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Board OKs CEO extension

By Kayla Carter
Staff Writer
[email protected]
With Unicoi County Memorial Hospital interim CEO Jete Edmisson’s contract set to expire Aug. 9, the UCMH Board of Control met to consider a contract continuation and unanimously approved an extension of 30 days.
Board member Russell Brackins made the motion to continue Edmisson’s contract for another 30 days, which was seconded by board member Roland Bailey at a called meeting on Monday evening.
Board of Control Chairman Glenn Tilson asked the board if they would like to consider a 30-day extension or continue Edmisson’s contract on an as-needed-basis with a two-week notice before he is to step down.
“I think 30 days is sufficient,” Brackins said. “If we need to continue it, we can always come back.”
Tilson said the board’s decision will be beneficial since Edmisson has become more familiar with the hospital over the past three weeks. Tilson also pointed out that the hospital has an important survey coming up, which they could benefit from having Edmisson on board.
“We had to do something between now and the 9th of August,” Tilson said. “It was either let him go or keep him a while longer. He’s doing a good job and I think that with joint inspections due within a short period of time, it will be good to keep him on a while longer.”
Tilson said the reappointment is a positive step forward. “He is doing a good job for us,” Tilson said.
After the board’s brief meeting, Edmisson said he was glad to continue working with UCMH.
“I’m really enjoying being here with the people,” said Edmisson, who is a senior advisor for Spectrum Health Partners. “It’s an exceptional organization. I’m glad to be here with them.”
Edmisson said that joint commission preparation is on the top of his priority list for the next 30 days. “Basically, you get an external review of how your facility operates,” he said. “It’s done every three years and we are on our tri-annual anniversary this month for them to come in and survey us.”
The survey’s success directly impacts Medicaid and Medicare patients and the hospital’s ability to accept those patients, Edmisson said. “They have a relationship with the joint commission that if we pass, they will get deemed status, which means we will continue to be able to see them,” he said. “Then the rest of your insurance companies pretty well follow along as long as you are approved by joint commission and continue to see their patients.”
Edmisson said he did not have any updates about the SPH’s business assessment, which was a stipulation required by the town of Erwin for the hospital to receive an $800,000 loan.
“To be perfectly honest, I haven’t been as focused on [the assessment],” he said. “I’ve been so focused on the operations. We just want to make sure we are ready to meet the [requirements of the joint commission] survey.”
Edmisson said he was unsure if the 30-day extension contract will be the same as his first 30-day contract.
“The board had to get approval to do a 30-day extension before they could go back and talk to Ken [Doran, SHP president],” Edmisson said. The board previously approved compensating Edmisson $25,000 for the initial 30-day contract. The Board of Control will meet with SHP President Ken Doran to discuss the terms of the contract on Tuesday, Edmisson said.