Letter: Hospital board meeting was filled with tension

To the editor:

I attended the New River Medical Center’s Board meeting on Sept. 13. I do not understand all the financial issues of levies, bonds, governance models, or 501(c)3 modes. But I did observe the following: This meeting was filled with tension.
Board Chairman Danielowski was short, rude, and in my opinion, bullying at times. Two board members who questioned or challenged agenda items more than once were rudely dismissed. A media representative’s concerns were stifled by the chairman, who told her to “See me after the meeting.” Dr. Kuper’s thoughts and opinions were met with sarcasm. CEO Marshall Smith was glib (that means speaking in a smooth manner which is often too smooth or easy to be convincing). And I observed few essential leadership skills such as communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution on the part of the board chairman or Mr. Smith.
It is unfortunate that the issues between the hospital and other community resources have become so polarized, but in my brief observance at this meeting, I can readily see how Mr. Smith and Mr. Danielowski, and perhaps other board members, have been unable to effectively communicate or strategize for solutions.

Jean Rafferty
Monticello

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