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Tempers flare as GLH losses balloon to $9.5 million

Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 11:45 pm News Flash Archive

Greenwood Leflore Hospital (GLH) losses for fiscal year 2018 ballooned to $9.5 million, hospital CFO Dawne Holmes told the Board of Hospital Commissioners at Tuesday night's meeting.

Earlier, tempers flared when Board member Freddie White-Johnson twice told fellow member Ricky Powers to "shut up."

Meanwhile, the Board voted to spend $105,000 to rehab a house on River Road into a clinic for the neurosurgeons.

The Board also voted to block payment of several outstanding invoices from Hammons and Associates, which produces hospital public relations materials, and purchases radio and television ad time for the hospital.

No specific concerns were raised in the public meeting to support the invoice payment freeze. The hospital management attempted to explain to Board Chairman Sammy Foster that the invoices were merely reimbursements to Hammons for hospital ad time on radio and television that Hammons had paid for on behalf of the hospital, but Foster would not be deterred from his determination that Hammons not be paid at this time.

GLH, which is owned by Leflore County and the city of Greenwood, has now racked up losses of $37.3 million over the last three years.

The Board meeting may be viewed on The Taxpayers Channel website here: October 23, 2018 Hospital Board Meeting.

Tuesday's rocky meeting follows on the heels of the hastily called meeting of October 11, at which the Board voted to install Mr. Subho Basu as interim CEO to replace Jim Jackson, who was unceremoniously fired by the Board last March. As usual, the medical staff was not consulted about the choice of CEO, nor were the two new Board members told of the appointment until the very meeting at which the other three board members shoved the appointment through.

The hospital has been careening down the road to collapse through a series of outrageous incidents involving conflicts between the Board and the hospital physician staff, and a bad financial stability report from the state auditor's office. Already this year, several key physicians were either fired by the Board, or have left the hospital for greener pastures in Grenada.

Baptist Hospital system rejected two overtures from GLH's Board for affiliation, while the hospital Board itself snubbed offers from UMMC to affiliate or even take charge of the failing hospital.

An outraged group of 200 citizens was expelled from a recent hospital board meeting after the board refused to answer questions about the hospital's future. Meanwhile, the Board published a letter to the Greenwood Commonwealth in which it claimed that highly paid, but unnamed, employees at the hospital were trying to sabotage the Board's "leadership."

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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