Bay Medical Center was organized under the Hill-Burton Act. http://www.nvcc.edu/home/bhays/dogwood/hillburtonact.htm
and here: http://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/hill-burton_act_free_healthcar.html
You can organize a Hill-Burton Hospital this way:
If that's not enough, Google has endless entries that will allow you to understand the word "perpetuity" used in the organization of a Hill-Burton hospital.
Eventually, Hill-Burton evolved into the Public Services Act XVI http://www.hrsa.gov/gethealthcare/affordable/hillburton/compliance.html
There was help for BMC all along. All it would have taken was for the lazy (or corrupt) BMC board to look this up. Ditto for the BOCC lazy (or corrupt) members to read it and act, too. But when I sent it to them; when I spoke to them in public, they did not or would not listen to me. It is my opinion that the transfer of BMC to Sacred Heart was a done deal when Steve Johnson was hired out of Sacred Heart. It would take ten years of focused degradation. Employees of BMC, you should have voted for a union. But I'm betting just like the attempt to unionize more than once, your jobs were threatened if you didn't wear a smile and a big, blue button. You will see jobs evaporate, indigent care diminish and disappear, and the hospital, our jewel created from our own hands without outside interference, be flipped for Sacred Heart's profit.
There would have been NO financial distress. There are provisions for aid for hospitals like BMC. All it took was an application for financial help under the guidelines of the Public Services Act XVI.
In your haste to fast track this the Board and the BOCC forgot to factor in the coming of Obamacare or that if HHS does not relent on the issue of contraception costs, that religious hospitals, specifically the Sacred Heart system because it is Roman Catholic-run, and adheres strictly to the rules of the Catholic church, may go under.
The behind-the-scenes negotiations really were behind closed doors. The sale of BMC should have gone through a binding referendum. We paid for the hospital and you owed us that. And because of financial negligence, whoever was responsible, the Board or the administration, should be fired, but they won't be until they are replaced by Sacred Heart loyalists. Steve Johnson will ride that wave.
The BOCC has given us the airport to nowhere. None of 3,000+ jobs have materialized. We lost a carrier. We can't catch an international flight to anywhere. Pilots on the Atlanta-ECP flight fear the runway that is mushy on hot, summer days. There will be a crash someday. The drive is long and dangerous at night and it's most inconvenient. It gave us the incinerator and all its problems and a sewer line under the bay whose cement pillow band-aid fix will someday erode or meet its demise, perhaps by a storm. Its track record is lousy, and it is a poster child for term limits. One year.
I applaud everyone who spoke at meetings in opposition to the sale of BMC; Dr. Victor Ortega, the County Press who did it excellent expose', the letter writers, the ones who engaged employees in the dialog, the people who made phone calls, the senders of emails - you are the unappreciated and unknown heroes. Time will bear out your honest commentary, your questions, your research and your knowledge, but there is little joy in "I told you so", just a cold bitterness.
As jobs tank, as more homes are foreclosed, as the price of gas and everything else goes up and businesses find they can't do business with people who don't have money, a public, non-profit hospital will just be a memory. You allowed it to happen.
Didn't you realize, you jerks, that this hospital served five counties - it was literally a beating heart - one of the best 50 in the country and a cardiac care specialty hospital...and if anyone dies because of your stupidity and arrogance, the blood will be on your hands?
You don't know what something means to you until you lose it.
We will develop long memories. If we remember nothing else, we will remember this betrayal of the public trust.
The vote was 4 to 1 this morning. Gainer was the only dissenting voice. And I'm not so sure it wasn't lip service to an angry public. He has to sell cars.
If there is a way to get an injunction against this action by the BOCC, I hope some lawyer with guts will step forward and take it on so that the people who paid for this non-profit, special district hospital which provided indigent care can vote in a binding referendum. Only then will this issue be put to rest.