Eastland Hospital Board Corrects Misinformation

It has come to the attention of the Eastland Memorial Hospital District that certain misinformation has been placed on Facebook sites by a disqualified candidate for the board of directors. The points below are set forth to correct the untrue and/or misleading statements that were presented by this individual in her post.

1. Disqualified by Eastland Memorial Hospital – Enabling legislation governing the Eastland Memorial Hospital District requires that to be eligible to serve as a Board Member, you must be a registered voter and a resident of the district. After reviewing all seven candidates, it was determined that Ms. Skinner did not meet the requirement of being a registered voter in the district as defined by the Texas Secretary of State by the last day to file for a place on the board election.

2. Coverage of Emergency Room Services by local physicians – Due to extremely busy clinic practices, the time commitment of seeing patients twenty-four hours per day in the Emergency Room (approximately 800 encounters monthly) “chairing” national healthcare organizations, addressing advocacy issues, etc., the Active Medical Staff, including our local physicians, requested that the Board of Directors provide Emergency Room Coverage by third party physician groups.

3. Local physician providing inpatient services in Abilene – Approximately four years ago, an active Medical Staff Physician requested, in writing, to change his credentialing privileges at Eastland Memorial Hospital from Active Staff to Courtesy Staff privileges in order to pursue opportunities at a large hospital in Abilene. That physician last month again requested Courtesy privileges for the next two years.

4/5. Terminate surgery services in Eastland – For the fiscal year 2020-2021, the Board of Directors elected to provide “scheduled” surgeries from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. five days a week removing the 24 hour expense of on-call anesthesia. This decision was based on the fact that in the prior four years, on average, only 1.6 surgeries monthly were performed after hours at a cost exceeding $450,000 annually. A new contract was presented to Dr. Simpson reflecting this change and he elected not to execute the new contract. Last month Dr. Simpson requested courtesy privileges at our hospital, and the Board approved this request. In order to continue to provide Access-to-Care for surgical services in our community, a new surgeon has been credentialed. The hospital has no financial contract with this individual.

6. Dialysis Center – The Eastland County community recognized the critical need to provide dialysis services to the citizens in the community. In order to make this dream a reality, a fund raising effort was initiated resulting in the construction of the dialysis center at no cost to Eastland Memorial Hospital. Recent financial statements indicate that for the last nine months, the average operating loss per month is $4,500. Without this community service, dialysis’ patients in Eastland County would have to travel 120 miles three times per week.

7. Rural Health Clinics – In order to meet the needs of our community, Eastland Memorial Hospital constructed a new Rural Health Clinic. Approximately 75% of the construction cost was paid for through grants and donations. The clinic has been open and treating patients since September 1, 2020. To date, the clinic has also successfully vaccinated approximately 4,000 individuals. Future hours for the clinic will include evenings and weekends which is not currently available in Eastland County.

8. State Nurses – During the Covid-19 pandemic and in order to “combat” the number of positive patients, the State of Texas elected to provide nurses and other essential healthcare personnel to all hospitals in Texas. Eastland Memorial Hospital elected to take advantage of this program, at no cost, to assist the hospital staff. The hospital is currently fully staffed by Eastland Memorial Hospital Employees.


Editors note: Although Kelly Skinner is listed on the May 1st ballot as a candidate for Eastland Memorial Hospital District board member, she has been disqualified and any votes for her will not be counted.

Eastland Hospital Responds to Specific Statements Made by Skinner

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Mr. Jamie Sipe
1 year ago

I appreciate you posting this information. There is obviously a great deal of rumors going around the county right now and we need clearity.
I don’t use Facebook, and so I appologize if my question has been answered on that forum.
Is it correct that the hospital board had an opportunity to establish a countywide tax base , but declined to do so because they would have to share board seats with folks outside of the Eastland community ?
I was given this information by a physician in Eastland that I’ve known for over twenty years to be an honest guy, so I have no reason to doubt it’s correct.
Would you clarify why that expanded tax income would not have been beneficial to the hospital .

1 year ago
Reply to  Mr. Jamie Sipe

I am not with the hospital but I have personally heard Ted Matthews, CEO, mention at more than one meeting I attended that they would love for the district to be expanded to county-wide in order to bring in more revenue from taxes. This would require voters outside the district to vote in favor of being taxed. I’m not sure what benefit that would be to those who aren’t paying taxes to the hospital district but still have the luxury of having a hospital close to them. I would guess that’s the reason it’s still just those of us who live close to the hospital that get to help pay for it. I can’t imagine turning away tax dollars simply to keep board members that live closer to the hospital? That doesn’t really make sense to me.

I’ll forward your question to a board member or Mr. Matthews and get back to you on what they say.

Mr. Jamie Sipe
1 year ago
Reply to  Julie Elrod

Thank you