Letters to the Editor Regarding the BIRHC Controversy
From Joe Reed: July 17, 2003:
I made two statements the other night at the meeting which became
controversial. The first was that Susan Meis had sued her former
employer. I repeated a rumor rather than having a factual base
for the statement. I spoke with Jayne Bailey who confirmed that
it was discussed at the time but apparently Susan did not in fact
file a lawsuit. Therefore I spoke based on a rumor and never should
have done it.
The other dispute was over a statement attributed to me with
respect to Eula Thomas. I was alleged to have said she would never
be on the board as long as I was a member, or words to that effect.
I must emphatically deny having said that and indeed I was preparing
to be a part of a board committee who would interview prospective
board members when a slate was assembled from those who responded
to our announcement soliciting board applications.
In short, I regret speaking out based on a rumor but vigorously
deny ever having said that I would attempt to prevent any individual
who wished to serve and met the stated criteria for membership
from joining the BIRHC board.
Sincerely, Joe Reed
From Kirk McBride:
It is my sincere desire for the entire Island community
that our BIRHC Board and Transition Manager act immediately and
forthrightly to resolve issues brought forward by concerned citizens.
If this does not happen, I sadly foresee the possibility of the
entire Medical Center project failing.
I also hope that when the emotional dust settles,
the board realizes and acknowledges the fact that issues run deeper
and wider than the non-renewal of our PA's contract. This action
taken by the board was only impetus for a call to action relative
to other critical issues with the Medical Center. I've seen few
other causes generate as much public interest and support, a good
thing to have happen for greater public involvement with the BIRHC
Board and Medical Center moving forward from here.
I also recognize that the BIRHC Board is not publicly elected
but still responsible to the public. I therefore fear that if
the public can not vote with a ballot, their recourse becomes
voting with their dollars. The withholding of contributions or
the turndown of possible millage funding is not an acceptable
alternative. Neither act will serve the greater need of the Island
and its medical care.
All involved individuals should realize there is no WE and THEY
in this matter but only US. The world grows smaller daily and
the Island even smaller. Now is the time for US to come together
Based on the public display of inappropriate professional
conduct and behavior by two board members at last Tuesdays' BIRHC
Board meeting, the two members should immediately resign in the
best interest of the community and Medical Center. There exists
a pool of talented and qualified candidates who stand ready, willing,
and able to accept Tuesday nights' challenge and sit on the board's
side of the table in order to fill current and/or future board
In the board's Proposed Guidelines for Recruiting,
Selecting, and Orientating Members of the BIRHC Board of Directors
they have recommended the following: Mission of the Beaver Island
Rural Health Center (BIRHC) is: To provide high quality, cost-effective
health care that is accessible to the entire Beaver Island community.
Purpose of the BIRHC Board: To ensure that the organization's
mission is fulfilled within the legal, governance, and fiduciary
responsibilities entrusted to it by the public.
Let's all walk the talk and demonstrate that these are more than
just words on paper. Much has been accomplished but much more
lies before us. Let all of US come together for that purpose.
Kirk D. McBride
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