Citizens concerned about Putnam County Hospital

Update 4:55 p.m. March 17

The Putnam County Hospital Board has rescheduled their meeting for next Monday March 21.


Update 3:20 p.m. Tuesday-We contacted Putnam County Memorial Hospital officials Tuesday afternoon to inquire about the canceled board meeting. That meeting had been scheduled for this Wednesday.We were told that is has not been rescheduled as of yet.We will keep you updated on this story.---------------------------------------------------We've received several emails and phone calls from Putnam County residents who are concerned about the rate of turnover at the Putnam County Memorial Hospital and Rural Health Clinic. A few long-term doctors and other staff have all resigned over the last year or so. One of them includes Dr. Dawn Ann Fairley who resigned on March 7 with 60 days notice. However, the Board of Trustees decided it best that her resignation be effective that evening.

Dr. Fairley told KTVO on the phone Monday that she wanted to stay on for those 60 days to make sure her patients needs were in order and taken care of before leaving. Fairley, who is also the mayor of Unionville, declined to talk on camera.

The board TMs decision left Unionville resident Mary Knowles in an uproar because when she tried to make an appointment the next day, she says there was no doctor to see her daughter.

You cannot leave a community without quality healthcare in the blink of an eye. You can't have a quality doctor and a quality nurse practitioner one day and then the next day you don't have either and then it's a scramble to be able to get the nurse practitioner to be able to practice again, even on a temporary basis, Knowles said.

KTVO asked Board of Trustees Chairwoman Nettie Lewis about the rate of turnover at the hospital. She says in a place that employs so many, there will always be turnover, and a lot of people don TMt have the facts about the hospital.

I think there's a lot of assumptions, a lot of misinformation, a lot of rumors. What I'm hearing and seeing, things are not based on fact, it's just hearsay and we have a wonderful facility here at Putnam County Hospital. We have a bunch of dedicated, qualified individuals here, Lewis said.

The Rural Health Clinic position is currently being contracted out, as are doctors in the hospital. Lewis says contracting the physicians works for them, but they are looking for a physician for the clinic.

The people in Putnam County need continuity of care. They need a physician that can follow them and this is not probably the best situation, but until we get our physician, it's working out real well. We have qualified, dedicated physicians coming in from other areas, that's filling the spot in the clinic, and they are very well received here in the community, Lewis said.

Knowles however, disagrees.

I find it hard that all the rent-a-doctors are going to be a better alternative for us to go to. They do not know our families, they do not know our medical histories, they do not know our families, they do not know anything that's happened to us ever, and they're not going to remember us one visit to the next, even if they're coming back again. What's to say that they're not going to have a different person every time, Knowles said.

Knowles encourages others who share her concerns to give her a call at 660-947-3899.

Lewis encourages anyone with concerns to contact the administrative office and follow the procedure to get on the board meeting's agenda. Knowles and other concerned citizens were planning to attend this Wednesday's board meeting, but that meeting has been canceled due to a death in Unionville. Lewis says that meeting should be rescheduled within a few days.

KTVO contacted Putnam County Memorial Hospital CEO Floyd Bounds, but an interview was declined at this time.