Hospital Board vows to work with city, stand by Act guidelines

The Tombigbee Healthcare Authority Board of Directors is reaching out to the Demopolis City Council, seeking to ensure a smooth process for the selection of hospital board members that also adheres to guidelines set forth by the Healthcare Authorities Act.

The Healthcare Authorities Act requires that the Hospital Board choose four of its nine members, with the City Council filling the other five vacancies only from a list of three nominees per vacant seat, as submitted by the Hospital Board.

“I think it is imperative that we comply with the Healthcare Authorities Act as written,” said Thomas Moore, Chairman of the THA Board’s Public Entities Partnership Committee. “The Healthcare Authorities Act lends itself to making us as a Hospital Board as non-political as possible.”

THA Board Chairman Jay Shows noted that, at a special called THA Board meeting Monday, all members fully expressed their desire to implement and use a process in the future that will give the Mayor and City Council input on all future lists.

Moore reinforced Shows’ comments, adding, “We want to have a continuing dialogue with the City Council and other entities as well, so that we can work through problems together. We want that dialogue to be as harmonious as possible, but I firmly believe in the process (established by the Healthcare Authorities Act.)”

Shows further commented, “I greatly appreciate the long history of the partnership and support that the THA Board and city government have demonstrated. The THA Board will work hard along with the City Council toward the betterment and success of Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital and all of THA’s ancillary services.”

As part of the clarification process, the THA Board is asking the City Council to reconsider its recent action in naming a hospital board member who was not on the Hospital Board’s original list of nominees.

“The person selected recently by the majority of the City Council is a great individual with a wide range of qualifications and capabilities,” said Shows. “However, the THA Board, in keeping with the legal requirements of the Healthcare Authorities Act, respectfully requests that the council reconsider its action of proposing this candidate to fill the Board vacancy, and instead choose a candidate from the list of candidates that were presented by the THA Board to the council.”

Rob Fleming, Chairman of the THA Board’s Nominating Committee, added, “We certainly appreciated the City Council’s input, and they put forth two great names for us to consider, but we believe that we need to follow the law set forth by the Healthcare Authorities Act. We went to great lengths to find three nominees that could do an outstanding job serving the hospital and the City of Demopolis. Again, we appreciate the council’s input, and look forward to working with them in the future to fill the necessary Council-appointed spots on the board.”