the residents of this hospital. on behalf of the neighboring residents, to all of the current residents of the hospital, this is for you. we are thrilled we were able to do this for you. thank you, everyone. [applause] >> the work of the health
department would never be possible without its commission. the commission is the governing body. you have been around to this project long enough to see some fantastic commissioners who have also gone on and are no longer sitting on the commission, but who we know are always there to help us. i would like to in knowledge the help with the prop 8 campaign. also, john sat on the commission. once a commissioner, always a commissioner. we have long-term commissioners dr. david sanchez, dr is here. and now it is my great pleasure to introduce the president of our current commission, jim miller.
>> what a great day for the public health of san francisco. first of all, i want to thank dr. hatz for all of his hard work to bring us to this day, and i want to acknowledge the current and former members of the commission who are here today. each of them has worked hard to champion this project. and we have forked together as a health commission to review and support each of the many steps it took to create the state of the art facility for the free list and most honorable of our citizens. i want to recognize those who designed and built and managed this massive project and overcame the many challenges to bring it to completion. and i especially want to honor and think the staff -- honor and thank the staff of our public health department, who work every day to provide care and
rehabilitation for these patients. now you, the staff of laguna honda, finally have a facility to match your exceptional devotion to these patients. you have all made san francisco proud. this new hospital embodies what the hall commission and all caregivers have always believed, that laguna honda is a key part of the san francisco community, reflecting its compassion, its diversity, and its commitment to the health of all of our citizens, but especially those without the resources and support to recover from debilitating injuries. they are the reason we are here today, the people who called laguna honda their home. this new center of excellence in caregiving is dedicated to those residents, current and future, into a city that knows how to get the job done.
thank you all for the labors to bring us to this day. [applause] >> i want to think on this pride weekend and assemblyman who is here who spent many years of visiting a friend of his who was a resident at laguna honda. before i bring up the next speaker, i will tell you this story are probably should not, but i am going to tell you anyway because it's so exemplifies the next speaker. i am going to ask that you imagine the scene. it is 1998. i am in the office with mayor willie brown, who i still could not find enough mr. mayors to say his name. louise comes in to discuss the
future of laguna honda hospital. she had just won this huge settlement with the tobacco company. she was the first of any local city attorney to join in that lawsuit. at the time, a lot of people were arguing tobacco companies would overwhelm us. there will be all of these freedom of information act. you should not do it. she stood bravely and did it. she said to the mayor, and i will never forget -- she said "we have this opportunity. we can either use this money to rebuild laguna honda or we can pass it away -- piss it away." that was the exact quote. [applause] before i bring her up, i have to ask one more question. almost all of you are residents
of the state of california. where is the tobacco money from the state of california? it was much larger amounts of money because it was a whole state. do any of you know? it is just part of the hole in the state's budget. it went into the general fund. what do we have because of luis? we have this beautiful building. [applause] >> unfortunately, those were my real words. i will tell you the aftermath of that story. it is even worse with the state of california. they securitized their tobacco money. it is already pissed away. there you go. today is a great celebration not only for the entire laguna honda community but for the city of san francisco.
