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GHS panel names nominees for board to operate hospitals

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By Bill Poovey
Published Feb. 16, 2016

A Greenville Health System board panel today nominated members for new, separate boards that will operate GHS hospitals and provide “strategic direction” for the nonprofit health system. GHS media representatives said hometowns and information about the nominee qualifications will be available Wednesday, when the recommendations go before the full board.

Several members of the Greenville County legislative delegation contend the GHS board as a governmental entity has been too secretive in developing the system’s new governance and growth plan, saying the public loses oversight and possibly risks losing assets. Rep. Garry Smith, R-Simpsonville, said today that the GHS panel’s process of picking nominees for the two new boards is “par for the course, if you look at what they have done.” He said the board has “done the same sort of secretive, conniving behind closed doors, and then they spring a decision on you and say, ‘This is what we are going to do, and we don’t care if you like it or not.’ ”

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GHS spokeswoman Sandy Dees said in a statement today that board interviews with nominees were held in “noticed meetings between Dec. 21 and Feb. 10.”

GHS is looking to possibly join a “multiregional” system that could include for-profit organizations. System leaders have said state oversight of the policymaking board hinders growth opportunities that will ensure access to quality medical care.

The GHS trustee nominees when approved by the existing board will be subject to review by the legislative delegation. Smith and other delegation members have questioned the absence of government oversight in the new “Upstate affiliate organization” that will operate GHS hospitals and facilities and the “Strategic coordinating organization” that will provide strategic direction and corporate services for the system.

The S.C. Supreme Court in January declined to act on a petition filed on behalf of the GHS board asking about the governance changes and plans to lease system assets.

GHS board Chairman James Morton in a statement today thanked the nominating committee for a “long and deliberative discussion.” He said the goal is to nominate individuals to the board, new Upstate affiliate organization and strategic coordinating organization “through carefully chosen guiding principles, which included broad professional competencies, diversity and community involvement.” He said the proposed board members “represent an exceptional pool of both community commitment and business acumen.”

The GHS nominating panel’s recommended appointees to the Upstate Affiliate Organization are Charles E. Dalton, W. Michael Ellison, David M. Lominack, Robert T. Nitto, Timothy J. Reed, the Rev. Thomas E. Simmons and C. Michael Smith. Nominees to the new affiliate organization also include GHS trustees Richard A. Phillips, Ruth M. Richburg, Michelle B. Seaver, Benjamin B. Waters III and Marguerite R. Wyche.

The GHS panel’s recommended appointees to the strategic coordinating organization are Craig Brown, Michael Cumby, Fraces DeLoache Ellison, Annmarie Higgins, Jennie M. Johnson, Prashant Prabhu, Andrew J. White Jr., Richard Wilkerson and Dewayne Wilson. Nominees to the new coordinating organization also include GHS trustees Anna Kate Hipp, Margaret L. Jenkins, James C. Morton, Lisa H. Stevens, Benjamin H. Waters III and William M. Webster IV.

Proposed new members for vacancies on the GHS board that are appointed based on specific state House districts include the Rev. Sean D. Dogan, Leah D. Garrett and Peter B. Waldschmidt. If approved by the board, those names will be submitted to the legislative delegation. Delegation members nominate candidates for at-large seats on the GHS board, and those include Scott L. Baddley, W. Michael Ellison and C. Michael Smith.

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