Letter to the Editor: Never the same


Dear Editor
I became involved in the affairs of PCMH in October , 2020 hoping to stop any merger, sweeping back the tide of management advocates for Mercy, hoping to keep PCMH remaining an independent Hospital. I soon came to the realization that PCMH was headed into a hole they could not get out of and management would prevent anyone from helping. Asking for clarifying information always resulted in one answer, “It’s a secret and you will never get your answer”!
Determined, I recently retained a Missouri Sunshine speciality lawyer and also asked the Board of Trustees’s lawyer for the legal opinion : “Is Perry County Health Services accountable to the Missouri Sunshine Law? Both opinions stated that Perry County Health Systems was a public entity and was accountable to the Missouri Sunshine Statue and thus was not a self directed, secret organization. In my opinion, without public imput malfeasance, lncompetance, and or bad luck was bound to happen. After 25 five years of an independent , secretive PCMHS, I might suggest that a fully informed and trusting public could have made a difference resulting in a fully functional Community Owned Hospital .
Soon the Board of Trustees will have one last opportunity to impose what little authority it has by voting for or against the termination agreement for PCMHS . Strangely, this agreement includes an unlimited protective order that obligates the Board of Trustees and covers all pending and future legal issues incurred by PCMHS. I am hard of hearing but I have heard enough. I feel that this agreement is directed toward myself and any other concerned citizen of Perry county that attempts to hold PCMHS accountable and wants to help guide the future of our hospital. If the termination agreement is agreed upon suing PCMHS for damages would mean that the Board of Trustees would have to pay the damages or any penalties imposed for violations. I have no intention of voting for this termination agreement as it is written.
Should I have to pay the legal expenses on my own to obligate the Board I serve to pay needless fines ? This termination agreement will forever and ever make it fiscal suicide for Board of Trustees to do discovery of wrong doing. Imagine a divorce settlement where one honorable spouse has to agree to the other questionable spouse’s legal expenses forever? We have three Board of Trustees that know the answers to my Sunshine request: Beth Guth , Greg Unger, and Patrick Naeger. They should also reject this termination agreement.
A parting question, is there potential legal obligation for PCMHS to pay attorney fees and any amount of money required to settle the Carron vs Schabbing, Green lawsuit when PCHS has a protective covenant This question must be asked “ Has the Board of Directors engaged directly or indirectly in paying the legal obligations of the New Carron Suit?” I feel that any such pending payments would promote extortion to defend by silencing any wrong doing by Board of Directors. I challenge the Board of Directors to answer!

There are three options for the termination agreement: 1, re.cusal by Patrick Naeger, Beth Guth and Greg Unger which would kill the Mercy Merger, 2, change the agreement so it is agreeable and or 3, file a complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission
In my opinion, all Board members should simply agree to the Missouri Sunshine requests to determine if any wrong doings of past and present management have occurred
It saddens me that “Our Community Hospital” will never be the same.
Dr Joe Hutchison DDS
Member Board of Trustees


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