A third Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems Board member has submitted a letter of resignation to the Pemiscot County Commission on August 30th. According to Pemiscot County Commissioner Ben Baker, he received a letter a resignation Friday morning from Board member Johnny Harmon.
Harmon’s resignation letter is the third of the five Board members to resign in the wake of a financial crisis at PMHS. August 29th, Board members Glenn Haynes and Bobby Khourie presented their letters of resignation. This leaves Linda Burnett and Lee Wigginton still on the Board.
Pemiscot County Presiding Commissioner Jim Atchison was not in town and unavailable for comment, however, county officials confirm that Haynes was sent a letter accepting his resignation. Action will be taken on Harmon and Khourie’s resignation early next week.
PMHS is located in Hayti, Missouri and is overseen by a five person Board that is its’ own political subdivision. The Board members are elected for five year terms, each staggered. Pemiscot County Clerk Pam Treece says that the seats will be filled by the County Commission. Baker says the Commission will begin reviewing resumes and will then make the appointments to fill the unexpired terms. Khouries’ term is up for election in 2014.
Furloughs continue at the facility which has cited a debt of at least four million dollars. The facility serves a county that ranks 114 out of 114 in most poverty statistics in the state of Missouri. Citizens and officials have requested a state audit from Governor Jay Nixon, and former employees continue a petition asking Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to investigate any possible wrongdoing.
Furloughed employees are also meeting another obstacle. Two employees tried to fit into “dislocated worker” status with the Missouri Department of Employment Security yesterday. They were told that while they could qualify, the hospital did not notify the appropriate department and as of yesterday had not supplied a list of furloughed workers.
The last unemployment rate for the county available in June was 9.7 percent. New numbers are due out in the near future and PMHS was one of the largest employers.
Baker continues to hold hope that the hospital can move forward and find a way to continue to provide vital services to the community.