S.R.H.S. Retirees Call for Resignation of Trustees

Many Singing River Health System (S.R.H.S.) retirees were at the Jackson County Board of Supervisors meeting. The retirees again demanded answers from the supervisors about the investigation and the integrity of the hospital’s Board of Trustees.

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors accepted the resignation of S.R.H.S. trustee, Morris Strickland, Monday morning. Strickland’s resignation came last week after he was found to be living in Harrison County. State law says members of the county owned health system board must be adult legal residents of the county. Troy Ross, Jackson County Supervisor for District 4, says, "We don’t need to get side tracked on things like residency, so if any of the board of trustees have any issues that may come out, I would hope that they would bring it out and if it’s appropriate to remove themselves from their position, if it distracts from what we’re trying to do."

Many of the angry retirees are calling for all the trustees to resign, but trustee, Ira Polk, whose term is up in 2015, was reappointed Monday by the Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Melton Harris believes Polk is not the problem when compared to other board members. Harris says, "He’s not as well-known, as established as some of the other individuals serving on the trustees board and that’s the reason why I said I did not want him to be made an example from him by not being reappointed."

The Board of Supervisors was also met by dozens of retirees who demanded more answers. A former nurse and S.R.H.S. retiree says, "And every corner we go, it seems like we were told you can’t do anything, that your throwing your hands up, I say to you, what if you came to my emergency room and I stood back and threw my hands up and said, ‘I don’t know, I can’t help you or I forgot to read that pamphlet that taught me how to do C.P.R.’”

After the meeting, the board’s attorney investigating the case, Billy Guice, gave an update, stating they are working with accountants from New Orleans to help sort out what the main problem of the pension plan is. Guice closes, "They will provide us the ‘what if’ information to determine the integrity of the plan and what we need to do to sure the problem, we’re still having to define what the problem is."

Guice says the research will take time and asks for the public’s patience.

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