Hospital advisory committee named

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

An upgraded hospital presence in Allen County took a step forward Tuesday morning when county commissioners selected nine individuals for a Hospital Facility Committee. They are David Toland, Mary Kay Heard, Dr. Daniel Myers, Mary Ann Arnott and Barbara Culbertson, Iola, Mark Boyd, Moran, Deb Tynon, LaHarpe, Robin Betts, Savonburg, and Don Copley, Humboldt. Iolan Terry Sparks is an alternate.
More than 25 people applied for the committee.
Next step is selection of a consultant to examine Allen County Hospital from financial and structural perspectives and assess how well the hospital meets medical needs. Prospective consultants have until Jan. 15 to apply. Three finalists will be interviewed.
Commission Chairman Dick Works said the goal to have a referendum on a funding mechanism for a new or remodeled hospital on the Aug. 3 primary ballot was realistic provided “we can come to an agreement by early July.” A half-cent sales tax has been suggested, but not yet decided upon.
Another component deals with a possible buyout of Hospital Corporation of America’s contract with the county to run the hospital. The contract contains a provision to terminate the lease with 180-days notice and agreement on a buyout. HCA has managed the hospital since 2003 in a lease that automatically renews through August 2021.
Commissioners also will decide a management plan for the hospital.