Citizen asks HCHD for guidance on issues
Houston County Courier - June 2008
By Daphne Hereford
During their regular meeting held Tuesday, June 17, members of the Houston County Hospital District board of directors responded to questions posed by Tommy Turner of Trinity County regarding how their entity handled certain issues that the Trinity County Hospital District may also face.
Turner said he was not representing TCHD at the meeting but he was a member of their board of directors.
Turner asked how HCHD handled dual board memberships; a board member serving on both the hospital district board and ETMC board.
HCHD President Dr. John Stovall responded by saying that Mr. Bill Thomas chose not to run for re-election and in the case of Deborah Blackwell the board secured a ruling from the attorney that indicated there was no conflict.
HCHD Board Member Dr. Patrick Walker said the attorney said the ETMC board was advisory only and could not take action, "They are basically fake."
Turner then asked about indigent care saying that Trinity pays a fee to ETMC each month.
In response, Dr. Stovall said, "We have a different agreement than Trinity and ETMC provides indigent care."
During the agenda item regarding the community clinic update, HCHD Board Member Dr. Richard Kelly said he had met with the architect and should start the bidding process soon. He also said they have the official non-profit status for the C.O. Murray Community Clinic.
ETMC Administrator Terry Cutler reported on the Transition Program saying that Angelina College is currently sourcing for a clinical coordinator and they were looking for a masters level educator.
"We feel like we have the interest of the nurses, but if they (Angelina College) cannot find candidates it won't happen," Cutler said.
HCHD Board Member Dr. Ray Morrison commented that as part of a Ft. Worth area medical school rural physicians program, three students were expected to come to ETMC in July.
Directing a question to Cutler, Dr. Morrison said, "The program has been having difficulty getting rooms from the hospital for the students."
Cutler responded by saying, "I don't have a clear answer to your question since it (the availability of rooms) depends on the census in the hospital at the time. Can I predict (the number of patients we will have in) July, no."
He added, "We will do the same thing we have been doing in that situation."
Dr. Richard Kelly said, "I understand both sides. It is one of those practicality issues. Perhaps we should look at off campus space and perhaps the HCHD board could help with that."
He added, "We need a long term solution, perhaps something similar to the ETMC EMS building."
Roy Langford with ETMC EMS said the EMS building was about 1,500 square feet and supplied ample space for EMS personnel. He said HCHD spent about $150,000 to construct the building.
Dr. Morrison said he would have a presentation ready for the August meeting regarding construction of a like building.
Early in the meeting Dr. Walker suggested the board not hold meetings in July and December.
HCHD Accountant Dick Murchison said that according to the bylaws, a meeting must be held each month.
Following discussion, Dr. Stovall said the board would agree not to meet in July and discuss amending the bylaws when the full board was present.
Absent from the meeting were members Dr. George Beeler, Ronnie LaRue, Virginia Lewis, and Deborah Blackwell.