Houston County Commissioner Speaks To SAMC - Southeast Heslth Board AppointmentsRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 08 2019 11:31 PM
Appointments to the SE Health Board of Directors
Also known as Southeast Alabama Medical Center
YESTERDAY · PUBLIC
Dear Fellow Citizens Of Houston County,
It has been just over a month since I was sworn in as County Commissioner for District 3. I campaigned on the fact that I am accountable and approachable. In this communication, I want to be accountable to you regarding an issue frequently addressed during the campaign.
The issue I want to respond to is appointments made by the Houston County Commission to the Board of Directors of Southeast Health, formerly known as Southeast Alabama Medical Center.
I was asked by many of you to investigate how and when appointments are made to the Board of Directors. I was also asked if I could replace current board members with new appointees.
After reviewing the legislation regarding healthcare authorities, I have confirmed that each director is appointed to a six-year term.
The three seats on the board that I will have a choice in filling will be up for review in 2019, 2021 and 2023.
Because Southeast Health is the largest employer in Houston County, I consider any appointment made to its board to be among the most important appointments I will make as a commissioner. When those times come, I will thoughtfully and prayerfully make my decisions.
The concern I have regarding appointments to Southeast Health’s Board of Directors is the lack of accountability by the board to the Houston County Commission.
As your commissioner, I am accountable to you, the citizens of Houston County. If you question my decisions or if I do not meet your expectations, then you can have your voice heard at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Houston County Commission.
On the other hand, if I question the decisions of the one, I appoint to Southeast Health’s Board of Directors or if he or she does not meet our expectations, then I have been told there is no way to have our voices heard formally and publicly.
The only time I, as your elected commissioner, have a formal voice is every six years when a new board member is appointed.
To be clear, this is not a personal attack on any specific board member or toward recent decisions made by Southeast Health. I acknowledge that board members are not paid. They spend significant time away from their families and jobs to serve on the board. For that, they deserve our thanks.
I am simply calling for better accountability and for our voices to be heard when our county’s largest employer makes decisions that affect the lives of so many of us.
How do we change this and establish better accountability? Contact your local legislator.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
For more information about the board, appointments,. and duties; please follow the links below:
Board of Directors: http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/22-21-175.htm
Board of Directors Election or Appointment: http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/22-21-316.htm
Officers Election Terms and Duties: http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/22-21-317.htm
Ricky M. Herring
Houston County Commissioner – District 3