TMH Board addresses concerns, receives praise at Thursday meeting

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The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees meeting 11/1/12

Quotable

“In the four years I’ve been here, what I’ve seen is an awful lot of good changes, I think we have a good medical staff. I’ve always found the administration to be very perceptive of what I’ve had to say. We may not always agree but I always feel like I’m heard.”

— Dr. Andrew Hughes, of The Memorial Hospital, while voicing his support for TMH's administration at Thursday night's regular TMH Board meeting

The opportunity to address The Memorial Hospital’s Board of Trustees came and went without much adieu Thursday evening.

With one to two wallflowers usually present, Thursday night’s regular board meeting saw about 25 people in the audience.

The majority of the audience was comprised of Hospital employee’s and their spouses.

There had been rumors of concerned residents packing the meting to address the board about physician retention, but only a couple residents addressed the board.

Dr. Pamela Kinder addressed the board concerning processes and Annette Duncan addressed the board considering an individual complaint, adding, “I’d like to help fix the reputation of the hospital, I think our community needs a hospital, I’d like to see it stay. I think there are some issues.”

CEO George Rohrich addressed the visiting neurologist concern with Dr. Kinder saying a traveling neurologist approached him from St. Mary’s who said he had many patients in Craig. Rohrich said he thought the visiting neurologist seemed like a convenience to the community and said in hindsight he should have discussed it with Dr. Kinder, apologizing for not doing so.

Kinder said the visiting neurologist was not the problem.

“The situation had absolutely nothing to do with a visiting neurologist coming to Craig," she said. "The problem is that all of our processes have seemed to have completely deteriorated over the past few years.”

Chair Don Meyers addressed the comment saying, “If it’s not working right, let’s fix it.”

Meyers then asked for other comments.

“Now is the time to speak up and get the communication going, if somebody has a concern or wants to speak however, please feel free,” he said

Aside from Dr. Kinder and Duncan, members of the hospital’s staff addressed the board and others in the audience as to their positive experiences with the hospital, and reasons they believed physician retention was not a problem.

Dr. Andrew Hughes, addressed the board saying he felt the administration has worked very hard in the best interest of the community.

“In the four years I’ve been here, what I’ve seen is an awful lot of good changes, I think we have a good medical staff,” Dr. Hughes said. “I’ve always found the administration to be very perceptive of what I’ve had to say. We may not always agree but I always feel like I’m heard.”

Dr. Jeff Womble addressed the board next. Having been with the hospital five years, Dr. Womble said he supported the administration.

“I think this administration has worked very hard to bring changes that have been necessary,” Womble said. “I think this administration has done a very good job. Has it been perfect? I haven’t been perfect, the board hasn’t been perfect, nobody in here has been perfect.

"Certainly there are things that can be changed, and this forum is great for addressing those kinds of things that we need to do to move forward. But I’d hate to see us take three steps back to move forward.”

Debbie Hughes, the wife of Dr. Hughes, addressed the board saying she felt physician retention was not unusual nor was it a problem.

Rather, Hughes said she felt doctors coming out of residency expect a grander lifestyle after dedicating so much of their lives to school than the one that rural medicine offers, making it tough for some.

Dr. Kristie Yarmer addressed the board and audience saying she was proud to be a part of the staff.

“Everyone in this community should be proud of what this hospital has," Yarmer said. "I’m extremely impressed with the services offered in a hospital this size. The equipment we’re fortunate to have what we have.

"No system will be absolutely perfect. Everyone here is truly dedicated to making TMH the best quality hospital. They do a good job of making people feel wanted and appreciated as part of the staff."

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

Comments

jww52261 1 year, 9 months ago

Talk to all the staff they have fired and let go. How about there policy to never pay unemployment unless you appeal.Is that any way to offer the best service to your community? Firing or removing the people with the most expertise .Have you asked yourselfs why the physcians left could it be they were not offered contracts to stay.Before you give your acculates to the current administration do your research.Ask not how many have left ask how many were removed.

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OyveyCraig 1 year, 9 months ago

Ah, Dr. Hughes and Dr. Womble, That is so cute of you to do as Daddy Rohrich asked. He must be so pleased. Seriously though, wake up. You work for an absolutely terrible organization and everyone knows it. You made yourselves out to be complete fools. You did no one any favors. Except for your boss that needs to be kicked out of this town.

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greenie52 1 year, 9 months ago

Both those doctors are ass kissers and don't want to get on the bad side of the administration or they will be gone too. They dont want to listen to the other doctors or people, its just another Craig CO. scam !!!

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MollyPhillips 1 year, 9 months ago

After reading this and watching the limited video coverage posted online, I have to once again state that we did not leave Craig for "fine dining and the arts".

My husband always wanted to work as a rural doctor and we knew what we were in for. Yes it was difficult at times, but the reason we left Craig was because of the TMH administration. I can't for the life of me understand why the TMH board and the CDP won't ask (or should I say, publish) the opinions of the physicians that have left TMH. It's just sad and pathetic.

With warmest regards to all those we love and miss-- Molly Phillips

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PurpleSkies 1 year, 9 months ago

Molly, Your husband is a terrific doctor and I was so sad he had to leave Craig. It really makes me angry that the Craig Daily Press wouldn't publish a letter telling his side of the story. I know you and Troy have Facebook pages, would you mind posting his letter there? I know I, and many others, would like to read it. Good luck to you and your family, you will be missed!

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jmartin 1 year, 9 months ago

Mrs. Phillips,

I am sorry you were unhappy with our coverage of last week’s TMH board meeting. Our reporter covered the meeting and wrote about what happened there, but couldn’t comment a whole lot about things that were rumored to happen or supposed to happen.

As far as the larger issue, that same reporter has interviewed your husband as part of her investigation into the matter. Some of the other doctors she has contacted, however, are legally unable to comment until next month. Running a story with comments from all the ex-employees in question is a lot stronger than breaking them up into separate stories, so we have chosen to wait until we have talked to everyone before moving forward.

But I assure you, the issue is still at the forefront of our attention.

As far as letters to the editor, I can honestly say in my short time as manager here, I have never turned away a letter to the editor simply because I don’t like the content.

If something happened before I became manager, I cannot comment on that. However since mid-August the only letter I have received concerning your husband was from the VNA thanking him, which we ran.

If you have a letter to the editor you want to run, send it to me at gmartin@craigdailypress.com. As long as it is under our 500-word limit and doesn’t use profanity, I can assure you it will be published that day online and in print as soon as space allows.

If you are referring to the interview your husband did with our reporter, it will be published when we have talked to everyone involved. It’s a sensitive issue, as I’m sure you understand, and rather than rush to press with a story we want to make sure we’ve done our due diligence, which in part means waiting for these other doctors to be available for interview.

I understand the importance of this issue and if you want to discuss any aspect of it with me further, feel free to call me Monday-Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at (970) 875-1790.

Jerry Martin Content Manager Craig Daily Press

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MollyPhillips 1 year, 9 months ago

Mr. Martin, Thank you for clearing that up. We look forward to the upcoming article. It will be good to hear from the physicians themselves instead of hearing the speculations or coverups from TMH administration/board.
Molly

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