The final two original Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems Board members submitted their resignations September 5th, according to Pemiscot County Clerk Pam Treece. Board members Linda Burnett and Lee Wigginton stepped down from their elected positions.
The institution has been embroiled in a financial crisis and now all five Board members; Glenn Haynes, Johnny Harmon, Bobby Khourie, Burnett and Wigginton have resigned their positions in the wake of the crisis. The Pemiscot County Commission appointed Timmy Gardner, Eddie Brooks, and Russell Gilmore to fill three of the seats and now will have to make appointments for these final two.
All five seats will be up for election in 2014 to fill the unexpired terms. Khourie’s seat will be a five year term as he was already coming up for election. Harmon’s term expires in 2015, Haynes’ in 2016, Burnett’s in 2017 and Wigginton’s in 2018.
Kerry Noble, speaking to the County Commission and the public last Tuesday said that many changes implemented by the institution prior to the financial crisis were not his recommendations, but that the Board was responsible for those decisions. This includes loss of employees’ sick days, increase of six percent of the gross income for health insurance, and the proposed furloughs to many departments.
Community leaders and County Commissioners expressed the need to regain public trust and boost the morale of the employees still working there. CEO Jack Pennington said that he would begin meeting with the employees to keep them better informed and that a representative of PMHS would meet with the County Commission at least monthly.
The County Commission has stated that the restructuring of the Hospital is considered "most urgent" so the appointments are expected to take place quickly. Many citizens and officials are still hoping to see a state audit of the institution.