MOUNT GILEAD — All members of the Morrow County Hospital Board were present at a special meeting June 28 to hear a summary from Morrow County Health Initiative Citizens Advisory members (MC-HIC) Jennifer Williams and Lois Stauffer.

Both Williams and Stauffer were very positive in their report of recommendations of ways the Hospital Board can move forward to improve healthcare for county residents.

“We have more in common than you might think,” said Stauffer who noted that the only point of disagreement was whether doing a new Request for Proposal (RFP) would be worthwhile.

Williams said a main point of agreement for the Advisory Committee is that the Morrow County Hospital is a valuable asset for the county. There was also agreement that the present model is at risk and inadequate: therefore it must find ways to adapt to the changes in healthcare.

“It is important to have open minds, to be innovative and forward thinking,” added Williams.

After much discussion about the pros and cons of a new RFP, Hospital Board member Joe Dreyer asked both Williams and Stauffer what fear they had about doing or not doing an RFP to see what interest might be for other health systems to partner with Morrow County Hospital.

Stauffer answered that her main concern in doing a new RFP was that the hospital and county would be spending money unnecessarily.

Williams said if no RFP is done, it will never be known if there might be other better possibilities for the county’s hospital.

Mount Gilead Mayor Jamie Brucker said that an RFP does not have to be expensive or time consuming. He said the village did RFPs for the pool with staff and some evaluation by experts.

Following general discussion, the Hospital Board took no action on the recommendations of the MC-HIC.

Hospital Board member Brenda Harden made a motion to have a group do a Strength Weaknesses Opportunities Threats (SWOT) Analysis and in the meantime ask Ohio Health for an extension of the agreement.

After much discussion the board approved the motion to authorize Chairman Richard Benson, or his appointee to negotiate an extension of the OhioHealth management contract while the board conducts a SWOT analysis.

All board members voted for the motion except Dan Rogers. Other board members are Carolyn Beal, Richard Benson, Earl Desmond, Joe Dreyer, Brenda Harden, Jon Mason, and Ron Ragor.

The next meeting of the Morrow County Hospital Board of Trustees will be July 27 at 6 p.m.

By Alberta Stojkovic

For The Sentinel