Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Harmon Puts Heat on Hospital Panel Change Stance or Quit, He Urges Members

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Harmon Puts Heat on Hospital Panel Change Stance or Quit, He Urges Members

Article excerpt

St. Louis Regional Medical Center's board of directors should resign, Mayor-elect Clarence Harmon said Thursday, unless they are willing to consider keeping Regional open as a full-service hospital.

Harmon called for the board to resign as Regional officials began delivering layoff notices to 400 employees, who will lose their jobs in 60 days.

Regional's board voted March 27 to close nearly all of the beds at the hospital, at 5535 Delmar Boulevard. Regional is running a $3.6 million deficit this year, and its officials say they cannot keep the hospital open - although its clinics and other services will remain in operation. "I think the board should resign if closing is their only orientation," Harmon said Thursday. "I need some people on the board who can provide a fresh view." Harmon, who takes office as mayor on April 15, has said for months that Regional would be his administration's first crisis. He said Thursday that he suspects the board voted to close the hospital six days before his election as a pre-emptive strike to ensure that Regional would cease to be a full-service hospital. He said it may be possible to save Regional. "I'm going to see whether there is sufficient funding to keep it open," he said. During his campaign, Harmon promised $7 million in city money to help Regional stay open at least temporarily. He said he wanted to buy time for Regional to look for a long-term solution to its money problems. Although he may want a new board at Regional, Harmon appears to have no way to enforce his wish. "Harmon has no authority at all to replace the board," a Regional spokeswoman said. When Regional was formed in 1985 to take care of poor and uninsured patients, half of its board was appointed by St. Louis County and half by the city of St. Louis. Last year, the board decided to become self-perpetuating and gave itself sole authority to appoint new board members. At least one board member is willing to quit if Harmon wants him to. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.