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YEAR IN REVIEW: Thorsby mayor passes, hospital closes

Published 10:16am Tuesday, January 1, 2013

“It’s a tragedy,” state Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson said. “Every time one closes, it creates a gap in health care access and it creates a problem for citizens in the community. It’s truly, truly unfortunate.”

Williamson and others in his department worked closely with hospital officials for weeks, tracking patient care and finances. He said the closure was the result of the hospital being unable to make payroll.

“We were in the facility on Oct. 26 and were concerned because they were unable to issue checks,” Williamson said. “[On Oct. 29], it became clear to our investigators that they had insufficient funds to cover their checks that they were going to issue.”

Williamson said they could not be certain that CMC would have staff coverage for the patients that were hospitalized or those that were going to be hospitalized.

CMC’s license was suspended through an emergency order by Williamson. He said it’s the first time he’s taken such action against a hospital in his 20 years as state health officer.

In December, the state health department has again extended a license deadline for CMC as court-appointed receiver Don Ball continues to review the operation’s finances.

The Chilton County Hospital Board has a purchase agreement in place with the current owner of the hospital property, but before the transfer can take place, Ball has been appointed as receiver by the Chilton County Circuit Court to review the hospital’s finances and determine if it can be a sustainable operation.

The new state deadline of March 15, 2013, coincides with the timetable agreed upon for the hospital board to purchase the property, if the hospital is deemed viable.

Ball has brought in a team of experts to analyze the financial, legal and operational issues facing the business.

NOVEMBER

County elects new commission, board of education

The 2012 election in Chilton County had six of the seven incumbents for the Chilton County Commission re-elected with one newcomer Shannon Welch, filling the seventh spot.

Two out of four incumbents were re-elected to the Chilton County Board of Education including incumbents Joe Mims and Curtis Smith joined Lori Reynolds Patterson, Pam Plier Price, Jim Shannon, Keith Moore and Linda Hand.

Commissioners now include Tim Mims, Greg Moore, Bobby Agee, Allen Caton, Joe Headley, Heedy Hayes and Shannon Welch.

Welch ran for a commission seat for the first time and filled former commissioner M.L. “Red” Turnipseed’s seat.

Board of Education incumbents Joe Mims and Curtis Smith joined Lori Reynolds Patterson, Pam Plier Price, Jim Shannon, Keith Moore and Linda Hand on the board.

Incumbent board members not seeking re-election were, Ann Glasscock who served 18 years on the board, George Walker who served six years on the board and Chris Davis who served six years.

Caton was later elected commission chairman, and Patterson was elected president of the board.

On a national level, President Barack Obama was re-elected for a second term beating out challenger Mitt Romney.

Although Obama was re-elected, voting results in Chilton County showed Mitt Romney received the majority of the votes.

According to the Alabama Secretary of State’s website, the unofficial results for presidential numbers in Chilton County showed Romney receiving 13,910 votes or 79.8 percent and Obama received 3,391 votes or 19.5 percent out of 17,589 ballots cast in the county.

Probate Judge Bobby Martin said voters needed to be proud of themselves in Chilton County due to a 69.4 percent voter turnout.

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