Arroyo Grande hospital head resigns

July 22, 2011

Rick Castro

By LISA RIZZO

The president and chief executive officer of Arroyo Grande Community Hospital has resigned.

Rick Castro, who served both roles at the Arroyo Grande medical center, gave the hospital his notice in June, to be effective July 31.

No replacement has been announced. Oversight of the not-for-profit hospital during any possible vacancy would be handled by its management, medical staff and its community and foundation boards.

Castro has been hired as the chief operations officer with McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon.

“It has been a difficult decision to leave the beautiful Central Coast of California and the people with whom I have immensely enjoyed working with at both Arroyo Grande and French Hospital Medical Center for the past 28 years, but this move to Eugene will be a perfect fit for both career and family,” Castro said in a statement.

The hospital’s chief began his healthcare career as a clinical lab scientist at French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo. Following various leadership positions over a span of 20 years, Castro moved through the ranks and was promoted to CEO when Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) acquired Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in 2004.

Castro is credited with leading the hospital to open the Coastal Cancer Care and Diagnostic Center, the Acute Rehabilitation Center and developing a partnership with Coastal Surgical Institute.

Another CHW facility, Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, is nearing completion on a new and larger hospital which is expected to open in the spring of 2012.

Talks that Arroyo Grande Community Hospital will be converted into a nursing home once Marian opens its facility are “absolutely untrue” rumors, said Anna Scott, the hospitals communications manager.


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23 Comments

  1. SLORider says:

    @TrueGrit (TrueLies):

    Pretty good lies there. Manufacturing the “child” angle is a nice “believable” touch. The difference between your lies and my post is that I can openly and freely include my name on my comment and stand behind it, while you must remain an anonymous liar.

    Dr. Slaughter is highly outspoken and a “green” activist. Any Google search will verify that fact and add substantiation to my post. He truly did withhold proper care because of his politics letting the patient know it was “punishment”, a judgment that should not foul one’s Hippocratic Oath. I’ve never been to A.G. Hospital in riding apparel, but have met with Manager Castro over the behavior of his staff who have on multiple occasions mixed their professional responsibilities with their personal politics and used the name of the hospital as an endorsement to their opinions (see letter below). Mr. Castro is a good manager, but I wouldn’t trust several activists on staff at A.G. should I become injured.

    Readers: You’ll note that posts from a few that want to close your public park at Oceano Dunes are most often anonymous attacks instead of viewpoints. Whether you agree or disagree with my views, my name is on all of my posts. Feel welcome to contact me. I am happy to hear from any of you.

    Best wishes,

    Kevin P. Rice
    PO Box 14107
    San Luis Obispo 93406-4107
    kriceslo@gmail.com

    * * *

    Rick Castro
    Administrative Director
    Arroyo Grande Community Hospital
    345 S Halcyon Rd
    Arroyo Grande CA 93420-3817
    (805) 489-4261

    Monday, 2008 January 28

    Kevin P. Rice
    PO Box 14107
    San Luis Obispo CA 93406-4107
    kriceslo@gmail.com

    Mr. Castro:

    Does Arroyo Grande Hospital take a political position regarding Oceano Dunes?

    A letter published by Dr. Rachel May on January 24 in New Times Magazine last week is signed implying that Arroyo Grande Community Hospital is against recreational opportunity at Oceano. I have attached this letter below. Furthermore, this letter makes strong allegations regarding statistics, behavior and legitimacy of our State Park which is mandated by state law (Public Resources Code 5090) to exist and serve recreational needs.

    None of us is heartened by injury or illness of any sort. And I think most of us recognize that by participating in life’s opportunities there is a higher risk of trauma than sitting in front of a television set. At the same time, sedentary lifestyles are highly discouraged by all health professionals (of which I am one). Whether one participates in mountain climbing or football, there is risk of injury. Even jogging often puts one into traffic.

    Off highway sports are highly athletic and have an inherent risk. As a firefighter working in health and public safety, I face these risks in addition to the risks on the job. I wish to inform you that adrenalin sports are the number one choice for many public safety members (police and fire) for maintaining fitness, reducing stress, achieving happiness and enjoyment and minimizing risk of sedentary illness (heart, stroke, etc.)

    Dr. May’s letter is highly offensive to myself and many others. Does she wish that my fellow firefighters, police, and all other citizens should not be able to enjoy an outdoor sport that I love and that allows me to see and interact with nature at the same time?

    Usually, off highway sports are enjoyed with friends, coworkers and family. It is the experience of sharing adventures with these that builds ties and strengthens relationships. Oceano Dunes provides these experiences along with camping on the beach, and natural beauty.

