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Panel nearing end of look into hospital

POSTED: November 6, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The blue ribbon panel looking into the operations of Liberty Regional Medical Center met last week to review the information it gathered and to focus on the recommendations that will wrap up the committee’s mission.
The panel members aim to complete their assignments fairly soon.
"I hope we don't have to go past Thanksgiving," Chairman Kenneth Pangburn said.
During the group’s next meeting today, members will speak with two physicians who no longer have privileges to practice at LRMC, Dr. Eric Hall and Dr. Glenn Carter.
At this point, the commission has toured the hospital, examined its finances, spoken with CEO Scott Kroell and CFO Sam Johnson, conferred with an official from the Georgia Hospital Association and talked with a representative from LRMC's audit firm.
The blue ribbon panel also consulted a retired GSU professor, Herb O'Keefe, who played a role in the privatization of the hospital in Statesboro.
After a quick look at LRMC's financial records, O'Keefe said LRMC was "one very sick puppy."
The members have considered inviting Liberty County Hospital Authority Chairman Jon Long to one of their meetings, and expressed interest in speaking with former hospital CFO Martha Traylor.
Currently, panel members have not decided whether to address executive compensation.
The blue ribbon panel consists of Pangburn, Russ Toal, Julian Hodges, Annette Lloyd and Sharen Martin. It was created by the county commission after three consecutive grand juries criticized hospital management. A plethora of citizens’ complaints also have been logged.
 

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