Closing of birthing center at Sycamor...

Closing of birthing center at Sycamore Shoals

Posted in the Elizabethton Forum

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Anonymous

Johnson City, TN

#1 Nov 3, 2012
The director of Abortion Alternative has broght to the citizens of Elizabethton, who supported the closing of the birthing center. Johnson City Press with not run the story until after the election is over on Tuesday. Kent Williams and Rusty Crowe, sent in support letters to Nashville to close the birthing center, the Representatives did not notify the people of Carter County about this, they where to have a forum and let the citizen know about this, which they did not. This is very true. It just goes to show what our representatives think of us. This story is all over Facebook, with Mr. Williams and Mr. Crowes letters of support to Nashville, look us Angie Odom on Fb and u will find the story. So when u go vote on Tuesday, think twice before u vote for these to. They did not let us the citizens of Elizabethton know about this. Wonder what else they r hiding in there closet!!!!
Pro Life

Johnson City, TN

#2 Nov 3, 2012
Angie's whole post:

There has been a great injustice carried out against the people of Elizabethton and Carter County. I was made aware of this last week when I placed a phone call to Nashville to see how we can obtain Obstetrical services again for our community following the removal of the services at Sycamore Shoals Hospital. Three departments later, I spoke with Melanie Hill, the Executive Director of the TN Health Services and Development Agency, who shared with me the public records including letters of support for the removal of these services. Two elected officials have sent in letters to the TN Health Services and Development Agency supporting the closure: State Representative Kent Williams and State Senator Rusty Crowe (I will upload the pictures of the letters to my facebook wall). I can forward you the actual email if you supply your email address. Ms. Hill shared that any one citizen could have made a complaint, and her Agency would have held a community forum in our town for the citizens to voice their opinions. The TN Health Services and Development Agency informed me that services were terminated as of midnight on September 26, 2012. As the director of the Abortion Alternatives and Women’s Center, I found out about this closure on September 26 while visiting a client that was admitted into the ICU with complications from delivery a few hours earlier. She said to me,“My baby may be the last born in Carter County. They stop deliveries tonight.” Everything I had heard up to this point was only the possibility of closure, no facts. This is when I started trying to put the puzzle pieces together.

After speaking with the TN Health Services and Development Agency in Nashville, I spoke with the CEO of Sycamore Shoals Hospital, City and County Mayors, a local attorney, Kent Williams’ Treasurer, Congressman Phil Roe, and other community members and leaders. I also contacted Johnson County Pregnancy Support Center to inquire on how this was affecting their area. None of the local people with whom I spoke was aware that we could have had a forum to discuss the details. This move hurts the many people of Elizabethton and Carter County that don’t have access to transportation to Johnson City. Also, think of the babies that could be lost or have serious complications because the only birth place is too far for those coming from Roan Mountain and Johnson County. Our town has provided the delivery of babies since 1927 starting at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. We will no longer have birth certificates issued saying born in Carter County unless a child is born in the Emergency Room. We have had an Abortion Clinic since 1973 and it still remains in Carter County when the healthy delivery of babies has been discontinued. Sycamore Shoals Hospital has been planning this removal of services for at least six months. When the hospital first made the move to localize the services, the community was not aware that they have the right to a community forum to discuss the possible implications of this closure. The community has the right to voice their disapproval. In the end, if the majority of the community does not approve of this closure, the state agency can reject the closure.
Pro Life

Johnson City, TN

#3 Nov 3, 2012
I spoke to the County Mayor and discovered that this was never brought before the commission. This came as a great shock to me knowing that Jo Ann Blankenship is a Carter County commissioner, a chair of the Carter County Health and Wealth Committee, and a board member of Sycamore Shoals Hospital. We have community forums on the status of the animal shelter but cannot have a forum on the status of the Obstetrical Services at our local hospital. My main issue with the letters of support is that those letters did not have to be written. Our leaders are supposed to represent the voice of the people not represent their own interests. Furthermore, no one thought to include the people of Johnson County in on this decision. They already drive to Elizabethton for these services, now they must drive further. This doesn’t seem fair, especially for those with limited transportation options.

I have researched and now found that in May, the hospital announced via local newspapers that the OB services would be localized to Johnson City. The article said that the hospital would file a proposal with the State in June and would have a hearing in September to determine the date of the switch. Also, the article said that Sycamore Shoals Hospital would keep the community well informed.( http://www.tricities.com/news/article_9b8e6a9... ) The Abortion Alternatives and Women’s Center did not receive one phone call from any elected officials or hospital board members informing us of the impending termination of services. The TN Health Services and Development Agency held a board meeting in September to discuss the closure of the services at Sycamore Shoals and hear any opposition to the closure. Only one person had an opposition at the time of the meeting. If more people were aware they could have opposed, there would have been so many more oppositions on record.

