The Memorial Hospital in Craig board of trustees discuss upcoming vacancy at regular meeting

Coming next week ...

On Monday, the Daily Press will run part one of a three-part series by reporter Darian Warden exploring physician retention at The Memorial Hospital and its possible effect on the Moffat County Community.

Included in the series are comments from current and former doctors at TMH, as well as from hospital administrators and other local health care professionals.

Part two will run Wednesday and part three is set to run Friday.

Part one also will be available online at www.craigdailypre... starting Sunday afternoon.

The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustee’s meeting saw some excitement Thursday night as Craig resident Al Cashion was allowed about half an hour to interrogate the board at the beginning of the meeting.

Cashion addressed each individual board member and members of administration with concerns he said himself and others in the community felt.

Mainly addressing what he said he viewed as problems between some staff members and administration, Cashion let loose firing question after question, and an opinion or two.

“Obviously when we’re pretending nothing is wrong, something is wrong,” Cashion said. “I’m very upset that the board has played hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.”

Cashion referred to physicians who had recently left and what he said he felt were the cloudy circumstances surrounding their departure.

Board members repeatedly assured Cashion they were doing everything they could, the best way they knew how, to ensure the things were handled appropriately and the hospital was headed in the right direction.

“There’s a right way to do something and there’s a wrong way," board chair Don Myers said. "And we’re going to do it the right way, that’s legal and proper and through the proper channels. That might not satisfy everybody but that’s what gonna happen. Every decision this board makes they make with a clear conscience.”

With the board unable to specifically answer many of the questions due to privacy laws and patient and staff confidentiality, the conversation ended with no clear resolution.

The board then discussed some of the positive things happening at the hospital, such as the arrival of three new physicians in the coming months, Dr. Hamilton, Dr. Summers and Dr. Tereshchenko.

Also discussed was the upcoming vacancy that will need to be filled in the next couple months, as board member John Kinkaid gave his letter of resignation to the board.

Kinkaid’s resignation is effective January 7 and cited his election to County Commissioner as his reason for leaving.

“You can’t serve two masters, and in order to serve your best as a commissioner you had to make that decision,” Myers said.

The board thanked Kinkaid for his service.

“Everybody gets teary eyed and I’m the kind of guy who would do that. But not tonight,” Kinkaid said. “It’s been a pleasure to serve on the board, I think we make a difference.”

The county commissioners ultimately choose and appoint the new member to the board, but the current board discussed what would make an ideal candidate to fill Kinkaid’s place.

Myers said an ideal candidate would be able to deal with people, have respect for other board members and the ability to understand all the rules surrounding confidentiality.

Myers added that he thought whoever joined the board, he would like it to be balanced, saying board member Tinneal Gerber not only brought her skill sets to the table with her appointment in 2010, but also that her outlook on medical care as a woman was valuable to the board.

TMH CEO George Rohrich suggested communicating with commissioners to create a more open process and one that considered recommendations from the board.

The position vacated by Kinkaid is a city position, requiring candidates must live in the city of Craig to qualify.

Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or dwarden@craigdailypress.com

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