The members of the Medical Executive Committee (MEC) have watched in dismay for weeks as the negotiations between the hospital administration and the emergency physicians have deteriorated.
After a four-hour meeting on Dec. 5, 2006, we unanimously decided to urgently request that the hospital board take this issue to a neutral and trusted mediation entity. There are many distinguished and thoughtful people in our community: retired clergy, college presidents, judges, business leaders, etc, who would be very happy to serve on a panel that could offer a constructive solution to the current impasse. There are many regional mediation centers.
We feel this is necessary due to the gravity of this issue. The termination of an entire department of physicians, especially one that plays such an important and public role in our county’s medical life, should be avoided at all costs, unless there are significant breaches of medical ethics or questions of competency. All agree that this is not the situation.
The hospital administration and the emergency group have both made great contributions to our community, and it is our belief that the current conflict hurts everyone involved. There will be no winners if the breakdown in negotiations is accepted as final. Whatever commitment has been made to a now emergency group should be put on hold until our community has had a chance to help resolve this issue.
We realize that mediation does not impose a mandatory solution, but rather seeks to create a balanced and acceptable situation that all concerned can live with. Each party must be willing to give up something in order to get something. The parties must be made to listen to each other, something we fear has not happened in spite of all the time and energy they have expended, and the pain both parties have endured.
Haywood Regional Medical Center has made great strides in the past decade, but many challenges face us in the future. We can only meet those challenges by having an excellent relationship between a strong medical staff and a knowledgeable and effective administration. The current controversy has moved us in the wrong direction and we hope this proposal can help change that.
Robin D. Matthews, MD, Chief of Staff
Mark Kinter, MD, Vice Chief of Staff
Shannon Hunter, MD, Secretary
Richard Harsh, MD, Chairman, Department of Family Practice
Craig Linger, MD, Chairman, Department of Internal Medicine
Chris Wenzel, MD, Chairman, Department of Surgery
Jonathan White, MD, Chairman, Department of Hospitalists
Stephen Wall, MD, Chairman, Department of Maternal Child Care
Debera Huderly, MD, Chairman, Department of Radiology
Mark Jaben, MD, Acting Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine