The Greenwood Leflore Hospital Board and CEO are being summoned to appear before a joint meeting of the Leflore County Board of Supervisors and the Greenwood City Council to explain the hospital’s plan to turn itself around and become profitable again.
District 1 Supervisor Sam Abraham expressed concern Monday that members of the Board of Supervisors were being kept in the dark about what the appointed hospital board was doing to correct problems with the hospital’s finances and ensure its viability. He said the hospital board hasn’t been reporting back to the county and that supervisors had never even met Subho Basu, the hospital’s interim chief executive officer.
“We need to know who’s willing to do what to turn this hospital around,” he said. “We cannot afford to lose this hospital.”
Greenwood Leflore Hospital is owned jointly by Leflore County and the city of Greenwood. Board Chairman Sammy Foster and member Harris F. Powers Jr. are appointed by the city to serve on the board. Members Freddie White-Johnson and Emma Bell are appointed by the county. Member Marcus Banks is appointed jointly by the city and the county.
Abraham said the county needed the hospital board to present its plan for stopping the financial slide that has seen the hospital lose almost $37 million over the previous three years and $1.3 million so far in the first four months of the current fiscal year.
“If they ain’t got a plan, we are in trouble,” Abraham said.
Board President Wayne Self said he and District 5 Supervisor Robert Collins met recently with representatives of an Atlanta company that was interested in taking over the hospital.
“They really, truly feel they can pick the hospital up,” Self said, adding he’d like representatives of the company to come to the meeting. He then agreed with Abraham that the supervisors didn’t want to talk about selling the hospital before finding out what the situation was.
Contacted after the meeting, Greenwood Mayor Carolyn McAdams said she was all for a joint meeting to hear the hospital board’s plan. She noted Foster came before the City Council last August, and while he didn’t have a specific plan, he indicated financial changes were being made and a new CEO was being sought.
“The hospital is Greenwood Leflore Hospital because it’s jointly owned by the city and county,” she said. “I think it’s a great idea on the county’s part to get us together to hear the plan.”
And while Chancery Clerk Christine Lymon was given the assignment of setting up the hospital summit for March 11, the hospital board may get more time to put together its plan. McAdams said many council members will be in Washington next week to meet with members of Congress to express their concerns for the area.
In other business:
• The county road department will spend about $50,000 for parts and motors to get four 20-inch pumps back in working order after they have sat unused for more than 30 years.
Road Manager Jerry Smith explained that the pumps had been removed from a county pumping station and replaced with other pumps in the 1980s.
With flooding problems across the county over the past two weeks, supervisors were anxious to get the old pumps in working order and back online to alleviate the situation. Smith estimated the work would take two to three weeks.
• Supervisors seemed frustrated that residents in their districts had been calling them, demanding that the county solve the flooding problems on their property.
Self said the problem was the large amount of water that had flooded the Delta from nearly 10 inches of rain over the past 10 days and from rivers flowing out of their banks. He said people had to realize there was nowhere for the water to go.
District 2 Supervisor Reginald Moore said the county had to be sensitive to the needs of people whose houses were flooding. He encouraged the county engineers and road crews to work with people to remove water from property. Abraham said the county had to be sure it didn’t cut a road to alleviate some flooding and just cause flooding on another person’s property.
Smith said his crews are instructed to first help residents who are being flooded out of their homes, then to use judgment in choosing where the water is redirected.
The county urged residents with flooding problems to call the county’s emergency management agency at 453-1428 or the road department at 455-5400.
•Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.