Here is a link to the minutes from the meeting:

http://www.tn.gov/hsda/committee_packets/Sept... (See Part IV, Section G).
If you are interested in the Agency, please visit their website at http://www.tn.gov/hsda/ .

This closure affects us in a great way. We already drive our clients to the surrounding areas’ hospitals if they have a high risk pregnancy due to the lack of a high risk OB-GYN here in Elizabethton. When the hospital was here in Elizabethton, the women were able to find rides to the hospital. However, with the move to Johnson City, the women are not able to find transportation. Net Trans does provide transportation, but only at limited times ending at 4pm Monday through Friday, and is not available on weekends. Also, this service does cost and for those with limited means this is not a viable option. Without knowledge of this closure, we were not able to make arrangements for transportation for our clients. In addition, without adequate public transportation available for these women, it is left up to volunteers to help.

I have spoken with reporters from the Johnson City Press and the Elizabethton Star to tell this story. The reporter from the Johnson City press called me this morning and informed me that the story would not run until after the election. It appears to me that worries over the election is controlling our right to free press.
Pro Life

Johnson City, TN

#4 Nov 3, 2012
We cannot change the fact that the OB services are gone, but we can hold our officials responsible. We vote representatives into the State Government to speak on our behalf. Those representatives should keep their constituents informed of issues that affect our community. The current representation does not seem concerned with what is best for our community only what is best for the large hospital conglomerate. We might be able to get these services back through another hospital if the community will stand up and write letters. These letters need to let the administration know that we were unaware of where to send a letter of complaint in the beginning, that we need these services in our county, and we would support any company that would bring these services to our area. Please send these letters to Melanie Hill, Executive Director of the TN Health Services and Development Agency. If you cannot send letters to her, please send them to me and I will forward them on to Ms. Hill.
Ms. Melanie Hill
Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency
500 Deaderick Street, Suite 850
Nashville, TN 37243
Or
AAWC
145 Judge Don Lewis Blvd, Suite 7
Elizabethton, TN 37643
Pro Life

Johnson City, TN

#5 Nov 3, 2012
Sorry Topix is not cooperating so things are posting out of order and repetitively.
seriously

United States

#6 Nov 3, 2012
Resident of Elizabethton wrote:
The director of Abortion Alternative has broght to the citizens of Elizabethton, who supported the closing of the birthing center. Johnson City Press with not run the story until after the election is over on Tuesday. Kent Williams and Rusty Crowe, sent in support letters to Nashville to close the birthing center, the Representatives did not notify the people of Carter County about this, they where to have a forum and let the citizen know about this, which they did not. This is very true. It just goes to show what our representatives think of us. This story is all over Facebook, with Mr. Williams and Mr. Crowes letters of support to Nashville, look us Angie Odom on Fb and u will find the story. So when u go vote on Tuesday, think twice before u vote for these to. They did not let us the citizens of Elizabethton know about this. Wonder what else they r hiding in there closet!!!!
U make a good point as I, a resident of elizabethton, knew none of this, only that a decision was made to close the birthing center but I had no idea these ppl supported it without asking the ppl it really affects what they think. Sheesh, I know noone is perfect, but why does it seem that every candidate for every position is a lying deceiving jerk who really doesn't care about the people they r supposedly representing or running to represent?!?!?!?!
Pro Life

Johnson City, TN

#7 Nov 3, 2012
Here are the bullet points:

-Because the state has to approve the closure we had a right to a public hearing on the subject

-Nobody in government made any effort to make the hearing happen

-Kent Williams and Rusty Crowe SUPPORTED getting rid of our birthing center

-The Elizabethton Star and Johnson City Press are purposefully and knowingly covering up this fact because Williams is up for re-election this year

We can't do anything about the Commission members or Rusty Crowe this year but we can certainly do something about Kent Williams!
seriously

United States

#8 Nov 3, 2012
What do williams and crowe know about child birth, labour, need for high risk to not be as far away as johnson city, and women's needs???? As last time I checked they are both of the MALE gender, therefore finding out the opinions of at least the women who r directly affected by this change. As far as the press and the star, once again the citizens are essentially being lied to "by ommission" of what williams did when he is supposed to be our voice but actually doesn't give a crap what we think. People need to know this in order to make an informed decision regarding re-election.
Concerned

Kingsport, TN

#9 Nov 3, 2012
As a resident we do vote these people in office by not doing our homework~sad to say! If more people would come to the city, county meetings as these things are made public, WE WOULD BE MORE INFORM! The city school board is now being live streamed~maybe more of these meetings need to be that way! What goes on behind closed doors cause we as citizens give too much trust to these people that WE elect is terrifying in more ways than one! Just wish they we had more HONEST people in the world that's not about money or stepping on people to make it to the top!
Anonymous

