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Panel to delve into LRMC
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Six citizens have accepted the challenge of performing an unbiased evaluation of Liberty Regional Medical Center, which has been embroiled in controversy in recent years.
When county commission Chairman John McIver recommended an unprecedented 127 percent increase in the hospital's tax millage, he linked the hike to creation of a "blue ribbon panel" that would look into LRMC's affairs.
The members of the panel were announced at the commission's April meeting; Assistant Hinesville Police Chief Julian Hodges, Annette Lloyd, Sharon Martin, Dr. Cecilia Ong, Judge Kenneth Pangburn and Russ Toal.
County Administrator Joey Brown said, "The blue ribbon panel is made up of professionals and other citizens with various backgrounds, most from the healthcare spectrum."
The panel was appointed by McIver after allowing the commissioners to submit names for consideration.
Brown said, "The panel members will be asked to attend an orientation with Chairman McIver in the near future. It is anticipated that the group, as a first order of business, will elect its own chairman."
Questions presented to the panel identify areas of concern:
• What is the perception of the general public of the facility and services provided?
• Is the unit adequately accountable to the general public?
• What is the most critical weakness of Liberty Regional Medical Center?
• What are the most critical needs of the hospital?
• Is the hospital meeting its mission and objectives in providing the medical services to the community?
• Can the hospital remain a viable hospital, providing the services needed under its present financial operation?
• Is privatization or private management a viable avenue in making the hospital more financially successful?
• What are the best ways to deal with the growing concerns of indigent care, cost and funding.
Committee members are also asked to make suggestions about hospital operations.
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