TMH Board addresses concerns, receives praise at Thursday meeting
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org