Editorial: BIHS has new leadership and a new opportunity

Mon, 06/24/2013 - 12:30pm

After a tumultuous and disruptive year, the Block Island Health Services (BIHS) Board of Directors has newly elected officers, one new board member (and two returning members) and some new opportunities.

The new slate of officers is Bob Fallon, president; Cindy Baute, vice president (who was also re-elected to the board) and Sue Hagedorn as secretary. Newly re-elected Board member Pete Tweedy will remain as treasurer. The community offers these four, as well as new board member Al Casazza, a debt of gratitude for stepping up into what any observer would describe as a complicated environment.

In the current economic and regulatory climate, healthcare providers face many challenges, but our medical center has more than its share. We are a rural community with enormous seasonal variations in the number of patients the center sees.  On top of everything else, the center must adapt to profound changes mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The center is also trying to move toward a more digital record-keeping system so that it runs more efficiently and affordably.

BIHS finances are precarious at best and the controversies of the past year have eroded fundraising support.

But with a commitment to transparency from the new leadership — and effective communication — the BIHS can reclaim public support and enlist the community in advancing its mission.

It is essential that this happen. Our visitors need the medical center. We need the medical center.

Let’s all move forward together.