Hospital Board plans “presentation” to Hospital Committee

The night before the Hospital Committee is supposed to meet, the Hospital Board is giving them a “presentation.” Mr. Owens has sent an invitation to all the committee members.   Members of the committee have contacted us, and they feel that the Hospital Board and David Owens, CEO of JMH, are undermining all chance of any independent and new ideas or thoughts.  This is another attempt to influence a committee that was to look at all aspects of the hospital, how it was funded, and what was being funded—in an independent and unbiased manner.  However, this does not seem possible.  The Monticello News has all but directly said that the facilitator is biased.  We question why anyone with the credentials of Dr. Phillips would waste their time and have their reputation questioned


In last week’s paper, the following was printed:

“Jasper Memorial Hospital director David Owens and Oconee Regional Medical Center (ORMC) CEO Brian Riddle were not allowed to rebut Dr. Phillips' statement. Mr. Owens did question a number of facts presented by Dr. Phillips. She said Medicare and Medicaid were talking of changing the way they reimburse hospitals such as Jasper's. Jasper Memorial is designated as a Critical Access Hospital and is reimbursed on an actual cost basis, an advantage over other types of reimbursements. Mr. Owens indicated he had heard no talk of any of the changes she suggested.”


First, the News says Dr. Phillips wouldn’t let Owens and Riddle speak, and then it goes on to say all the things they said!  According to people that were at the meeting, Owens and Riddle dominated the first hour of the meeting.  After the members broke up into sub-committees, Owens, Riddle, and Jordan visited these committees in an attempt to push their agendas.


The TWG has talked to members of the committee; none have indicated they want to close the hospital, but several have ideas to improve it!  What about a women’s center with a mammogram?  What about expanding the Physical Therapy Dept?  Other great ideas, but the Hospital Board seems afraid of answering questions and listening to others.  Instead they are meeting with committee members, calling on the phone, and continuing to hype the situation. 

The hospital board (Jasper Health Services) also has a “strategic planning session” scheduled for next Thursday and Friday at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center.

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