Commissioners demand GMH reinstate services


By Anna Bolton - abolton@aimmediamidwest.com



XENIA — Greene County commissioners passed a resolution Thursday demanding Greene Memorial Hospital officials reinstate vital services at the hospital by Tuesday, Sept. 1.

The county board and the hospital have two existing agreements governing the use of tax levy dollars for the hospital; the funds are collected from two separate levies, according to the June 25 resolution. Under the agreements, the hospital is only to use levy funds for current operating expenses and for the purchase of equipment serving emergency services, nursing services, cancer services, women’s health services, and other GMH departments and/or facilities that were in place at the time of agreement.

According to County Administrator Brandon Huddleson, the resolution gives the hospital notice that its current structure violates the agreements, as well as the intent of the levies.

The resolution states that the hospital did not renew its Level 3 Trauma designation in September 2019. In February 2020, the intensive care unit (ICU) closed, while the ICU team was consolidated and transitioned to Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital closed its surgery center in March, according to the county, and made that closure permanent in May. The county also said the hospital chose to “staff to volume” in May and has “employed certain methods to keep the volume to roughly 10 inpatients.”

All of those services listed, as well as any other services that have been discontinued since the passage of the last renewal of levies, must be reinstated by Tuesday, Sept. 1, according to the board.

Commissioners passed the resolution unanimously at their regular meeting. But their concern about the hospital’s reduction in services has been ongoing for the last several months. They spoke about it again at a June 18 work session, ultimately asking Huddleson to write the resolution.

“[We discussed] whether we thought this was in line with the agreement … tax payers voted for a levy when the hospital looked like X, and now the hospital looks like Y … they felt like they had the responsibility to address it formally with the hospital,” Huddleson said. “Hopefully they’ll reinstate all services or engage in a dialogue with me.”

As of press time, officials from Kettering Health Network — which owns GMH — had not seen the resolution to be able to address it, according to a statement provided by Jimmy Phillips, KHN director of marketing and communications.

“We look forward to further discussions with the commissioners as we work to sustainably serve the health care needs of Xenia and the surrounding community,” the statement said.

By Anna Bolton

abolton@aimmediamidwest.com

Call 937-502-4498 or follow Anna Bolton, Reporter on Facebook.

Call 937-502-4498 or follow Anna Bolton, Reporter on Facebook.