    The choices that some make to be irresponsible are not reason to take privilege from everyone else. Oceano Dunes is everyone’s state park. There are also families and church groups and others simply picnicking or sharing around a fire. Oceano Dunes provides for elderly and disabled—who cannot travel across a deep sand beach—to visit the waves.

    As much as I would like to converse and share with Dr. May (and she is invited to contact me), the intent of this letter is simply to share that Oceano Dunes is highly valued by myself and the 2.1 million citizens that enjoyed physical fitness, family times, and nature there last year.

    If Arroyo Grande Hospital wishes to take an official position on the Dunes, I urge you or Dr. May to contact me so that I can share the vast amount of information I am knowledgeable of. Myself, and fellow riders always “self-police” others and encourage good behavior. If Arroyo Grande Hospital or Dr. May would like to contribute to our park (instead of deride it), I am interested in developing safety fliers, educational materials, videos and distributing them or broadcasting them on public access television.

    Such contributions would much more serve the community than a derisive letter. Of course, Dr. May is free to have opinions, but I would hope the hospital is ready to back them with statistics and evidence should the use of its name imply an endorsement.

    I would love to hear yours or Dr. May’s thoughts.

    Best regards

    Kevin P. Rice

    (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
    • TrueGrit says:

      Kevin, leave your Karl Rove tactics at home. I didn’t lie and take extreme umbrage that you call my eyewitness account so. As I said, the people that came there from the dunes were well taken care of, you should be happy about that. I don’t give my name because of people with narcissistic personality disorder like you threatening and discrediting them for maybe disagreeing with you. I didn’t even state a position on the dunes. If people at the dunes are like you then maybe we should close them.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
      • Typoqueen says:

        ” I didn’t even state a position on the dunes.”

        Do you not worry about your credibility? You are not being honest.

        (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
        • TrueGrit says:

          What position did I state on the dunes? You and Kevin turned this into politicizing a “keeping the dunes open issue”. You’re the one who stated, “I always make sure that my kids aren’t wearing certain attire (you know what I’m talking about). They are very biased regarding that. The staff should check their politcs at the door”. I am merely stating my experience with the quality of care we received and observed while at the ER. I’m not even anti OHV! Why should I believe your latex story! You pro OHVers are a little too paranoid. BTW I think hundreds of pounds of steel landing, crashing or throwing you would produce a much worse injury than a soccer or a baseball injury could. I work every day with health care professionals and they always check their politics at the door to help people… unlike a so-called part time fireman.

          (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
          • Typoqueen says:

            “What position did I state on the dunes?”

            You’re kidding, right?

            “You pro OHVers”
            “there 3 of SLO’s and Typo’s buddies from Bakersfield”
            ” You pro OHVers are a little too paranoid”

            Um, okay, we have no idea what your position is on the dunes

            “BTW I think hundreds of pounds of steel landing, crashing or throwing you would produce a much worse injury than a soccer or a baseball injury could.”

            Wait, the staff at the hospital and apparently your argument is that the ER is clogged with OHVers and that ‘regular’ people like you have to wait and that it’s a burden on the hospital. There are MORE kids sports injuries than OHV injuries. For that matter there are probably (haven’t looked at the stats on that one) more regular road accidents than OHC accidents that clog up the ER. so these things clog up the ER more than the OHVers. The AG hospital takes a political stand on the dunes issue and that is wrong. BTW, I’m not an OHVer, never have been and never will be. Our 5 City area depends on that park and it should stay open. There is no good reason to close it.

            As far as you not believing my story, I really don’t care, take it or leave it. Everyone that I talk to about that hospital either knows someone or they themselves have had horror stories about that place.

            You said that if we don’t like it then we shouldn’t go there,,what a stupid thing to say. Do you really think that people go to an ER by choice, I guess it could be called a choice but when in pain you go to the closet place. If I could go to SB or LA then of course I would. Who would pick AG over a good hospital with a good rep and good docs? If I have time to go to Sierra Vista then I go there over AG.

            (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
      • SLORider says:

        Sorry you feel inclined to manufacture lies and hide your face. The two go hand in hand, however. Get well soon.

