Adding another surgeon to the surgical staff was discussed by the Mercy Hospital Board of Directors in a special meeting on Tuesday, June 18.
“We started discussing a Professional Services Agreement several months ago,” stated Mercy CEO Jason Douglas. “Greg Hart has been facilitating the discussion. We haven’t come to a conclusion yet but all parties are willing. Adding another staff member would be for specialty services, specifically, general surgery.
“Our fundamental concern is how much of a demand do we have for surgery, and how to meet that demand. By adding another surgeon, there would be more coverage and less dependence on the one surgeon that we currently have.
“There may not be enough demand, and it may not be enough to keep a second surgeon busy. We need to talk about their individual needs, such as the amount of work, how busy do they want to be, and how much time do they need for their personal lives. We don’t want one or two unhappy surgeons.”
Douglas went on to explain that Dr. Tom Nelson, the surgeon that could be added to the staff, is still employed by St. Luke’s, and an agreement would have to be made with St. Luke’s if Dr. Nelson’s services were enlisted at Mercy Hospital.
“They would continue his employment and guarantee him so much money,” said Douglas. “We would be responsible for making up the difference if that amount isn’t met. That’s common with a new practice at start-up.”
The current surgeon, Dr. Sharon Gossett, is employed by Gateway Family Health Clinic, with a Professional Services Agreement between the clinic and the hospital.
“We are trying to find a solution that works for everyone’s benefit,” Douglas said. “Then we can agree to proceed. We will need to recognize the possibility for conflict.”
A meeting was scheduled to be held between Dr. Gossett, Dr. Nelson and Dr. Kathy Brandli, the Chief of Staff, and Douglas the following day.
Douglas said that Nelson was moving to the area in July, and he wanted to ensure that Dr. Nelson could start his practice at Mercy Hospital shortly after the move.
“We need to do what we can to make him welcome,” he added. “We have a specialty space already identified for him.”
Dr. Nelson has been working part time in Moose Lake for 20 years, board member Joann Collier pointed out.
The board passed four resolutions in preparation for closing on the bond sale for the new construction on Thursday, June 20. The four items were: the Resolution for Signature of Construction Documents, a Bond Resolution Extract of the Minutes, the Escrow Agreement, and the Total Project Cost Document.
It was discovered that part of the driveway to the Gateway clinic was on Mercy’s land. A resolution was passed to approve an easement to allow Douglas and Hart to sign off on the mortgage. The actual easement can be left until later, Douglas said.
Upon the recommendation of Attorney Ron Brandenberg, the board passed a motion for a reciprocal agreement with the Gateway clinic to provide ingress and egress to the clinic, as well as a quit claim deed.
The board then turned its attention to recruitment of a CEO to replace Douglas, who has resigned and will be leaving the end of July.
The options of hiring an agency or a consultant or advertising were discussed.
Douglas recommended hiring the agency, IHS-MSA, that interviewed him for the position of CEO at the hospital in Ashland. He said that they were very thorough.
Board members favored hiring an agency but suggested getting price quotes from several agencies.
It was also recommended that the Executive Committee — Joann Collier, Laurie Hennager, Brett Collier and Kelly Goeb — also be involved.
A motion to solicit quotes from three agencies was passed.
The board spoke about finding someone in house to be an interim CEO.