Rochester, New York – May 10, 2013. Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature today welcomed Republican Leader Anthony Daniele’s comments that the legislature’s “role is to take a look at [the situation at Monroe Community Hospital]”. On May 3, Democrats sent Daniele a letter requesting legislative hearings on these issues. In light of Daniele’s comments, Democrats reiterated that request and called on the legislature’s leadership to meet immediately to initiate hearing preparations. Democrats also pointed out that the Monroe Community Hospital oversight board is not optional—it is required under existing law.
“We have dealt with many serious issues in this legislature, but the situation at Monroe Community Hospital is one of the most troubling we’ve seen to date,” Democratic Leader Carrie Andrews (D-Rochester) said. “As County Legislators, we have a duty to ensure the safety of patients and well-being of employees at the Community Hospital. We simply can’t afford to wait and see what the Brooks Administration intends on doing, we need to act to get to the bottom of these allegations, and that means holding legislative hearings.”
According to the County Charter, there is supposed to be a 21 member board to oversee and advise the County on issues related to Monroe Community Hospital. Despite being required by law, this board has been dormant at least as long as Maggie Brooks has been County Executive. The board membership is dictated by the Charter, which requires that four of the members be patients at the hospital and that representatives be appointed from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, United Way and Medical Society, among others. Over the past decade, Democrats have repeatedly sought information on why the board was inactive, but all of those efforts have been rebuffed.
“The Charter clearly lays out the requirements of this board and mandates that it have professionals serving on it,” Legislator Justin Wilcox (D-Brighton) said. “It is deeply troubling that this board is inactive and it is incumbent upon the Legislature to ensure that it is activated as soon as possible. That’s why I welcome Majority Leader Daniele’s comments as a sign of hope that the legislature will finally begin to act responsibly and ensure our hospital is in full compliance with the law.”