by Chris Chase
Coastal Journal staff
BOOTHBAY HARBOR — Despite the St. Andrews task force’s latest report advocating emergency services at the hospital remain open, the board of trustees for Lincoln County Healthcare (LCH) have decided to proceed as planned with the hospital’s downgrade of emergency services in October.
The task force’s report, which detailed data gathered by a third-party consultant known as iVantage, advocated that the information indicated that the hospital was viable.
“There were some things in the report that we agreed with, and there was a lot that we disagreed with,” said Jim Donovan, the CEO of LCH.
According to Donovan, the board of trustees reviewed the information at their meeting, and decided that the information was not enough to make them change their course from the current closure.
“What we had agreed to, prior to them engaging with the consultant, was that if they brought in new data, that we would take it into consideration,” said Donovan. “This particular report told us nothing that was new to us, nothing that we had not considered.”
According to Donovan, both he and the board are likely to continue moving forward with their plan unless the task force finds a new piece of data, which is unlikely.
“The data is the data. You can’t go out there and make stuff up,” said Donovan. “We’re pulling our data form the same source.”
James Chaousis, the manager of the task force, disagreed with LCH’s decision.
“It was apparent within minutes of receiving the report LCH/MH management was prepared to refute, discredit, and disregard it,” said Chaousis in a statement sent to the Lincoln County News.
Although there has been a public outcry against the closure of St. Andrews’ emergency services, Donovan says that the move is the right one for healthcare in the region.
“We’re all ahead full,” said Donovan of their plans. “We feel we’re doing the right thing for the community, and we’re going to move ahead.”