Springfield Hospital Board Assures Scott

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/9/2019 11:58:55 PM

Springfield, Vt. — As Springfield Medical Care Systems has been reeling with shaky finances and high-level staff departures, its board sought to assure the governor this week that it’s doing what it can to put the health care provider in stable condition.

“All options are on the table,” SMCS’ board chairman said in a letter to Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday.

SMCS, a health care system that includes the 25-bed Springfield Hospital and has an annual operating budget of about $60 million, has appointed an interim CFO and is seeking ways to find the $8 million to $10 million in annual savings it needs, according to board chairman George Lamb’s letter.

Wednesday’s letter comes in response to a missive Scott sent to SMCS last Friday outlining the governor’s concerns about SMCS’s financial position.

“We have identified a long list of potential actions,” Lamb wrote. “Some of these financial improvement opportunities can start quickly. Others will take a bit longer, so that we can continue to assure the proper care of patients and fulfill our regional health care obligations.”

Recent reports have highlighted a range of challenges at SMCS — which also includes health centers in Charlestown and the Vermont communities of Ludlow, Londonderry, Bellows Falls and Springfield — including its being behind in payments to vendors, low employee morale and a controversial change in the company providing coverage in the hospital’s emergency department. The reports were followed by the departures of SMCS’s CEO and CFO last month.

To accomplish the goal of future financial stability, Lamb said, SMCS will need help from state and federal governments and from its bank, Berkshire Bank.

In addition, the board is working to get a strong management team in place, Lamb said. A new agreement was signed on Tuesday with Tennessee-based health care consulting firm Quorum Health Resources for advisory, consulting and interim leadership services.

The board also has appointed Wayne Scholz, who according to a LinkedIn profile is a Quorum employee, to serve as interim CFO. Scholz began working at SMCS on Dec. 13.

The board expects to appoint an interim CEO “in the coming days,” Lamb said.

Lamb concluded the letter by asking to meet with Scott and other “appropriate parties” in the near future to review this plan’s details.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.




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