The future of Christus Jasper Memorial Hospital might be shaky at best as the Board of Directors of the Jasper Hospital District prepare to possibly take a different direction as they attempt to negotiate the renewal of the Christus Health’s lease of the Jasper Memorial Hospital building here in Jasper.
It was once again battle on Tuesday evening as members of the board sparred with the newest board member, Dr. Ron McMurry, who has been critical of the board’s actions not only with Christus, but also other actions as well.
Following the recommendation of board member and attorney Michael Stewart Ratlciff, who has been involved in the efforts to renew the lease with Christus, a motion was made and passed to step back in negotiations and, instead, explore other possibilities.
The motion passed with all voting for except for McMurry, who voted against, saying that he believed Christus would renew if they received better treatment from the board
During the meeting, Robert Jackson, who serves as legal counsel for the district, said he was upset with McMurry’s criticism of the board and what it had done.
Jackson said McMurry had misconstrued the facts. He said the board had done everything possible to work with Christus and also as the same time look at other possible solutions with the ultimate goal of keeping the hospital open and serving the people of Jasper.
Jackson said “Please trust us and accept that we are doing everything possible to keep the hospital open and serving the people of Jasper".
Jackson pointed out that the board had, just a few years ago, built a new state of the art emergency room at a cost of just over $7 million dollars in an effort to improve the hospital.
Under the terms of the lease, Christus has until October 31st to say whether or not it plans to continue with the lease, which expires in April of 2020.
Following Jackson's statements McMurry attempted to speak but was not allowed to do so by the Board President Kenneth Brooks.
McMurry said Wednesday that he was dissiapointed with the statement by Jackson. McMurry said "I regret that Mr. Jackson did not have sufficient confidence in his negative statements about me, to allow me an opportunity for rebuttal."
For the complete meeting see the attached video.
Tue, Sep 17th - Jasper Hospital District Board Meeting video 1 of 3
Tue, Sep 17th - Jasper Hospital District Board Meeting video 2 of 3
Tue, Sep 17th - Jasper Hospital District Board Meeting video 3 of 3