Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature

Democrats Want Answers on Community Hospital Oversight Board

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Rochester, New York – April 30, 2013.  After more than a year of thwarted efforts to obtain information from County Executive Maggie Brooks, Democrats are going public with their long-held concerns that oversight of Monroe Community Hospital is not in compliance with the law, which requires that there be a 21 member board established to oversee hospital administrators and operations.

“In June 2012, we wrote to the Administration asking that they provide us information about this board to determine whether it was active,” Democratic Leader Carrie Andrews (D-Rochester) said. “But, like so many of our requests, this letter was simply ignored. Finally, we decided to simply recommend our appointee to the board. Almost unbelievably, this appointment letter has similarly been ignored.”

According to the County Charter (section C6-17(C)), the President of the Legislature is responsible for appointing the 21 member board. Based on a review of the information available to them, Democrats are concerned the board does not exist. Among other things, the board is responsible for advising and consulting with the County Executive, Medical Director and Hospital Administrator “in all matters relating to the operation, staffing and management of the Monroe Community Hospital.”

“The fact that this board appears to be dormant is damning evidence of mismanagement,” Assistant Democratic Leader Willie Joe Lightfoot (D-Rochester) said. “But if we learn that this mismanagement in any way contributed to lax oversight of MCH operations and administrators, we will be even more deeply troubled. It is also extremely alarming that professional, hard-working staff members at the hospital felt they were in an environment where they could not report abuse without fear of retaliation. That is unacceptable and we will most certainly want to see a plan from the Administration demonstrating how these issues will be resolved.”

Democratic Legislator Joseph D. Morelle Jr. has requested that the Administration provide legislators with a briefing during the May 14 meeting of the County Legislature.

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