Have a Cup of "Do The Right Thing, J.J.," How About That?

A screenshot from Hillsdale Hospital's "What's Up Wednesday" Facebook Live stream, showing President/CEO J.J. Hodshire and Director of Marketing & Development Rachel Lott.

UPDATE: J.J. Hodshire has now had me blocked from Hillsdale Hospital's Facebook page.  So I guess he won't be offering that apology he owes all of us.  So be it.

Screenshot showing that I've been blocked from commenting on Hillsdale Hospital's Facebook page.

You messed up, J.J.  And now you're even deeper in it because you're yelling at good people who are pointing out that you messed up.

Let's start at the beginning.  On Tuesday, Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News, reprinted in Crain's Detroit Business, published an article entitled "How Hillsdale College employees got COVID vaccines ahead of schedule."  Far from biased, though certainly adding necessary context (as any good piece of journalism does), the article lays out the basic facts: Hillsdale Hospital received more than twice the requested amount of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in late December and had no suitable storage for it.  Hillsdale College heard of the need, has the suitable storage, and offered it to the hospital.  Two weeks later, the college faculty and staff were allowed to jump the state's mandated timeline for vaccination tiers.  Seems like an open-and-shut case of quid-pro-quo. Because it is... even if Hillsdale Beauty College did also receive staff vaccinations at the same time (plausible deniability is such a wonderful thing, no?).

Then yesterday, Hillsdale Hospital President and CEO J.J. Hodshire used his institution's weekly Facebook Live broadcast to not only deny any and all wrongdoing, but attack the people who DARED to point out that what he did was wrong.

Typical of someone who knows they're wrong but is trying to deny it, he couldn't get his dates correct, and even if he had, the dates he was giving -- January 6th or 8th -- do not excuse what happened.  He claims that Michgan moved to Tier 1B, which includes "educators and others," as he emphasized, before the hospital was aware of the change, thus excusing him for jumping tiers.

Which is bullshit, and he knows it, because not only is that a pure cover-your-ass, post-hoc excuse, it's flat-out incorrect.  Yes, Michigan DID move to Tier 1B, but as noted by Jeff King -- whose exact words of "do it better" were quoted by J.J. in his rant about "trolls" and those who supposedly don't contribute to our community -- as of December 23rd (and as was current as Hillsdale Hospital administration understood it in early January), the "educators" that Tier 1B included, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, were "Pre Kindergarten through High School teachers, support staff and child care workers who usually have direct contact with children."

A list of those covered in Michigan's Tier 1B phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, including "Pre Kindergarten through High School teachers, support staff and child care workers who usually have direct contact with children."

In other words, the "educators" that J.J. is citing in Tier 1B are K-12 school employees -- kindergarten, elementary, middle school and high school staff.  Not college faculty.  Not college administration.  Not college staff.  Yet, as the article notes and Hodshire admits in the video, the college staffs received their vaccinations alongside the local K-12 school staffs.  They didn't belong there.  Regardless of what you think about the state's vaccination schedule, regardless of what you think about the college's defiance of state health directives, the college staffs didn't belong there.

The "and others" that Hodshire adamantly focused on seems to come from the below chart from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, showing "other essential frontline workers" in Tier 1B.

A chart from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, showing "School and child care staff" as well as "Other essential frontline workers" in Tier 1B of the state's COVID-19 vaccination timeline.

The problem with that, however, should be obvious.  Given the context of the tier's initial description and the fact that "school care and child staff" are shown in Tier 1B on this chart, as well, it's safe to say that Hillsdale Hospital's chief executive officer is taking severe liberties with that term.  It doesn't mean what he's claiming it does, and no amount of linguistic twisting and pretzel logic will make it do so.

J.J. wrongfully let the colleges jump the line.  Period.  There is no disputing the fact that he is in the wrong here.

Then he went live on Facebook and ranted for over an hour about "trolls" and "haters."

This was J.J.'s Rudy Giuliani outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping moment.  And I'm not the one to make that connection... that came from former Hillsdale Daily News reporter, now KPC Media reporter, Sam Fry.  Certainly not a "troll," as Hodshire repeatedly referred to those of us who have the gall to question his wrongdoing.

Screenshot of Sam Fry's Facebook comment: "They ought to just rename the hospital Four Seasons Total Healthcare after this trainwreck of a press conference.  This gives Rudy Giuliani a run for his money."

To say that I'm a "troll" or someone who isn't active in our community is an outright lie, and J.J. knows me better than that.  To claim that Jeff King is a troll (and I say this as his friend) is accurate, but he certainly has done his part for our community, having helped establish the city's Airport Advisory Committee and been an active voice in city politics while he lived in the area.  The other members of the public who saw this story and reacted to it accordingly all have their own roles to play here in Hillsdale, both the city and the county as a whole.  "Trolls" and "haters" we are not.  We simply call out wrongdoing when we see it.  We saw it here.  We're calling it out.

I'll once again address him directly.

Look, J.J., you know me.  I know you.  Cut the bullshit.  Admit you were wrong.  Apologize.  Promise to do better from here forward.  You don't need to make it worse for yourself (which is what you did yesterday), you need to do what's best for both you AND the hospital by apologizing to the community, admitting your error, and promising to do better.

Also, apologize to Rachel.  She was trying very hard to rein you in yesterday, and you simply gave her no room to do so.  She didn't deserve that.

As for Hillsdale College, same thing.  Cut the bullshit.  Admit your role, admit you were wrong, apologize, and promise to do better.  The staff and administration who were responsible for organizing the clinic, and who knowingly allowed the violation of state guidelines, should have said "no, we're not next in line, give it to the people who are ahead of us first."  But you didn't do that.  That was wrong.  Make it right.

Again, as with all matters in which Hillsdale College is involved, I am disclosing that I am a Hillsdale College employee, but I do not speak for them and they do not speak for me.  These opinions are my own, and as I've demonstrated many times before, I do speak out when my employer does wrong.  This is one of those cases.

And for the record, no, I was not offered a vaccination through the college, nor would I have accepted it if the offer had been made.  For one thing, it's not my turn.  For another, I'm waiting out the long-term effects.  I'm certainly not an anti-vaxxer, but these vaccines are still in trials -- that's what this is, a trial, that's what you're signing up for when you get it -- and I don't put things in my body without knowing all the possibilities.  When I'm satisfied that it's safe for me to be vaccinated, I will absolutely get the shot.

But I'm sure as hell not going to jump the line to do it.

CORRECTION: I initially attributed Tuesday's article to Julie Appleby as a Crain's reporter.  Turns out I missed a section of the byline.  She is, in fact, a reporter for Kaiser Health News.  Crain's merely republished the article.  My apologies for the error.

ADDENDUM: My initial writing did not include this line, and some participants who were unaware that the clinic was in violation of state guidelines took the previous portion of the sentence to mean that they should be made to apologize.  That was not my intent, and I apologize if I made you feel as if I was directing the scorn toward you.  Please know that I do not fault you for being unaware of what was taking place.  It was a fast-moving situation, and it's perfectly understandable that you didn't have all the facts.  I do not hold you at fault.