Hospital board policy change approved

By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico

The Roosevelt General Hospital Board has approved a policy prohibiting employees from serving on the board of directors.

The policy was adopted on a 3-1 vote Tuesday.

Board members Fred Anthony, Terry Cone and Dr. Lonnie Alexander voted for the policy. Peggy Davis was the lone vote against.

The policy was tabled twice previously due to questions with the wording and new board member Alexander requesting time to review it.

Eva Stevens, hospital chief financial officer, said Alexander had looked over the material from the hospital’s attorney.

“He was able to bring himself up to speed on the topic of ‘an employee cannot seek election on their own governing board.’ It is a conflict of interest for an employee to be on the board,” Stevens said.

Davis said the issue has lingered for the past eight years.

“I disagree with (the new policy). We have an affidavit we have to sign for conflict of interest,” Davis said. “It would cover any conflict of interest an employee would have as far as showing favoritism, given themselves a raise or anything like that, or any perks they might get by being on the board.”

Alexander said he was in favor of the policy because it already exists in other governing bodies such as the Portales City Council, Roosevelt County Commission and Portales Municipal Schools Board of Education.

In other action Tuesday, the board:

• Heard the financial report. There was a profit of $290,000 for January for the hospital and the Portales clinic combined. An increase in patients at the clinic is due to addition of a new physician, Dr. Rueben Torrez.

• Approved the medical staff report and medical staff by-laws.