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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Richmond resigns as hospital administrator

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Emily McIntosh

Staff Writer

Fulton County Hospital CEO Angela Richmond submitted her 30-day notice to the hospital board and chairman Dr. Griffin Arnold at the board meeting March 30. The board accepted her resignation.

In her letter of resignation, Richmond wrote, "Health resources are scarce, particularly in small, rural hospitals. When the FCH board approached me with the challenge of running two facilities, it was no secret to the board that my vision was to share resources between the Community Medical Center in Calico and FCH. This would allow both facilities to be more efficient and permit greater use of some specialized services. I believed strongly then, as I do now, that both communities deserve to keep their local hospital updated and viable. The impact would have resulted in a widening of services as new services would be shared rather than duplicated at each site. At that time, FCH had a great task ahead, we were facing serious financial problems, and in the process of taking on over $6 million in additional debt to open our new facility. This was not a task anyone was anxious to take on, but I optimistically agreed.

"However, just four days after verbally agreeing, I was told by a couple of board members that there would be no sharing of resources with Calico and many obstacles were put in my way. But, optimistically, I continued, and we have accomplished a great deal. We have opened this beautiful facility, joined the 21st century in technology, raised wages, increased services, our line of credit is almost paid off and (we) are only 30 days out in accounts payable, a remarkable feat for any hospital.

"Yet, here we are at the end of my optimism. Dr. Arnold has told me the board is insisting that tonight I must make a decision to come here full-time or walk away. In spite of the struggles, this has been a great journey that I would do all over again just to be part of giving my local hospital a fighting chance. But the relationship between the CEO and the board must be one of respect and not one of micro-managing and control. Unfortunately, for this reason, I must decline the board's offer. Dr. Arnold, please accept my resignation and my 30-day notice."

The board expressed their appreciation of what Richmond has been able to accomplish with the hospital and wished her luck in her endeavors.

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I agree with the Hospital Board, FCH should not share resources with Calico Rock. The citizens of Fulton County paid a price to save and update their hospital, let the Izard Countians do the same.

-- Posted by flabbergasted on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 11:06 PM

Dear Flabbergasted,

Do your research! Especially in todays economy, sharing resources is the way to succeed for many industries. I am sure it is no different for a hospital. There are enough patients out there for all of our community hospitals, but not enough people who can afford to pay for the services. Would you rather our local hospital close than to share resources? This selfish attitude has hurt Salem for too many years. I want my tax dollars to be used wisely and if that means sharing resources then that is what I support. Our hospital is doing well and everyone I know gives Richmond's team the credit for that. I want to see more about the computer guy that left? Was he shared also? If so, does anyone know how much we paid the two of them together? I heard that jointly it was almost less than Frank received. I applaud Ms. Richmond for her loyalty for so little pay. Lets see some articles about the Judge withholding our tax money from the hospital. I heard that this was mentioned at several board meetings, but nothing has been in the paper about that.

-- Posted by fultoncountyadvocate on Sat, Apr 4, 2009, at 4:21 PM

fultoncountyadvocate, I fail to find the support you speak of, in my research, for the idea of sharing hospital resources. Exactly what are you meaning by your term "sharing resources?" The only thing you refer to in your comment as a resource is "paying patients." How closely is our hospital linked to the hospital in Calico Rock--is our only link the employment of Ms. Richmond at both institutions? For instance, what resources does Calico Rock have to offer that we do not have at FCH? I am also an advocate of Fulton County Hospital, I am very proud of our nice updated hospital and our great employees.

-- Posted by flabbergasted on Sat, Apr 4, 2009, at 8:42 PM

Why is the FCH board snatching failure out of the jaws of success? The hospital was doing so much better financially and certainly better in patient care since Ms. Richmond was hired as administrator. We taxpayers and citizens of Fulton County want our hospital to survive and be an asset to us all, and not have to be auctioned to the highest bidder.

An interested taxpayer and citizen of Fulton Co.

-- Posted by interested taxpayer on Tue, Apr 7, 2009, at 7:36 PM

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