Mission Health clearly has no good answers to questions about how it chose people for the Dogwood Health Trust board. Faced with those questions in a Dec. 12 article, Mission spokesperson Rowena Buffett Timms tried to deflect them by calling the people who raised them “organized” and “self-interested” [“Get on Board: Mission Health’s Approach to Dogwood Health Trust Worries Local Nonprofits” Xpress].
Why should those who question the terms of the sale to HCA Healthcare not be organized? When did that become a sin? Why is it self-interested for people to work to preserve their medical services and ensure diverse representation on the DHT board, but altruistic for Mission board members to anoint themselves or their predecessors? What makes them uniquely qualified? Wealth? Friendship? Interlocking business interests?
The public deserves substantive answers to the concerns that have been raised — not blank assertions that Mission knows best. The individuals and groups audacious enough to question Mission and HCA have nothing to hide and no reason to stop asking hard questions. Far from laying the issues to rest, Mission’s response is a perfect display of the very shortcomings that taint the appointments themselves: aloofness, myopia and arrogance. Lacking any factual rebuttal, the best Mission can do is attack the messengers. It’s an empty dodge that thoughtful readers will recognize as just that.
Anyone who cares about their health care has a stake in this issue. For information, go to searchwnc.org. And let N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein know what you think by telephone at 1-877-5NOSCAM or through an online form at ncdoj.gov/complaint.
— Victoria Loe Hicks