This column was submitted by Orangeburg physicians Dion Franga, Rocco Cassone, Sied Nassri, John Durham, Jalal Hakmei, Mauricio Bassante, Nazir Adam, John Samies, John Hayden, Jason Gregory and Catherine Millender, and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Dallas Wise, Pete Schindler and Justin Simmons, and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Sandi Chaplin.

The undersigned medical staff members are disappointed by the recent flurry of opinions voiced in The Times and Democrat regarding the decision of the Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees not to renew the contract for the current chief executive officer. We know the public is aware that health care is in a state of crisis and this is especially so for community hospitals, many of which are closing around the country.

The board is at the front lines of this battle and we are fortunate to have a group of dedicated community members who are willing to take time to guide the hospital toward a stable and productive future. This is together the charge of the board and the CEO. It is to no one’s fault if the two parties conclude that their goals are not in concert. This is precisely the reason institutions adopt the model of a governing board and a directing CEO.

We are also insulted by the baseless charge that a lack of diversity is involved in the board’s decision. In fact, the board is comprised of at least three ethnic groups and both males and females. If Dr. Kevin Ray has any criticism on this point, he should take that up with Orangeburg County Council and Calhoun County Council, which appoint the board members. Since the previous CEO dismissed by the board was Caucasian, the only logical conclusion is that Dr. Ray is taking an opportunistic swipe at the expense of RMC to bolster his political aspiration for election to the legislature. Over the past two years he has attended only one general medical staff meeting – not indicative of someone who has much interest or even a competent view of hospital operations and issues. His comments serve to undermine the trust of the community and are frankly disruptive, neither of which support the delivery of quality health care in our community.



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