i know that many of you know from its very beginning laguna honda and san francisco have been intertwined. back in the days of the gold rush, it was started as an alms house and evolved over the years to where we are today. today, we have a new chapter where a quality of care will be constantly given as it has always been given so well in the past, and where community will be even more deeply engaged. it has been said that nothing great is ever accomplished unless you have passion, dedication, a vision, and teamwork. and as you tour the new laguna honda today you will see how all of those elements have come together, whether it is the individual residences that are now in neighborhoods which the residents have named, or the
town hall corridor with its various amenities, including the aviary, the farm, and the gardens that have been -- have been enhanced by horticulture graduates from city college, and were neighborhood school children are going to come in and intermingle and interact with the residents. we have a green building. we have fantastic artwork, all put together with individuals who are too numerous to name today, but certainly if there is an honor roll it will include not only those who are here today but jackie spier and our mayors, and some of those who cannot be here today. in the laguna honda corner of heaven i know that people like the volunteers, and the
residents, are looking down and saying "hey guys you did it. and you did good." that is right. i think we did good. some of the individuals who deserve credit have already been mentioned, the deputies in the attorney's office, mayor willie brown, who encouraged how we were to use the dollars mr. parker and his team of the visionary architects, larry funk who is sitting over there. he is a hero. [applause] larrym, from the beginning you had a dream of what the new laguna honda should look like, and you stuck with the passion and dedication to make that
dream a reality. the city hall family, the laguna honda staff, the department of health, the commission, the department of public works, the art commission, john thomas from the department of public works. i could go on forever. but the individuals who all made this the possibility are on the laguna honda honor roll. but i truly believe that the greatest degree of thanks and goes to the people of san francisco, who from the start, from our early beginning of history, have said yes. we want a laguna honda. other communities across this country and even in the world do not have a public hospital devoted to rehabilitation and skilled nursing care. we do. and when we talk about putting
that bond issue, that great big bond issue -- there were people who said i do not think we can do it. but i always knew we could. and the secret weapon was always the families of those for whom at laguna honda has cared for for so long over the years with the great quality of care that we have. and the voters did vote overwhelmingly to rebuild laguna honda. so for those naysayers in other parts of the country who say, "maybe san francisco once knew how to do it," i say we still do. we have still got the passion, the dedication, the vision, and the team work to get the job done. and we have done it today. [applause]
and it is my great pleasure now to actually call a man from speaker policies office. -- speaker pelosi's office. i got calls from her and from congresswoman feinstein. they have asked me to say that they are here in spirit, even though they have to stay in washington, poor things. [laughter] this is on behalf of speaker policy. thank you, louise. speaker policy was heartbroken when she learned she would not be able to be in town for the celebration, but she did ask me to bring a few words from her. she asked me to say we did it. congratulations. thank you, louise. louise had been talking to the
speaker for how many years before she was speaker? it is an exciting day. she asked me to share a few words with you. dear friends, this is indeed a historic day. the commemorate the opening of the new laguna honda hospital and rehabilitation center, which is the most modern, green, and technologically sophisticated hospital of its kind in the united states. thank you to dianne feinstein, who made it a priority, and to the city attorney who championed and continues to champion this project. many thanks are owed two majors -- to mayors jordan, brown, and newsom, and thank you to mr. elsbernd. we should all acknowledge the leadership of the late john neely and the chief nursing
officer who moved the hospital into the 20th century. thank you to the staff of laguna honda hospital who are creating a new care model of community and patient involvement. the hospital has long been recognized as a center of excellence. the new facility further advances recommendation. the design brings a small-town feel insecure community which can integrate the patients and residents into the broader civic life of semblances go. the hospital has an impressive collection of art that will not only contribute to the healing environment but also provide a new destination for art lovers. the historic passage of comprehensive health care reform by college represents -- by congress strengthens medicare and ensure sustainability for years to come.
it improves benefits for seniors and makes prescription drugs more affordable, and it recognizes the needs of those with disabilities by making significant investments in long- term care services. this is a great day not only for the patients and residents of for all san francisco. thank you for this opportunity to extend my deepest gratitude to the hard-working people who have made this new hospital and rehabilitation center possible. please accept my best wishes for a memorable celebration. sincerely, nancy pelosi, speaker of the house. [applause] >> i want to acknowledge the assemblywoman who could not attend. her good wishes are extended. i also want to say as part of thinking about louise's role --
sell resilience reject sal sorelli mention sharing the campaign with louise and i. you really did it with us. labour has always been our friend in the department of public health. we do great things together. that was an amazing victory. thank you for that. the saddest day that i have ever had was the day john died. it was very hard for me. i had never lost anybody who was actively working for me at the time. at one time i had to face the tremendous personal sadness that i felt that losing a friend of mine and i also had to recognize that like any leader of an organization and had to help the organization to get over its in
the sense of processing its own feelings, staying true to its job while we were all in morning. laguna honda is a vibrant 24- hour seven day a week operation. you could not stop life to mourn for john. we also had to keep laguna honda running. but at the same time so many of us were bereft of having lost to john. and having to deal with that was extremely challenging. i have a picture of john next to my desk. i will always remember him and his commitment. part of what i had to figure out on that day immediately was what was in charge of laguna right now. that is how things are. it was a sudden death. we were not at all prepared. but even at that moment, someone had to be in charge of laguna honda.
