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Report on Hospital's future discussed in secret

Tuesday, July 14, 2020, 7:40 pm News Flash Archive

This afternoon, a meeting was held at the Hospital between the Greenwood Leflore Hospital Board of Trustees, the Greenwood City Council, and the Leflore County Board of Supervisors to discuss the long-awaited report from Stroudwater Associates about the future of the hospital.

But when the meeting began, the City Council took it over and promptly went into executive session, expelling the public and the media. Video of the expulsion of the public and press from today's meeting may be seen here: Special Hospital Board Meeting, Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The meeting continued in secret for 107 minutes, and then adjourned without taking any action or allowing the public or media back in.

The results of the report have so far been kept secret from the public. A request by The Taxpayers Channel to the Hospital for a copy of the report has so far received no reply.

The Stroudwater Report was commissioned because state law requires such a report if the owners of a public hospital wish to sell it or lease it to a private operator.

The city of Greenwood and Leflore County are joint owners of the hospital, which has suffered a hemorrhage of doctors leaving or being fired by the Hospital Board, and consecutive years of multi-million dollar losses. At the end of fiscal year 2019, the hospital had lost $45 million over the previous 4 years. Three consecutive CEOs have been summarily fired by the Board of Trustees, the most recent being interim CEO Subho Basu last August, without the Board providing any credible explanation for any of the firings.

After some bickering between the three boards about whether a study was needed, and who would pay for one, the law firm of Butler Snow was hired over a year ago to solicit proposals for the required study. Then in May 2019, the city and county voted to hire Stroudwater Associates to conduct and prepare the study.

Stroudwater was scheduled to present the results of the study in March of this year, but the presentation was called off due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The meeting today was not well advertised in the news, but the Board of Supervisors published a legal notice in the classified ad pages of the Greenwood Commonwealth that it would be meeting this afternoon at the hospital to discuss the report.

Back in 2012, the community went though this same ordeal, when a study commissioned for the same purposes suggested that the hospital should be sold or leased to some private operator. The report predicted severe economic problems going forward, which proved to be true.

The City, County, and Hospital Board did not act on any of that report's recommendations. That report and coverage by The Taxpayers Channel may be seen here: 2012 Hospital report released

For complete coverage of these and other hospital milestones, please go here: Taxpayers Channel coverage of Greenwood Leflore Hospital's downfall.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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