Gallup Sun

Wednesday, May 18th

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Recent RMCHCS Board meeting closed to public

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I continue to be concerned about the lack of transparency of the RMCHCS administration and board.

I submitted questions to the board 6 days prior to the December 15, 2021 board meeting as required by the Board. These questions were not addressed at the Board meeting; I was told a response would be posted on the Community Question and Answer section of the RMCH website. For more than a month there has been a notice on the website stating "The responses to community questions will be posted as soon as our limited staff can."  I am sympathetic to the staffing situation, but I am also frustrated that my questions have not been addressed.

A notice for this month's board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday Jan 12th, was posted on Friday, Jan 7, 2022 in the "Gallup Independent." This notice had a Zoom link and indicated that the meeting including the public portion would be conducted on Zoom. The next day a  conflicting notice was posted on the website and in the Gallup Independent indicating that the meeting would be closed to the public.  The statement on the website says "We apologize, but our limited technology to conduct a large scale live stream is not practical at this time.`` I find this difficult to understand as every board meeting in the past three months has had a Zoom component thus demonstrating that these meetings are fully capable of being conducted at least in part virtually. There are many concerned citizens who wish to be able to witness and participate in the board meetings at this very critical juncture in the hospital's history.

Members of the community are continuing to call for more transparency from the hospital administration and the Board.

It is clear that there needs to be a more formal mechanism for communication of important information between the public and the Board of Trustees.  The public has clear expectations that the Board will respond to the questions submitted to them prior to both the December and the January meeting in a timely manner, and that financial and quality information will be shared.  If the Covid surge continues, thereby limiting in-person attendance to the board meetings, the hospital should be able to conduct a live stream of future meetings.


Gwen Wilson, PA, BSN