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Editorial: MCMC board change needed

As developments at Slayton’s Murray County Medical Center (MCMC) continue to unfold, a multitude of questions are fair ones.

It’s easy for many to be upset at the separation agreement approved by the MCMC board for ex-CEO Meldon Snow. As staff has continued to leave the facility amid swirling rumors of fiscal uncertainty — a new audit apparently will be revealed next month — Snow was given a package in the neighborhood of $400,000 to leave his job. “I didn’t agree with the terms, but then if we didn’t agree to them, we could have faced another lawsuit,” MCMC commissioner David Thiner said during a community meeting Tuesday night.

Thiner’s point could be well taken, but the bigger question may be why the board eventually came into the position of making a separation agreement with Snow in the first place.

Ken Johanson, a Slayton resident, attended Tuesday evening’s meeting and asked the board why Snow was signed to a seven-year contract when he was already involved in a lawsuit. Others also expressed that concern, and one can’t help but wonder why the board would have opted to hire a man toting a giant red flag.

Here’s one possible explanation: the make-up of the MCMC board itself. All Murray County commissioners are also MCMC board commissioners, which we don’t necessarily believe is the ideal way to manage a community hospital. How about representation from different sectors of the county itself — like health care, for instance? Should the county commissioners be expected to know what’s best for the facility?

Clearly, the MCMC is in need of a new and better direction. Now that an interim CEO has been hired — and many in Murray County have stepped forward and shown obvious interest in the hospital’s operation — perhaps the board should be restructured.