Wednesday, July 28, 2021, 2:00 pm
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At this morning's quarterly medical staff meeting, it was learned that the Greenwood Leflore Hospital Board of Trustees voted to close the Neurosurgery clinic and not to renew neurosurgeon Dr. W. Craig Clark's contract. The clinic will shut down in mid-September.
Multiple attendees at the meeting indicated that the doctors were stunned to hear of this, and concerns were raised about how current neurosurgical patients would receive follow-up care with no neurosurgeons available to provide it.
This follows on the heels of Dr. Jimmy Miller's announcement at the end of May that he is retiring from the practice of neurosurgery. His last day is September 1. See TTC's exclusive coverage of his resignation here: Greenwood losing a neurosurgeon
Dr. Clark told people at the meeting that he had been assured by Hospital CEO Jason Studley in mid-June that his contract was being renewed.
But during a recent executive session of the Hospital Board, the Board voted to accept the administration's recommendation to shut down the neurosurgery service entirely. Apparently, Dr. Clark's new contract was never presented for approval or rejection by the Board.
Mr. Studley told the doctors this morning that the decision was made based on financial considerations, because the hospital is losing money on neurosurgery.
Dr. Mary Carol Miller and others raised the concern that patients would have no follow-up care after their procedures. Dr. Jimmy Miller's plan was, upon his retirement, to transfer his patients for follow-up to Dr. Clark, and everyone had been proceeding with that in mind.
Now, however, Dr. Clark's last day is September 17th, after which there will be no neurosurgical care in Greenwood.
Dr. Clark first learned of the Board's decision last Wednesday, the day after the most recent Hospital Board Meeting. There was no discussion during the open portion of that meeting about closing the clinic or not renewing Clark's contract.
When asked specifically whether the administration and Board had consulted with physician staff about the closure, timeline, and providing follow-up patient care before the decision was made, Mr. Studley told the doctors that no such consultation had taken place.
TTC reached out to Mr. Studley for comment on the things he reportedly told the doctors, but as of publication time we have not received a reply.
Because it won't be possible to follow up with any new surgical cases, the clinic has canceled all pending surgical procedures.
In other hospital news, the identity of the lease cancellation adopted during the July 20th executive session of the Hospital board has been revealed. The Board voted not to renew the lease for the Greenwood Primary Care Clinic, which is presently located at Dr. William Jones' clinic building on the corner of Grand Boulevard and Claiborne Avenue. According to Mr. Studley, the hospital is consolidating all its primary care clinics in one location in the next several months.
John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel
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