Supervisors question Pioneer on several issues

By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer

Discussion of inventory issues and others prompts Lauren Williams, hospital administrator, to leave the Choctaw County Board of Supervisor meeting on February 4.

In this meeting, District 3 Supervisor Chris McIntire, also board president, began questioning Williams about why some requests for medical equipment are for items the county has already purchased for Pioneer Community Hospital of Choctaw.

Williams said they “have difficulties with” the current blood bank refrigerator and was unsure if Pioneer “is going to keep it or not.” She added that they requested an additional blanket warmer because they need one in the emergency room and one near the patient rooms at the new hospital.

Williams said that the hospital’s volume has grown since 2010 when the current equipment at the hospital was purchased by the county.

“Our needs have changed since 2010. If you want a detailed explanation of why we need every piece of equipment I can do that,” she said.

District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers then asked Williams about Pioneer’s plan for the current hospital once they move into the new one.

“It would be wise for Pioneer and the county for Pioneer to give us a business plan for plans for the old hospital,” said Chambers.

McIntire added that according to the lease, between the county and Pioneer, the plan for the current hospital was supposed to be submitted to them by December 31, 2012.

Williams said she had no idea of that deadline, that she did not work on creating the lease but she would let Pioneer executives know of the deadline.

McIntire explained that the county needs to see that plan because it would include what Pioneer plans to do with current medical equipment at the current hospital.

He then began asking Williams questions related to new hospital equipment, purchased by the county. He asked for cooperation from Pioneer staff to notify the county when items are received for inventory purposes.

Williams commented that she is tired of these questions then excuses herself from the meeting. Before she left, Williams said that Chrysta Bates, chief nursing officer at Pioneer, could answer questions for her.

“This is an open board meeting, not a chat behind the building. It’s not a personal thing,” said McIntire. He added that they “need professional people here” before explaining that the inventory questions are because of state laws that the county and Pioneer is required to abide by.

McIntire continued explaining that the county needs to know Pioneer’s plans for the current hospital after they move because of equipment purchases.

“We haven’t negotiated a contract with Pioneer for old hospital and equipment so we can’t discuss what we don’t know about y’all plans,” said McIntire.

Bates stated she was there to look at the specs for the ultrasound equipment. Steve Montgomery, Chancery clerk, informed her that the bids would be received and opened next week. Bates left the meeting.

On a different matter, Mike Thomas, with the Red Hills Mine, requested the Board of Supervisors to temporarily close segments of Salem-Bywy Road for mining purposes. He explained that it would involve approximately 1,400 feet of the road near the intersection with East Clear Springs Road.

After a brief discussion, the board approved to set a public hearing date on March 11.

The Board of Supervisors approved:
-Jail inspection.
-Minutes from January meetings.
-Fire contracts with the county’s volunteer fire departments.
-To move $1.2 million from three Board of Trustee bank accounts to the county accounts. The Board of Trustees previously resigned so their funds revert back to Choctaw County.
-Request from the Town of Ackerman to help pick and deliver materials to for work being down at the Tom Glasgow Park softball field.
-Request from Bank of Kilmichael to pay $26,000 for medical equipment purchased, using the county’s line of credit.
-Inter-fund transfer of $811 from the General Fund to Fund 120 for insurance on the new hospital generator.
-To pay a claim of $16,477 to a contractor on the Airport Project that will be reimbursed to the county from the state, at the request of Marty Crowder, county engineer.
-Inter-fund transfer of $16,477 from the General Fund to the Airport Fund to pay the invoice.
-To accept projects and release the contractors on the Reform Sturgis Road culvert replacement and stabilization and the Drane Road bridge replacement.
-AT&T permit on Hester Road to bury underground cable.
-Authority for the Sheriff to publish notice of forfeiture of a vehicle and cash that was seized in a drug bust.
-To accept the bid of Security Solutions to install a fire and theft system at the courthouse after opening both bids.