Grady Memorial

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Dear Editor:

Your article, Grady Memorial CEO on proposed tax: ‘I have no choice’, opened with Grady Memorial Hospital CEO Spellman’s plan: With “about $10 million in private financing”, they could build a new hospital.

Everyone loves new hospitals. The problem a lot of Grady County residents have is how they are now getting their $10 million new hospital.

I understand a “20-year one-quarter-of-a-penny sales tax” doesn’t sound like much — a quarter for every $100, as they say. And they do say, over and over again. But at current county levels, adding a minimal growth rate, this is an $80 million tax.

Hospitals can say they are about helping people and saving lives, and I’ll believe them. However, a county-wide election is all about politics, and politics is all about money. This tax picks out blocks of voters they think are required to win and offers them money — lots of money.

Will CEO Spellman wait $0.25 at a time for 20 years before building his hospital? Of course he won’t. They likely have the bond contracts already in place. Now they’re paying lawyers, financial advisers, monthly bank fees, bond holders, etc.


QuartersGrady Memorial CEO on proposed tax: ‘I have no choice’” by William W. Savage III

Turns out it is pretty easy to spend $80 million on a $10 million building.

You might say, Grady Memorial would never spend their money like this. Remember his plan?

But this isn’t their money. It’s the taxpayers’ money — and “it’s only a quarter.”

Despite all of this, Grady County is missing the even bigger picture: the CMS reports. Even if the vote is passed, money won’t solve the problems found within the CMS report of the audit, which closed the operating room.

Out-of-date equipment, improper temperatures, unsanitary conditions, lack of oversight to qualifications and certifications being up-to-date: Not all of these things can be fixed by throwing money at them. Recertification is the biggest issue. According to the report,

The governing body (Board of Trustees) failed to ensure the hospital had a comprehensive and effective quality assessment and performance improvement program to improve health outcomes and reduce medical errors…failed to take action when the medical staff due for reappointment were not evaluated….failed to ensure the pharmacist maintained current licensure…failed to ensure the development and implementation of policies and procedures to minimize medication errors…failed to ensure the condition of the hospital…failed to ensure proper temperature…failed to ensure the hospital identified and evaluated all contracted services… failed to maintain files for contracted employees…

That’s only infractions up to page six out of 63. Remember: These are the same people who wrote the Grady Memorial Resolution Tax.

Grady Memorial Hospital now has a target on their back. Without new leadership, management and a true game changer, this is simply a waste of the working class’ money.

But after all, we are only wasting a quarter …

Kily Keeling