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Morrison Community Hospital undecided on next step

Board to discuss management pact behind closed doors

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

MORRISON – Morrison Community Hospital officials have not decided how they will proceed if MCH ends its long relationship with its management company, an official said Wednesday.

Don Beswick, chairman of the public hospital’s board of directors, said MCH would consider a number of options, including joining a hospital alliance, choosing another management company, or handling management in-house.

The board’s budget, finance and acquisition committee met Wednesday but wasn’t planning to discuss the hospital’s more than 20-year relationship with Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, Iowa. The full board likely will decide on that contract, which expires June 30, at its meeting next Wednesday, Beswick said.

The board will discuss the Mercy issue in closed session, he said. So far, it has kept secret its reasons for wanting to end the contract.

Recently, Kent Jorgensen, a Mercy employee who had been the Morrison hospital’s CEO since June 2011, left his position. Mercy, a nonprofit hospital, has declined to comment on whether Jorgensen remains its employee.

Pam Pfister, who had been MCH’s associate administrator, is interim CEO. She is an employee of the hospital. Traditionally, the CEO is a Mercy employee, Beswick said.

Mercy appears to believe that its relationship with the Morrison hospital is ending. In a statement earlier this week, the company said it wants to “ensure a smooth transition” and that it wishes the hospital well in its “future endeavors.”

Members of the Morrison hospital’s board are appointed by the Whiteside County Board. Under Illinois law, it is a hospital district.

To attend

Morrison Community Hospital’s board of directors will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the second-floor conference room at the hospital, 303 N. Jackson St.

The board is expected to close the meeting to discuss its management contract with Mercy Medical Center in Clinton. It may vote on whether to end that agreement.

Call 815-772-4003 for more information.

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