        (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
  2. TrueGrit says:

    We took my child to the AG hospital when his face and legs became swollen and breathing labored. We later learned it was from an extreme reaction to a bee sting. This was a life threatening situation where the doctors and nurses did an outstanding job. While we were there 3 of SLO’s and Typo’s buddies from Bakersfield came in obviously intoxicated, two were injured, not too seriously. All were wearing dirt bikers outfits and obnoxious. Needless to say they received the same care as my son, even with the attitude. SLO says he “knows someone who was…”
    I venture to say that SLO’s manufacturing a lie because some doctors and nurses tell the truth about the frequency and severity of injuries on the dunes. Kevin, you have no shame. It’s sad that Typo is the same as Kevin in this regard. I’m happy we have a professionally run hospital here. If you don’t like someone’s politics, or are afraid, then don’t go there!

    (-7) 13 Total Votes - 3 up - 10 down
    • Typoqueen says:

      Oh give me a break. This is the same story that the anti OHV people use time and time again. I hate to say this but I’m not even sure that I believe your story. If you are telling the truth then you’ll have to forgive me but It seems like very anti OHVer has been to the emergency room and hasn’t been able to get in fast enough because of the evil OHV people. Sorry but that story is getting a bit old. Unfortunately I’ve been to that emergency room on a number occasions. Last year I was there at least 5 times and not once has my care been held up due to some rider from the dunes. One time I was in great pain and they took a kid that came in after me that had been nailed in the face with a baseball before me, he didn’t look so good. So perhaps we should ban baseball. Kids get hurt more from soccer than those out at the dunes should be ban soccer as well?

      I have to use that hospital that’s why I go there but it is a mess. I could list horror story after horror story but I’ll just list one. I took a friend there that was in distress. They took her right in. She and I both told them over and over that she was highly allergic to latex, she works in the medical field so she had them write it in their notes. She even went as far as to have me write a note and stick it on the wall above her head. Sure enough they stuck her in a room full of latex, they used latex supplies ie gloves and sure enough she had a terrible reaction. I left and when I came back an hour or so later her body was so swollen that I didn’t even recognize her. That’s only one story there are more. The people that have helped me were usually nice but there have times when I’ve waited in that place for hours when all I needed was an order for a shot for pain. I had begged them, my family begged them but on this occasion they were too busy trying to figure out whose coffee was whose to get me the shot and the doc was right there with them discussing the coffee.

      The docs and nurses don’t tell the truth in regards to rates of injury. I have looked up the stats and that is why I used soccer as an example. It took me quite awhile to find those stats but I did and someplace around here I have the exact figures. Kids end up in the ER more from soccer injuries then the OHVers do from off road injuries. So why don’t they speak out about that?

      (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
  3. TrueGrit says:

    We took my child to the AG hospital when his face and legs became swollen and breathing labored. It was later learned it was from an extreme reaction to a bee sting. This was a life threatening situation where the doctors and nurses did an outstanding job. While we were there 3 of SLO’s buddies from Bakersfield came in obviously intoxicated, two were injured not too seriously. All were wearing dirt bikers outfits and obnoxious. Needless to say they received the same care as my son, even with the attitude. SLO says he “knows someone who was…”
    I venture to say that SLO’s manufacturing a lie because some doctors tell the truth about injuries on the dunes. Kevin, you have no shame.

    (-6) 12 Total Votes - 3 up - 9 down
  4. Bob says:

    I owe my life to Dr. Thom who was the on call cardioligist at Arroyo Grande hospital. I spent 5 days in the hospital before i was transfered to French hospital for surgery. The nurses at Arroyo Grande were great.

    I moved here from Orange County 24 Years ago. Yes the medical care, especialy field EMS was way behind the times. I was shocked that SLO county had no paramedics at the time. Trauma care in this county is still in the dark ages.

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  5. choprzrul says:

    Why is it that no matter where you live, the hospital 1 or 2 counties away is always better? Then, when you talk to those locals, they always say that their hospital is terrible and that they go to xyz hospital 1 or 2 counties away?

    Seems like nobody is ever happy with their local hospital. Haven’t used any local hospitals, so I have no opinion, just observations.

    .

    (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
    • Side_Show_Bob says:

      Yet when they have surgery, their Surgeon was #1 in the country for their XYZ procedure! lol!

      I think it’s all some kind of conspiracy. Ever notice how everyone in that place is either sick or injured? Gotta be a conspiracy.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  6. centralcoastgal says:

    The medicine practiced at AG Hospital and all of SLO County is woefully inadequate compared to the quality of medical care in Monterey, SB and Ventura counties. SLO County medical facilities and practices are still in the dinosaur age. I have to take my elderly mother who lives in the South County to Cottage Hospital and Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara and other physicians in Ventura and Camarillo to get her adequate medical care. Having lived in SLO County for the majority of my life, I did not realize how bad the medical care here is until I recently moved to Ventura County and experienced the difference in the quality of facilities and physicians. Wasn’t it about 5 years ago that approximately 80 physicians left SLO County en mass because they couldn’t make it in SLO County?

