Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Trust" and "Trustees"...

Anonymous said...

"I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiments expressed by this writer (although I question whether all of the listed physicians were "run off" -- I know that several of them simply left for greener pastures)."

"One caveat however. The City government -- while probably/certainly wishing the hospital well -- has absolutely no control over, responsibility for, or even any influence in the operations at DRMC. Efforts at change should be directed at the hospital's Trustees and the Board of Supervisors. Those are the only entities that can accomplish anything in that regard. "

This writer is correct, the city does not control DRMC. The county Board of Supervisors and the hospital's appointed Trustees are the public officials who ultimately should be held responsible for DRMC's current plight.

The hospital's financial woes did not begin with the purchase of KDH. It is hard to believe that our county supervisors and the hospital's trustees continue to turn a "blind eye" to the spiraling decline that DRMC has experienced during the Humphreys' administration.

At the end of the day, whether elected or appointed, these are the individuals who have knowingly allowed the current administration to ruin a once respected and progressive health care system. We shall all pay a hefty price for our misplaced trust.


PS... Correction in a previous post: Dr. Margaret Cassada is still very much a valued member of our medical community. Perhaps the writer was thinking of her father, Dr. Ogden, who has indeed moved on to "greener" pastures, a true loss for Greenville and the medical community.

Monday, February 19, 2007

What's Up, Docs?

An Ex-Greenvillian Comments:

I think it’s time for Ray Humphreys and his team players to go, so that the city of Greenville can have a better health care system available for the public. DRMC has caused so many good doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to leave its community. Why can’t the public see what is actually going on?

We need new board members who are actually going to keep their eyes on Ray Humphreys and what his team players are doing. We need younger people with fresh new ideas that are not part of the GOOD OLD BOY’S GROUP.

You know once they get together and want you out you are gone for sure. I’ve never seen a community that just sits and let things happen like they have in the DELTA. I know people who work over there at that hospital and they tell me how horrible it is there, but believe me no one will go on record and admit to it. Why? Because if they do they are subject to losing their job and where else do they have to go when GREENVILE, Board of Supervisors and Board of Trustees have allowed DRMC to buy up just about every medical facility in Greenville.

Do they not know how MONOPLY is played? I knew as a child when I played Monopoly that you buy all that you can buy so you can control everything. I guess the next thing Ray will do is rename Greenville to Rayville.

What about what he did to that other hospital he came from? No one bothered to check his references??? Or were they so desperate they just settled for anything. This community deserves better and we could if we could get these quacks out the hospital. There are so many doctors in Greenville that should not be practicing and the community doesn’t have an idea because everything is covered up. I’ve heard so many horror stories of patients dying on ventilators and at the hands of doctors that have no idea of what they are doing.

I was told that they have not had pulmonologist on staff for the past 8 months, and as of today there are about 4 more doctors that they are running off and will be gone in the next 4 months. Guess what? If a patient has a stroke in Greenville they are straight out of luck, because they no longer have a Neurologist on staff. God help our families for they have created a monster at DRMC.

Here is a list my friends have gathered for me of some of the doctors they have got together and run off in less than 2 years:

1. Dr. S. Sathanandan MD (Neurology)

2. Dr. E. Muller (psychiatrist)

3. Dr. M. Cassada (psychiatrist)

4. Dr. N. Viyouh (OB/GYN)

5. Dr. S. Dyer (anesthesiologist)

6. Dr. E. Egger (ophthalmologist)

7. Dr. T. Firozi (Gastroenterologist)

8. Dr. M. Kurdi (pulmonologist)

9. Dr. J. Perkins (OB/GYN)

10. Dr. J. Taylor (Cardiologist)

11. Dr. J. Almond (Orthopedics)

12. Dr. Swong (ENT)

13. Dr. M. Atubra (Pediatrics)

14. Dr. A. Tatum (Internal Med)

15. Dr. A. Martin (Pathologist)

16. Dr. F. Hadidi (Neurology)

17. Dr. A. Yates (Radiology)

18. Dr. A. Diamond (Cardiovascular Surgery)

19. There are too many nurses, and other medical staff to name.

20. The Burn Center is gone. That was the main objective when Ray took office as CEO.

21. KDH is gone too. What’s going to happen when they can’t pay the loan back to the banks when they acquired KDH?

Think about it. This city will have to pay it and your taxes will increase because it is a county hospital. This community needs to wake up and smell the coffee or they will get burned!!!


