Bacon Bits: A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That

Safe hospitals. I’ve long maintained that the best thing you can do for your health is stay out of hospitals — 160,000 deaths occur annually across the country from avoidable medical errors monitored by the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. Fortunately, Virginia hospitals are safer than most. The Old Dominion has the second highest percentage — 53% — of hospitals in the country of hospitals meriting Leapfrog’s A rating. In Maryland only 25% of hospital scored an A, and in Washington, D.C., there are no A-rated hospitals, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Expanding hospital. Speaking of  hospitals, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital has just announced a $300 million expansion that includes a new tower to care for emergency and heart patients, a new behavioral health hospital across the street, a parking garage and a pedestrian skyway to connect it all. The expansion is part of Carilion’s plan to invest $1 billion over the next seven years, according to the Roanoke Times. Roanoke Memorial scored a B in Leapfrog’s ranking, incidentally. Roanokers might legitimately inquire if some of that $300 million could be better spent on preventing avoidable medical errors.

Bye, bye, Jeff, baby. The Commonwealth Transportation Board unanimously voted yesterday to allow Arlington County to change the name of Route 1 from Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway, reports the Washington Post. The United Daughters of the Confederacy had spearheaded the naming of the highway after the president of the Confederate States of America, as a “direct and antagonistic response” to the establishment of Lincoln Highway across the northern states, said Arlington Board Chair Christian Dorsey.

Nepotism never dies. Alexis K. Glenn, the 22-year-old daughter of the City of Richmond’s chief administrative officer, Selena Cuffee-Glenn, was hired in March for a job the city never publicly listed. Moreover, Glenn is paid $26.44 per hour, more than all but three other city employees with the same title, all 130 of whom have worked for the city longer, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The employee she replaced made $18 an hour. The city maintains that a hiring is considered nepotism only in instances when someone is in the direct line of supervision of a family member.

More legal assistance for tenants. More tenants facing eviction in Virginia are entering court with legal representation thanks to a “flood of cash” flowing to legal aid groups around the state, reports the Virginia Mercury. A Northern Virginia law firm is funding full-time positions in Richmond, Newport News, and the Virginia Poverty Law Center. A group called Equal Justice works is funding six position in legal aid offices in Central Virginia. And a state budget amendment proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam will pay for another 17 housing lawyers in legal aid offices around the state.