    (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
    • r0y says:

      Much of that might be the reimbursement our area hospitals get. The government considers SLO “rural” so they actually pay them less. Nice, eh? So you choose to live in “the sticks” and they think you just aren’t worth as much as those fancy city folk.

      That said, I think they all do decent for what they have. I mean, most physicians (and any private sector worker) often make less money for the pleasure of being here. Unlike a City Manager or something…

      (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
      • Typoqueen says:

        I was told that the malpractice insurance is really high in SLO county and that it one reason the docs don’t like it here.

        (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  7. Typoqueen says:

    I know what you’re talking about. Everytime I go to that hospital (unfortunately too much) I think that I’d be nervous to ever let it out that I’m for leaving the beach open to OHV. I always make sure that my kids aren’t wearing certain attire (you know what I’m talking about). They are very biased regarding that. The staff should check their politcs at the door.

    But regardless of their political beliefs it’s just a bad hospital. I have heard so many horror stories and I’ve had a few myself. When one of my children was about 4 years old we rushed him/her there in the middle of the night. They proceeded to send our child by ambulance to French. I won’t get into the details but they told us our child was dying. Our doc got there a few hours later looked at him/her and said that it was croup and that it really wasn’t a big deal, he was furious and so were we. Plus we had an ambulance bill that even with insurance was pretty big. You don’t have kids so you can’t imagine what it’s like when a doctor tells you that your child is dying.

    (5) 13 Total Votes - 9 up - 4 down
  8. Side_Show_Bob says:

    Been through the ER at AG Hospital for several things from a street related motorcycle accident trauma to other acute health issues. The wife has, as well. We have both always been handled quickly and have received excellent care and communication by several different Physicians, some more than once. I’m very glad they’re here for us locals.

    (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down
    • r0y says:

      My family’s experiences with both AG and French have been very nice; granted, some bloodwork did take MUCH longer than it used to recently, due to all the new regulations that required new systems… everyone was learning. I was told once everything is all re-entered, etc. that my future visits would be quite fast. We’ll see.

      I have not experienced Twin Cities or the one near Cal Poly; thankfully, we’re not in hospitals too much.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  9. Typoqueen says:

    AG Hospital,,,check in and you might not check out. Scary little hospital.

    (4) 32 Total Votes - 18 up - 14 down
    • SLORider says:

      It’s true. I know someone who was basically told by a certain E.R. doc: Normally I’d give pain medication for your injury, but I’m going to teach you a lesson. Denied competent care due to the personal political scorn of a “physician”!

      Can you say, “malpractice”?

      No names, but the initials are Clint Slaughter. Yes, Dr. Slaughter (apropos). Always nice to know your “caring” physician puts personal politics over patient welfare. I’d limp elsewhere for treatment.

      (4) 20 Total Votes - 12 up - 8 down
      • DuneDude says:

        Anytime someone starts with either “it’s not a lie” or “It’s true” you had better run for the hills. Liars are the first to say they are telling the truth. SlORider’s reputation for truth is found in numerous documents in courts, blogs, etc. It isn’t exactly a pretty picture.

        Read through some of his papers for the court and you will get a feel for his inability to know truth from fiction. Simply follow his activity on the internet and you will find that Kevin P. Rice is in a criminal class of his own. He is so stupid he narrates a video discussing his own criminal tresspass, conversion of railroad property for his own use (theft), and has encouraged others to register their off road vehicles in Nevada so they don’t have to meet quality air standards.

        God, isn’t it wonderful to have Kevin being a really stand up guy instead of the cretin we all know and love.

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
      • DuneDude says:

        Anytime someone starts with either “it’s not a lie” or “It’s true” you had better run for the hills. Liars are the first to say they are telling the truth. SlORider’s reputation for truth is found in numerous documents in courts, blogs, etc. It isn’t exactly a pretty picture.

        Read through some of his papers for the court and you will get a feel for his inability to know truth from fiction. Simply follow his activity on the internet and you will find that Kevin P. Rice is in a criminal class of his own. He is so stupid he narrates a video discussing his own criminal trespass, conversion of railroad property for his own use (theft), and has encouraged others to register their off road vehicles in Nevada so they don’t have to meet quality air standards.

        God, isn’t it wonderful to have Kevin being a really stand up guy instead of the cretin we all know and love.

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down

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