A former Greenvillian that will never be a "Rayvillian"

Well, well... another dissatisfied customer! I can't add much to this commentary, but the writer poses a very valid question: If we are "Better Together" (as the billboards tout), then why are doctors and nurses fleeing Greenville in mass?

Talk to your friends who work at DRMC. Talk to the physicians who are on staff at DRMC. Talk to the patients who have sought treatment at DRMC... and then pick up the phone and talk to your city and county officials. Greenville deserves quality medical care, but we will never get that until YOUR voice is heard!


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Where have all the Nurses Gone?

A local reader ponders...

I've read the interesting comments re: DMRC, the Burn Center's loss, and the poor state of affairs in Greenville. At such a sorry state it seems all we can do now is to improve all the problems--could it get worse?

Maybe, but someone would certainly have to go to jail in that case. One alarming fact I haven't heard much about is the small number of KDH staff that were absorbed by DRMC and I'm not referring to their part-time staff that worked at both hospitals. So far, I've counted only six staff--RN, LPN and clerical staff members.

What happened to the others? Why did DRMC have to hire 50 new Filipino nurses if there were RN's already on hand at KDH? I know most of the answers but want input from the blog.


That is an excellent question and one that was recently answered for me when I ran into a local physician who also practices in Cleveland. He told me that his practice in Cleveland was booming and that walking into Bolivar Medical Center was like walking into King's Daughters Hospital.

When I asked what he meant, he stated that almost every employee from King's Daughters was now working at Bolivar Medical Center. He went on to say that it was not just the nursing staff, but ancillary and clerical staff as well.

I knew that their Chief Nursing Officer was a previous KDH employee who was well respected in the medical community, but still found it odd that so many Greenville residents would choose to drive 80 miles a day if they had secure jobs at DRMC.

Personally, I have never heard much good about Bolivar Medical Center and I expressed this to my physician friend. He agreed that in the past it was not a top-notch medical facility, but that under its new corporate ownership, it had made great strides and had employed some of the best clinical staff in the Delta.

As for DRMC's Filipino nurses, I have heard that rumor as well. It would seem that DRMC is in very sad shape if local nurses opt to drive to another city rather than work at our local hospital. From the little I know of current immigration laws, I would be dubious of 50 Filipinos being ushered into Greenville any time soon.

It is no revelation that I am not a fan of DRMC and its current administration. It is truly a shame that the once noted medical center has fallen victim to power-mongers who have little regard for the quality of medical care in Greenville.

In parting with my friend, I asked him what he thought about the destiny of DRMC. He simply smiled at me and said, "that chapter is being written as we speak."

So...... at least we know where our nurses are.

P.S. I would love to hear from someone who works at DRMC. Surely, someone must support our local medical facility. I will print any and all opposing or supporting views. Let's hear from you Delta.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

A "Bumpy" Ride

"Local Reflector" replies:

No one can argue greed, ego, ignorance or apathy are critical ingredients of your argument and the fact of the situation. I must say that I believe DRMC was profitable earlier this decade and that it held a nine-figure savings account.

Something led the local lenders to "invest" in the county hospital. Now, using the words "investing" alongside "county-run hospital" is another tangent altogether. I can't speak for "nervous" local lenders but conclude that HUD's loan interest rates would be a better choice of leveraging the hospital's debt. At least, that's a correct move.

But Medicaid reimbursement cutbacks will really choke DRMC. It paid (when I was in the area) high salaries to recruit doctors - some of whom only scheduled a handful of procedures a year. So, the old financial albatross returns to the nest.

You really can't debate the really can't. At best, you can interpret the landscape and see where the economy and society are taking us and assess whether you really want to be along for the ride.

No, debating the facts would be pointless and yes, it does come down to a question of who wants to be along for the "ride".

From the looks of the local real estate guide, it appears that a great majority of our residents are responding "Not me". Greenville taxpayers are tired of the empty promises of local officials who boast of "significant progress" while on their watch. (Mayor Hudson's state of the city address in Sunday's DDT)

Downtown resembles a post-war third world country, the schools are deplorable, roads impassable, health care in shambles and property values at an all time low. All the "spin" we can muster doesn't negate the fact that Greenville is in a spiraling decline!

Can it be saved? Perhaps, but not as long as we continue to believe in the Svengalis who led us into this political and racial quagmire. Quit believing in Greenville.. and start believing in (and being a part of) what Greenville COULD be!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Greenville gets "Burned"

An "Old Friend" writes:


There may be some ego play in the closure of the Burn Center, but financial concerns must be the number 1 priority.