you cannot have a hospital running without a license administrator in charge. i chose someone i have tremendous faith and, and also somebody that john had tremendous faith in. and i know that it was always intended. john had intended that succession. but it was not obviously going to be in the way it happened. it was going to be in a number of years. she would have had a chance to mentor into that role. people would have gotten used to her. when he felt we were taking care of he would have moved on. that was his way. instead, she was suddenly catapulted into this job in a much more difficult circumstance than anyone imagined, at a time when everybody was morning. the building was not yet finished. there were a number of
challenges. but she rose to all of them. and what she has in common with john is that she wakes up and sees what is in the best interest of the residence. that is what we do this for. it is on that that every decision should be changed. she keeps that foremost in her mind. she has done a fantastic job. i am sure that in that laguna honda corner of heaven, and john is looking down very proudly at her. [applause] >> good afternoon, everyone. thank you for spending your saturday afternoon at laguna honda. at the new laguna honda. san francisco has much to be proud of.
laguna honda has been providing compassionate care for san francisco hit safety net for over 150 years. we will continue this tradition for the next 150 years to come. second, the new laguna honda, as the most modern rehab and skilled nursing facility in the first certified leed hospital in california, we will deliver on being a model for other facilities around the country and the world in long-term care and rehabilitation care. and most importantly, laguna honda is a community for healing and wellness. you will see this for yourselves as you speak to our staff. thank you, mayor knew some, -- may newsom, mayor brown, jackie
speare, the former president of the health commission when prop. 8 past, the health commission, turner construction, derek miller, the arts commission, the staff of laguna honda, our labor partners, and the entire san francisco community for your support in ensuring laguna honda has a bright future. [applause] i will end with a "from a resident of laguna honda. thank you to the citizens of san francisco for backing this wonderful dream you had, and thank you to the many residents who actively supported the dream. thank you. [applause]
>> appropriately, the person who will have the final word on today's ceremony is our president of our resident counsel, elizabeth cutler. we are so proud you are here and we are looking forward to your comments. >> i have to unfold my papers. please be patient with me. all of the patients know what i mean. thank you. i want to say is an honor to share this platform with so many accomplished people. i feel thrilled to be among you and to speak to this assembly
today. more than that, it is a joy to represent the residents. i am thrilled that you have allowed me to be a voice for some of their feelings and concerns. and i want to tell you a bit about us as residents. we came from all different walks of life in the city. we have had jobs having to do with construction and bus driving, and we have had white collar jobs, and we have been independent artists and writers. the full spectrum have come to laguna honda. and in our day we were great participants in all of the city life. difficult circumstances, sometimes crushingly difficult, have brought many of us here at
last to laguna honda. not at last for some of us. despite all differences, we need the healing that laguna honda is famous for. some people who come will be rehabilitated and will leave sunday. others will need 24-hour care for the rest of their lives, and so they will look forward to spending time in the spending -- in this building for years to come. it is exciting to have a new building. it is even more exciting to receive a new model of care, care that is resident centered, care that honors each person as an individual instead of a body in a bed. care that involves talking to us, and more important, listening to us, hearing our voices. so many have worked so hard, has
you have been told -- as you have been told, to bring the state to pass. and now we have a dazzling new setting to present to you. when you leave today, you will be going home. but laguna honda residents will not be leaving. this is our home. and it is very important to us. we are already here. but please come back and visit us frequently. this wonderful new laguna honda would not exist without you. i just want to add a personal note. my younger sister, emily, was a resident here for many more years than i have been. she was greatly loved. we lost her recently. i would like to dedicate this speech to her and remembered her, as many of the residents do, with great fondness and affection. thank you all. [applause]
>> i would like to invite you all nowi that good enough? this is a participatory ribbon cutting. it requires nothing more complicated than this. i will ask you to count down, not up. upon conclusion, we will applaud the great works of turner construction, the dedicated men construction, the dedicated men and women who are still toili