MOUNT GILEAD — The first meeting of Morrow County Healthcare Initiative Citizens Advisory Group (MC-HIC) was held Feb. 2 via Zoom.
The advisory group was established by the Morrow County Hospital/Morrow County Commissioners settlement agreement of Dec. 30, 2020. Members of the group were also appointed by both the hospital and commissioners by the agreement.
Members introduced themselves at the first Zoom meeting that was open to the public.
Advisory Group members
• Loren Altizer of South Bloomfield Township is a Highland High School graduate. He worked more than 20 years in the manufacturing and automotive industry in sales and marketing.
• Donna Carver is an LPN who served in several positions in the medical field. She is presently in her second term as a Mount Gilead Village Council member.
• LeAnne Gompf has been a licensed realtor since 1981 and a licensed funeral director since 1991. She is past president of the Morrow County Chamber of Commerce.
• Carol Lessick introduced herself as a lifelong resident of Morrow County. She is a real estate agent and has served on boards for United Way, Regional Planning and Chamber of Commerce.
• Eddie Lou Meimer farms at Pleiades Farm, which is known for maple syrup products. She serves on the Morrow County Extension Advisory Committee and several other boards.
• Lois Stauffer RN was in the nursing profession for 30 years and has been a Morrow County resident for more than 40 years. She is serving as the group’s President Protem.
Stauffer emphasized the importance that the group’s study of healthcare be “unbiased and thorough in the review of the hospital and in our recommendations.”
“We are a team,” Stauffer said.
The group began their business by reviewing the state’s Sunshine Laws and agreed that their meetings will be available for public access and their business should be transparent.
1. The MC-HIC Advisory Group shall analyze the current state of health care in Morrow County and shall release a report of the analysis together with recommendations for improving the provision of healthcare in Morrow County.
2. The MC-HIC Advisory Group shall review the evolution of the management agreement (of Morrow County Hospital and Ohio Health) and provide a report of recommendations related to that management agreement.
3. Provide any other information relevant to the future of healthcare in Morrow County as determined by the MC-HIC Advisory Group and/or any consultant by the MC-HIC Group.
At the Feb. 8 meeting the group submitted names and chose a seventh member of their committee. They chose Richard Steele, Associate Director of HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties. He was Regional Sites Director for Mary Haven and is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. As part of the hospital settlement agreement, he will assume the position of President of the group.
The group continues to discuss possible resources to consult. Meimer suggested that the 2019 Morrow County Health Assessment by the Morrow County Health District is a good place to begin. It can be accessed at www.morrowcountyhealth.org under Community resources.
Meimer added that the group needs to get the documents of the present hospital management agreement for study.
Meimer suggested that Mary Fleming RN, who was leading the Agricultural Health Program at Grady Hospital, will be a good source of information, along with Cheryl Herbert of OhioHealth.
The Morrow County Economic Development Office was suggested as a good resource for statistics and information. Lessick and Gompf suggested that input from EMS, John Harsch and the county schools would be valuable since they are the people on the ground that see a lot of real-life situations.
The next meeting of the MC-HIC group will be Monday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. at the conference room in the Ag Credit Building. There will be a Zoom option posted on the hospital website.