MASSENA - Massena Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray voiced frustrations Monday afternoon with the lack of cooperation hes receiving from the Massena Memorial Hospital (MMH) Board of Managers in regards to the committee hes formed to help improve communication between the board, the hospitals administration and the hospitals employees.
We have had two meetings, Mr. Gray said. The second one was better attended than the first.
In addition to himself, Mr. Gray said the first meeting was attended by representatives from CSEA and middle management, with the second meeting being attended by CSEA, New York State Nurses Association and middle management representatives.
Mr. Gray also noted that prior to the second meeting MMH CEO Charles F. Fahd II sent his regrets, noting that he had just completed a 12-hour visit with a physician being recruited to join the hospital staff.
So thats understandable, Mr. Gray said, giving Mr. Fahd a pass for not coming to the committees second meeting.
Thus far there has not been any attendance from a hospital board member, Mr. Gray said. But lets look at the positive. We have had good discussion at the meetings so far.
That discussion has led to some items at the hospital that Mr. Gray said he needs to look into.
I need to investigate whether they or true or not true, valid or invalid, Mr. Gray said, adding the concerns expressed were regarding the hospital in general and how the hospital does business.
When asked what he thinks about the lack of hospital board representation at the meetings, Mr. Gray replied, I dont know what it means and frankly I dont care. A member of the hospital board should be there.
According to the hospitals web site, the hospital board is currently made up of Chairman Andrew Spanburgh, Vice Chair Tina Buckley, Secretary David MacLennan, Dr. Bedros Bakirtzian, Sue Bellor, Gary Borgosz, Real Frenchie Coupal, Melanie Cunningham, Ed Fay, Ed Hamel, Paul Morrow and Darrel Paquin.
Mr. Spanburgh said that he personally is too busy to attend Mr. Grays committee meetings, but if another member of the hospital board would like to they would be more than welcome to do so,
Im surprised that no one has gone, he said. I have no comment on whether they should or should not. I cant tell them what to do. Were all volunteers.
Mr. Spanburgh said he is busy attending three to four hospital meetings per week, in addition to the boards regular monthly meeting.
Were all volunteers, and were spending a lot of time on hospital business right now, Mr. Spanburgh said. Hes only talking, but weve been working.
Prior to holding the first committee meeting, Mr. Gray said he reached out to union representatives from the hospital, as well as members of middle management, senior management and the board of managers.
Well continue to meet regardless of the attendance, Mr. Gray said. We may reach a point when we hit the end of the road, but I dont think were there yet.
Mr. Gray also said the committee will continue to analyze and research options for the hospitals future.
I dont think were going to find a magic bullet or mysterious remedy for the hospitals problems, but the dialogue has been very positive, he said. I think it (the committee) can be a model for what the hospital board and senior management should have in place.
Last month Mr. Gray announced the formation of a committee to explore the hospitals future. At that time he said the committee would include representation from the town council, MMH Board of Managers, hospital management, and local representatives from the Civil Service Employees Union (CSEA) and the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA).
Following the announcement Mr. Spanburgh was critical off the announcement and said he didnt see why such a committee was being formed at this time.
We havent come to any conclusion (at the hospital), thats why we think its a little premature to come and make the joint committee, he said at that time.
Mr. Spanburgh said he has yet to personally speak with Mr. Gray regarding the committee.
He send out emails, Mr. Spanburgh said. I havent spoken to him personally, so I dont know what this committee is all about.
He also recalled Mr. Gray speaking about the committee at the hospitals last board meeting.
At the last board meeting, he asked for volunteers and I left it at that.