Governor faces challenge filling Luis Hospital board
Published: August 12, 2013
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ST. CROIX - Gov. John deJongh Jr. has spoken with a number of potential candidates to take seats on the Luis Hospital board and could be making nominations to the board - which currently lacks a quorum - in the next few weeks, according to Government House.
"Some are giving it consideration; some have declined," Government House spokesman Jean Greaux Jr. said of the potential nominees in a written response to a Daily News question.
He did not respond to further questions about the matter.
The financially troubled hospital, which is operating under a settlement agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has been without a functioning board since the former chairwoman's resignation was effective July 19.
Dr. Anthony Ricketts, the board's vice-chairman, has said the board is continuing to function at a committee level - although it remains powerless to take any action because it cannot muster a quorum.
Government officials have indicated that the territorial hospital board will oversee Luis Hospital for now, but that board has not met since January, despite local law requiring it to have quarterly meetings.
Currently, there are five vacancies on the nine-seat Luis Hospital board, and a sixth vacancy will open up when the resignation of member Imelda Dizon - who resigned at the same time as chairwoman Kye Walker - takes effect later this month.
The board lost its quorum during a hospital shake-up last month that included the resignation of interim chief executive officer Dr. Kendall Griffith, the intervention of senators, and the board's reinstatement of Griffith as its last act before Walker and Dizon resigned.
The resignations came as members of the 30th Legislature mounted political pressure and petitioned for a special session to abolish the board, reinstate Griffith, and to provide the hospital with a cash infusion.
Ultimately, though, Walker stepped down as board chairwoman, and then she and Dizon resigned, leaving the board without enough members to conduct business.
Senators called off the special session and have yet to appropriate any additional funding for the cash-strapped hospital.
Greaux said in his statement that the governor hopes to be prepared to make nominations in a few weeks.
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