Johnson City, TN

#10 Nov 3, 2012
Glad now, that I did not do early voting.
seriously

United States

#11 Nov 3, 2012
Concerned wrote:
As a resident we do vote these people in office by not doing our homework~sad to say! If more people would come to the city, county meetings as these things are made public, WE WOULD BE MORE INFORM! The city school board is now being live streamed~maybe more of these meetings need to be that way! What goes on behind closed doors cause we as citizens give too much trust to these people that WE elect is terrifying in more ways than one! Just wish they we had more HONEST people in the world that's not about money or stepping on people to make it to the top!
EXACTLY!!!! Where have all the good hearted honest hard working leaders/people gone????
seriously

United States

#12 Nov 3, 2012
Resident of Elizabethton wrote:
Glad now, that I did not do early voting.
I was just thinking the same thing!! Lol
Rumor

Kingsport, TN

#13 Nov 3, 2012
seriously wrote:
<quoted text>
I was just thinking the same thing!! Lol
Wish that I hadn't =(
Now be informed

Johnson City, TN

#14 Nov 3, 2012
The letters were written by REQUEST of SSH officials.
SSH filed the letter of request to close down the unit while giving supporting numbers of why they were requesting it to happen and what they planned to do with the unit after closing.(Our officials in fact did not)

SSH showed how it was financially challenging to keep it open even after trying different angles to get more local support.

To even attempt to make it look like our reps were responsible for its closing is just plain ridiculous. Local physicians wrote their support as well.

It was printed in the Star and the Press. How is it you just figured it out?
Talk about just flying off the handle and listening to the first story you are told lol. It would kill half of you to even attempt to get all sides story.
Recap...
SSH asked to close it.
SSH provided the statistics to have it shut down
SSH asked the Reps and local physicians to support their request.
Story was printed in Star and Press in plenty, PLENTY of time for someone to ask questions or say something.
Curious

Kingsport, TN

#15 Nov 3, 2012
Tax exempt organizations are not allowed under federal law to endorse or campaign against any political figure. May need to be careful to safeguard the tax exempt status. Curious if the clinic is a 501(c)(3) tax exemption.

501(c)(3) organizations cannot endorse or oppose any candidate for public office. This includes contributions to a political campaign and even public statements for or against a candidate. This prohibition is "absolute," meaning that any violation can be cause for the IRS to strip the 501(c)(3) of its tax-exempt status.
Wondering

Jonesborough, TN

#16 Nov 3, 2012
Not arguing or anything, just curious. Sycamore Shoals is owned by Mountain States Health Alliance, right?? MSHA is a privately owned corporation..so, how does the state of Tennessee factor in to the closing of the birthing center?

I hate that it closed, but can't MSHA do pretty much whatever they decide? or do they need state approval? Does anybody know how that works?
Ridge Runner

Franklin, TN

#17 Nov 3, 2012
This is a dynamic created by Mountain States Health Alliance's monopoly in hospital services in Northeast Tennessee. They are predatory corporation disguised as a "not for profit" (not it's not non-profit) hospital system. They will close down most inpatient services with any rural hospital they acquire so that those patients can be sent to the "mother ship" and its peripheral locations in Johnson City. Sure, they'll keep some beds open in the rural facilities they buy, but I can assure you they will shuttle all they can to the big house.

I miss the days when we had a choice of hospitals and MSHA (at that time just Johnson City Medical Center) wasn't the only choice.

What a deal for them, a non-tax paying monopoly!

Prepare to kiss more of your home town services goodbye. It will evolve to a bunch of "doc in the box" locations feeding patients to their larger facilities. It's just all about their market share strategy.

Just drive around Johnson City, they seem to own half the damn place. Monopoly's pay off huh?
Medkit

Maxton, NC

#18 Nov 3, 2012
Wondering: to answer your question, health care is highly regulated. For anyone to open or close a hospital, part of a hospital, or specialty facility, they need the state to approve a Certificate of Need. These are not granted automatically by any means and require political clout.

Now I recall MSHA saying they needed 500 births per year to keep ours open, and when they closed it in September the last birth was #380 or so. We were clearly on-pace but the state let them close it anyway.

Looking at both Williams' and Crowe's campaign reports there is a ton of MSHA money there. In fact Williams got a big check from MSHA the DAY he wrote his letter.

Finally there is no advocacy for or against a candidate in Angie's statement. There are only facts. But I can see how a supporter of either crook could see it that way because who the hell would vote for a representative who HELPS big business rob us of family services?
Rumor has it

Monroe, NC

#19 Nov 4, 2012
Kent is bad for carter county
boohoo

Spruce Pine, NC

#20 Nov 4, 2012
obama is bad for our country.

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