The Burn Center leaked money and its primary fundraising arm was, in my opinion, forever tainted by the long-time embezzlement by a long-time official. Top it off with locals "going to bat" as character witnesses for the convicted and you've cemented a measure of distrust for a non-profit fundraiser.

Next, review the local political leadership response to the official fundraisers. The car show was considered "dangerous" despite the fact that locals caused the trouble. Shame on the media for not making that more clear. Shootings are more damaging than excessive or underage beer drinking in hotel rooms. The concentration of the car show patrons on one boulevard made them easy to police - if there were adequate policing strategy (for that, I don't know and never inquired).

Other fundraisers either failed or "only a portion" of proceeds were directed towards the Burn Center - an unknown, non-public portion not obtainable by the general public. Granted, the Burn Center, as a state facility, should've been funded by state dollars and NOT solely been a center funded through donations and, more importantly and primarily, Washington County tax dollars. The local tax base cannot support losing millions per year in the name of preserving civic pride.

This isn't a defense of the King's Daughters purchase. It's separate. The burn center, if it's separate, should've been financed separately. The "regular" DRMC facilities should absorb the conquest of the competition. That said, one hospital had to go - the community couldn't maintain it. With KDH failing in overtaking DRMC, we'll never know IF it could've performed better and become a destination hospital for local patients despite having to absorb the indigent patients that seemed to come to DRMC over KDH.

Armchair quarterbacking is great spectator sport. But, the facts are that the Burn Center received those patients who often couldn't pay or were subsidized at levels below what could keep a Burn Center operating. With it in Jackson, we all should hope the state funds it. The next question, if state funds flow forth in generosity, is why Greenville wasn't deserving in the eyes of Legislative leaders and the "rank and file." And, don't accept the pass the buck excuses from locally elected state leaders. After all, they jump through hoops for likely to be sparsely attended "community centers" and museums.

Thanks old friend, but I think we are missing one salient point in this debate. If we accept the premise that every business or public service that is "losing money" should be shut down, then DRMC should have been pad-locked five years ago!

And then there are Medicaid and Welfare... both of which are well into the "red", so should we shut the doors on those programs as well?

At the end of the day, there are valid reasons why all of these "businesses" don't operate in the black; most of which stem from gross mismanagement, corruption malfeasance and greed. The common elements that sustain these entities are ignorance and apathy from citizens who would rather "settle" for the status quo than strive for something better.

We turn on the news and see Ray Humphreys touting that he has secured HUD money to pay off the hospital's debt and enhance services. Duh? HUD money is a low interest ferderal LOAN program... not a grant. In essence, he has borrowed millions of federal dollars to pay off "nervous" local lenders who were duped into fronting him the money for the KDH debacle.

DRMC is still drowning in debt with little hope for the future. The only difference is that now Ray won't have to look the local lenders in the eye at Rotary Club or the First Baptist Church.

Praise be to Ray!


Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Smoke" and Mirrors

Anonymous said...

"From what I understand the burn center is just not a money making venture. It ties up resources that could be better used. I hate the Humphrey's administration, but must be on the side of logic.

Quit whining and think of a better use. Maybe an expensive rehab center for all the spoiled rich kids from this area.

P.S. Didn't Someone high up get convicted for embezzlement of money from the burn center. I can see them laughing at us in Jackson right now."

You're right... no burn center is ever going to be a money making venture. The cost of care is extremely high and will likely go much higher. Greenville's burn center was not established for the purpose of financial gain (at least not by its founders). It began in response to a very critical medical need in a very under-served portion of our state.

Throughout its existence, it saved the lives of countless individuals in Mississippi as well as in neighboring states, and it was an exemplary point of pride for our citizens. Greenville offered a unique and specialized medical service for which it was often recognized and greatly appreciated.

Greenville's burn center didn't close because its services were no longer needed or utilized. It didn't close because of the high cost of burn care or the departure of Dr. Rob Love, III. It didn't close because of lack of funding or insolvency.

It closed because Ray Humphreys couldn't completely control it and because he needed a "red herring" to divert the public's attention from the fiscal nightmare of purchasing King's Daughters Hospital.

Greenville's civic priorities seem a bit askew. We almost declare a civil war over the possibility of losing a federal building to Cleveland, but in the wake of losing a vital medical facility that saved countless lives, we rationalize, "well, it wasn't making money."

Go check the batteries in your smoke detectors and pray your family will never need our lost burn center.... Jackson is still two hours away!